Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) — House Republicans criticized President Barack Obama's immigration directive as an illegal power grab today while Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said the orders were well within the president's authority.

Obama "has said over 20 times that he did not have the authority to take executive action on immigration," said Texas Republican Mike McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. "The president has deliberately and willfully broken the trust" between branches of government, he said.

Obama's Nov. 20 order will defer for three years the deportation of people who came to the U.S. as children and for parents of children who are citizens or legal permanent residents. The plan will be carried out through mandates to cabinet agencies that deal with immigration.

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