President Obama says he’ll unveil a series of major changes to immigration policy this week and will travel Friday to a Las Vegas high school to lay out his case for the new plan.
In a minute-long video on Facebook, Obama said he will address the nation Thursday about actions he can take himself “even as I continue to work with Congress” to come up with a legislative solution to the problems with the current immigration system.
“Everybody agrees that our immigration system is broken,” Obama said. “Unfortunately, Washington has allowed the problems to fester for too long. So, what I’m going to be laying out is some things I can do with my lawful authority as president to make the system work better.”
After his speech, Obama said, he’ll travel Friday to Del Sol High School in Las Vegas to talk about why he must act. Obama first launched his campaign to overhaul the immigration system during a speech at the school in January 2013.
Since then, the president’s legislative push has been thwarted by Republican opposition in the House. Obama has said that he won’t wait any longer for Republicans to pass legislation and plans to use his executive authority to ease deportations.
Administration officials have indicated that the proposals could affect as many as 5 million people and could be aimed at the parents and relatives of U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
In his 2013 speech at the school, Obama urged Congress to move forward a comprehensive bill to overhaul the immigration system.
“The time is now” to get it done, he said then, laying out “key markers” he would require to be part of immigration reform -- among them a pathway to citizenship for many of the 11 million undocumented residents living in the U.S.
If Congress didn’t act quickly, he said, he would send his own bill to them and “insist that they vote on it right away.”
The Senate approved a proposal last year, but the House has refused to act, in large part because of Republican division on the issue.