President to Speak on Possible Immigration Action Tonight

President Obama will speak tonight at 7 p.m. on possible executive action to overhaul the nation’s immigration system.

Obama says action is needed to fix the country’s “broken” immigration system, although he’s been hesitant to act on the issue without the consent of Congress until recently.

“Unfortunately, Washington has allowed the problem to fester for too long,” Obama said Wednesday in a video message from the White House.

Reports say Obama will announce a plan to temporarily shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation, and to allow some with no criminal records to apply for work permits to stay in the country legally.

Republicans don’t disagree that the immigration system is broken, but they do say any executive action on the issue would mean bleak prospects for bipartisan compromise in the future.

At a press conference announcing his pick for the new Texas Secretary of State, Governor-elect Greg Abbott said he’d be willing to consider a lawsuit against the president.

“If the president uses what seems to be his version of dictatorial powers to impose on Americans a law that is not passed by the U.S. Congress,” Abbott said, “I think any and all action should be taken to try and stop it – including legal action.”

Incoming Secretary of State Carlos Cascos, who will also serve as Abbott’s senior adviser on border and Mexican affairs, says he’d back such a lawsuit, if it came to that.

Note: We will likely not be able to carry the president’s speech, as our NPR feed is still down because of the move to our new studios. The White House will live-stream the speech here at 7 p.m.

About Travis Bubenik

Former Morning Edition Host & Reporter
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