Obama to announce executive actions on immigration reform


WASHINGTON: U.S. President Barack Obama will announce his executive actions on immigration reform in a prime-time address to the nation on Thursday night.

“Unfortunately, Washington has allowed the problem to fester for too long,” Obama said in a video posted on Wednesday to the White House’s Facebook page.

“And so, what I’m going to be laying out is the things I can do with my lawful authority as president to make the system work better, even as I continue to work with Congress and encourage them to get a bipartisan, comprehensive bill,” he said.

Obama said the 8 p.m. address will be followed by a trip to Las Vegas, where he’ll speak at Del Sol High School on Friday.

So far, it’s unclear exactly what executive actions Obama will announce.

Analysts expected that the speech at Del Sol would provide a symbolic bookend on the president’s push for the immigration reform. During a speech at the school in January 2013, he declared repeatedly “now is the time” for Congress to enact the immigration reform.

Obama has insisted that executive action is necessary because a series of immigration bill passed the Democrat-controlled Senate last year, but stalled in the Republican-led House of Representatives.

The president is poised to dramatically expand his deferred action program, allowing parents of children who are legal residents or citizens of the United States to avoid deportation proceedings and receive work permits, analysts said.

The president is also expected to expand how the federal government issues specialty visas for high-tech workers. In total, an estimated 4 million to 5 million illegal immigrants could be eligible for the program, according to reports. PNA


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