Obama to announce immigration steps

Barack Obama
Barack Obama (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans have said it’s a move that will poison his relations with the new Congress — but President Barack Obama is going to go ahead tomorrow and announce the steps he will take to protect millions of immigrants who are illegally in the country from deportation.

In a video released on Facebook, Obama said he will make the announcement from the White House tomorrow evening, and then go to Las Vegas to promote the plan Friday.

Obama said everyone agrees that the immigration system is broken, but that Washington has let the problem “fester for too long.”

He says he’ll spell out things he can do as president “to make the system better” — and that he’ll also work with Congress toward as “bipartisan, comprehensive bill that can solve the entire problem.”

As many as 5 million people in the country illegally would be made eligible for work permits. But officials say the eligible immigrants would not be entitled to federal benefits — including health care tax credits — under the plan.

Republicans are opposed to the president’s likely actions, with some conservative members threatening to pursue a government shutdown if Obama follows through on his promises to act before the end of the year.

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