New York -- Tomorrow, November 19, 2014 at 8 p.m. EST, at a televised speech positioning the plan. President Barack Obama will reveal the much-expected immigration plan, Thus, altering the rules for deportations that could touch millions of undocumented immigrants and simultaneously beginning an unpredictable clash with Republicans.
Obama's executive orders are expected to eliminate the danger of deportation for as many as 5 million of the estimated 11 million people residing illegally in the United States. This executive action is a noteworthy step for a president notorious for having deported thousands of illegal migrants.
According to sources, the Obama administration is contemplating increasing the group of undocumented immigrants who would qualify for deferred deportations by using principles such as permanency in the United States and family ties. Parents in the country illegally but who have children who are U.S. citizens are almost certain to qualify, the sources said. More in question is whether undocumented parents of so-called Dreamers -- many of whom have been shielded from deportations under a 2012 administration policy -- would qualify as well.
In a video on the White House Facebook page, Obama said "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 that can solve the entire problem...Everybody agrees that our immigration system is broken. Unfortunately, Washington has allowed the problem to fester for far too long," ..."And so 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 to encourage them to get a bipartisan, comprehensive bill that can solve the entire problem."
At a dialogue on immigration Wednesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Obama would act "in the coming days."
Johnson defended the idea of Obama acting unilaterally, saying he believes the president has "a fairly wide latitude within existing executive authority to fix the system."
"It can't be that we're not allowed to lift a finger to fix the broken immigration system until Congress acts," Johnson said. "Well, we've been waiting for Congress to act. It can't be that we're not allowed to take action in a number of respects to reform the system. And we will. And we've identified a number of ways that we will."
In fact, Congress has indicated which aliens may be removed from the United States and the procedures for doing so. Aliens might be removed if they were inadmissible at the time of entry, convicted of certain crimes, or meet other criteria set by federal law. Removal is a civil, not criminal, matter. The principal feature of the removal system is a broad discretion exercised by immigration officials. Federal officials, as an initial matter, must decide whether it makes sense to pursue removal at all. If removal proceedings commence, aliens may pursue asylum and other discretionary relief allowing them to continue in the country or at least to leave without formal removal.