President Obama plans to announce his next steps on the issue of immigration reform in a live television address tonight. The broadcast will take place at 5 p.m., White House officials announced.
“Everybody agrees that our immigration system is broken,” the president said in a video released on Wednesday. “Unfortunately, Washington has allowed the problem to fester for too long. 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 work better — even as I continue to work with Congress and encourage them to get a bipartisan, comprehensive bill that can solve the entire problem.”
Reports have suggested that the president will direct that enforcement efforts be emphasized against recent illegal immigrants, those with criminal records, and those deemed national security threats. He is expected to permit those who have children with legal status to remain in the country, thus lessening the threat of deportation against some 5 million people. Presidents Reagan and Bush Sr. each previously took similar actions, without the involvement of Congress, to keep families from splitting up.
It’s unknown which news outlets will be carrying the address live. However, it will be viewable online at whitehouse.gov/immigration-action. This report by USA Today has additional details and analysis.