David McNew/Getty Images

President Obama's sweeping executive action on immigration could spare as many as 5 million people from deportation across the country.

But it’s likely to leave the biggest mark in states like California, Texas and New York. And two southern states to which immigrants have flocked over the past decade—North Carolina and Georgia—have hundreds of thousands of residents who could receive relief.

Nationwide, up to 3.7 million undocumented parents of U.S. citizen or legal-resident children who have lived in the country for five years and have passed a criminal background check next year will be eligible to apply for temporary deportation relief and a work permit, according to the non-partisan Migration Policy Institute.

In addition, almost 300,000 people brought to the U.S. as children and before 2010 could apply for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program because age limits will be lifted.

Immigrants in all 50 states will feel the effects of Obama's new policies, but here are the states where relief could make the biggest impact:

Advertisement

Jordan Fabian is Fusion's politics editor, writing about campaigns, Congress, immigration, and more. When he's not working, you can find him at the ice rink or at home with his wife, Melissa.