The US Department of Homeland Security has begun preparing for a series of raids that would target for deportation hundreds of families who have flocked to the United States since the start of last year.

Citing people familiar with the operation, the Washington Post said the nationwide campaign to deport the illegal immigrants by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement could start as soon as early January.

It would be the first large-scale effort to deport families who have fled violence in Central America, the newspaper said.

President Barack Obama launched a full-throated defense of open immigration policies Tuesday, hailing it as America’s “oldest tradition” amid a fierce election-fueled row over tighter rules.

Hours before Republican candidates held a security-focused final presidential debate of the year, Obama told 31 newly naturalized Americans that fair immigration was the touchstone of their adoptive country.

“Just about every nation in the world, to some extent, accepts immigrants,” Obama said. “But there is something unique about America.”

U.S. senators introduced bipartisan to reform the country's visa programs, which may affect future U.S. immigration.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., introduced the "H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2015" (S. 2266), which amends the "Immigration and Nationality Act" in an effort to "reduce fraud and abuse in certain visa programs for aliens working temporarily in the U.S., and for other purposes."

Nigerians deported from UK but they are angry to be back. Photo: BBC

No fewer than 500 Nigerians have been deported from the United Kingdom to Nigeria.

They arrived at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos this morning.

Reports indicate that most of them have been deported over illegal stay permits.

A Supreme Court ruling on an issue as politically explosive as immigration could be a potential grenade in the 2016 presidential elections.

The Obama administration took the battle over immigration to the Supreme Court on Friday, formally asking the justices to review a federal court decision that left in place a nationwide injunction against President Barack Obama’s sweeping initiative to grant quasi-legal status and work permits to millions of immigrants here illegally.

Scholarships, state aid and tuition payment plans can help make college a financial reality for some immigrant students.

More than 1 million immigrant children without legal status reportedly live in the United States. Roughly 65,000 graduate from high school each year, but experts estimate that fewer than 6,500 go on to attend college.

The GOP presidential contender says the database would help block people from entering the U.S. illegally and he would implement such a system if elected.

Watch video, courtesy of NBC News.

A nonprofit briefing in Dallas, Texas, on mistakes to avoid in applying for US citizenship. PHOTO BY ANTHONY ADVINCULA

Servano and his wife, Salvacion, have lived in the United States as legal permanent residents for over 30 years. Their four children are Americans, having been born in this country.

But when the Filipino couple applied for US citizenship in 1991, their application was not only denied, but they were also put in removal proceedings.  It has now been over two decades since they started battling a deportation order and to remain in the country.

Republican presidential candidates urged greater confrontation with terrorists and a clampdown on immigration, while slamming President Barack Obama, following Friday evening's terror assaults in Paris.

The attacks killed 127 in bombings and shootings that French authorities termed an "act of war" by the group Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

On Tuesday night's Republican presidential debate and again on Wednesday morning, GOP candidate Donald Trump touted the controversial 1950s "Operation Wetback" program as a way of dealing with the nation's approximately 11 million immigrants currently without legal status. Under the Eisenhower program, immigrants inside the U.S. were rounded up and deported to remote places, resulting in deaths and criticism of human rights abuses.

On NPR Wednesday morning, conservative Republican Alfonso Aguilar slammed Trump's comments.

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