The Obama administration announced Friday it will stop deporting illegal immigrants who come to the country at a young age.

The politically charged decision comes as Obama faces a tough reelection fight against Republican Mitt Romney, with Hispanic voters in swing states seen as a key bloc.

The change in policy could allow as many as 800,000 immigrants who came to the United States illegally not only to remain in the country without fear of being deported, but to work legally, according to a senior administration official speaking to reporters Friday.