President Obama, following through on his vow to sidestep Congress, will announce in a prime-time TV speech Thursday the executive actions he will take to change U.S. immigration law.
Obama will make his announcement, expected to protect roughly 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation, from the White House at 8 p.m. EST, then go to Las Vegas to promote the plan Friday.
The president will go ahead with his plan despite widespread opposition from Capitol Hill Republicans, who have asked him to wait until next year when the GOP controls the House and Senate to try to reform the country’s broken immigration system.
Obama is also under intense pressure from Hispanics and much of his liberal base to act now, after promising to act by September, then disappointing them by waiting until after the midterms.
Congressional Republican are already working on a strategy to stop Obama from using executive action, including a plan to submit a temporary spending bill that would cut any funding for related efforts like issuing Social Security cards for those protected under the Obama plan.
House Speaker John Boehner has warned Obama that taking such action before January would be tantamount to “playing with fire.”
The federal government technically runs out of money by December 11.
“What I’m going to be laying out is the things that I can do with my lawful authority as president to make the system better, even as I continue to work with Congress and encourage them to get a bipartisan, comprehensive bill that can solve the entire problem,” Obama said via Facebook.
At least some of estimated 5 million illegal immigrants who would be spared from deportation are also expected to be made eligible for work permits. But the eligible immigrants would not be entitled to federal benefits — including health care tax credits — under the plan, administration officials said Wednesday.
FoxNews.com / The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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