Obama to announce immigration steps Thursday

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Obama to announce immigration steps Thursday
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, accompanied by a U.S. Capitol Police officer, right, walks to the House chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015, as lawmakers gather for a vote to fund the Homeland Security Department but will curb President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. An Ohio bartender with a history of psychiatric illness was indicted on a charge of threatening to murder Boehner, possibly by poisoning his drink at a country club or shooting him, according to court documents. A grand jury indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Ohio on Jan. 7 identified the accused man as Cincinnati resident Michael R. Hoyt, said the records made available Tuesday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 14: House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), speaks about immigration while flanked immigrant family members by during a news conference on Capitol Hill, January 14, 2015 in Washington, DC. Hoyer urged members of Congress not to pass legislation to fund the Department of Homeland Security with attached anti-immigrant amendments. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 14: Isabel Aguilar (R) speaks about immigration while flanked by her children Adolfo Martinez 13 (C), Miranda Aguilar 8 (2ndL), and Emillio Aguilar 7 (L), during a news conference on Capitol Hill, January 14, 2015 in Washington, DC. Ms. Aguilar joined House Democrats to urge members of Congress not to pass legislation to fund the Department of Homeland Security with attached anti-immigrant amendments. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 14: Isabel Aguilar (R) speaks about immigration while flanked by her children Adolfo Martinez 13 (C), Miranda Aguilar 8 (2ndL), and Emillio Aguilar 7 (L), during a news conference on Capitol Hill, January 14, 2015 in Washington, DC. Ms. Aguilar joined House Democrats to urge members of Congress not to pass legislation to fund the Department of Homeland Security with attached anti-immigrant amendments. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill January 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. House Democrats spoke about US President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill January 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. House Democrats spoke about US President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
(L-R)Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), Rep. Al Green (D-TX), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA), Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) attend a press conference on Capitol Hill January 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. House Democrats spoke about US President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) receives notes during a press conference on Capitol Hill January 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. House Democrats spoke about US President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Rep. Karen Bass, D-CA, speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill January 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. House Democrats spoke about US President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 13: Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) speaks about immigration during a news conference on Capitol Hill, January 9, 2015 in Washington, DC. Rep. Gutierrez talked about plans to help educate immigrant communities and prepare for the implementation of the executive actions on immigration announced by President Obama in last November. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Rabih Torbay, senior vice president for international operations at the International Medical Corps., speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill January 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. House Democrats spoke about US President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 13: Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) (C) speaks about immigration while flanked by colleagues during a news conference on Capitol Hill, January 9, 2015 in Washington, DC. Rep. Gutierrez talked about plans to help educate immigrant communities and prepare for the implementation of the executive actions on immigration announced by President Obama in last November. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Jeremy Konyndyk (L), director of the U.S. Agency for International Development's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, and Tom Frieden (R), director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, listen as African Union Ambassador to the US, Amina S. Ali, speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill January 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. House Democrats spoke about US President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Jeremy Konyndyk, director of the U.S. Agency for International Development's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill January 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. House Democrats spoke about US President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Tom Frieden(2nd-R), director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill January 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. House Democrats spoke about US President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Sarah Kaba Jones, founder and CEO of FACE Africa, speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill January 13, 2015 in Washington, DC.House Democrats spoke about US President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Rep. Charles Rangel (R),D-NY, arrives for a press conference on Capitol Hill January 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. House Democrats spoke about US President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, arrives for a press conference on Capitol Hill January 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. House Democrats spoke about US President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill January 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. House Democrats spoke about US President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Jeremy Konyndyk, director of the U.S. Agency for International Development's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill January 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. House Democrats spoke about US President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, listens during a press conference on Capitol Hill January 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. House Democrats spoke about US President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
From left: Rabih Torbay, senior vice president for international operations at the International Medical Corps, Jeremy Konyndyk, director of the U.S. Agency for International Development's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, Gwendolyn Mikell, professor of anthropology and foreign service at Georgetown University, and Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, attend a press conference on Capitol Hill January 13, 2015 in Washington, DC.House Democrats spoke about US President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Rep. Charles Rangel
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 13: Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) speaks about immigration during a news conference on Capitol Hill, January 9, 2015 in Washington, DC. Rep. Gutierrez talked about plans to help educate immigrant communities and prepare for the implementation of the executive actions on immigration announced by President Obama in last November. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 13: Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) (C) speaks about immigration while flanked by colleagues during a news conference on Capitol Hill, January 9, 2015 in Washington, DC. Rep. Gutierrez talked about plans to help educate immigrant communities and prepare for the implementation of the executive actions on immigration announced by President Obama in last November. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio walks back to his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015, after being on the floor of the House of Representatives. The House is voting on two bills: One that would alter a key section of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul in a way that would help banks, and the other would block Obama’s executive actions on immigration, including removal of protections for immigrants who arrived in the country illegally as children. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio walks back to his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015, after being on the floor of the House of Representatives. The House is voting on two bills: One that would alter a key section of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul in a way that would help banks, and the other would block Obama’s executive actions on immigration, including removal of protections for immigrants who arrived in the country illegally as children. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., a leading advocate in the House for comprehensive immigration reform, center, leads a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015, with fellow Democrats on the implementation of President Barack Obama's executive actions to spare millions from immediate deportation. Rep. Al Green, D-Texas is at left. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
President Barack Obama speaks various topics including immigration reform and the House of Representatives, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014, in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
US citizens Esmeralda Tepetate, 10, with her brother Sebastian, 2, whose parents are originally from Mexico, holds a sign that says "stop separating families" during a rally for comprehensive immigration reform, Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, outside of the White House in Washington. After the midterm elections immigration groups are pushing for executive action. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
US President Barack Obama listens during a naturalization ceremony in the East Room of the White House on July 4, 2014 in Washington, DC. A total of 25 military members, veterans and their spouses became the newest US citizens. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Heather Pina, 6, whose parents are originally from Mexico, attends a rally for comprehensive immigration reform, Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, outside of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
US President Barack Obama listens to the US National Anthem during a naturalization ceremony in the East Room of the White House on July 4, 2014 in Washington, DC. A total of 25 military members, veterans and their spouses became the newest US citizens. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman holds up a sign that says "Don't deport my parents" during a rally for comprehensive immigration reform, Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, outside of the White House in Washington. After the midterm elections immigration groups are pushing for executive action. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
US President Barack Obama listens as new citizens speak the Oath of Allegiance during a naturalization ceremony in the East Room of the White House on July 4, 2014 in Washington, DC. A total of 25 military members, veterans and their spouses became the newest US citizens. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama (L) listens as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas (R) administers the Oath of Allegiance during a naturalization ceremony in the East Room of the White House on July 4, 2014 in Washington, DC. A total of 25 military members, veterans and their spouses became the newest US citizens. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Light is reflected on Sara Ramirez, of Gaithersberg, Md., as she rallies for comprehensive immigration reform outside the White House in Washington, Friday, Nov. 7, 2014. "I've worked as a community organizer and I've seen the pain of the families," says Ramirez, who is originally from Guatemala, "their pain is immense." (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Barack Obama walks across the stage following a naturalization ceremony for active duty service members and civilians, Friday, July 4, 2014, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Obama highlighted a positive side of the immigration debate by presiding over an Independence Day citizenship ceremony for service members who signed up to defend the U.S. even though they weren't American citizens. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Barack Obama smiles with chef Jose Andres, after awarding the chef with a "Outstanding American by Choice" award during a naturalization ceremony for active duty service members and civilians, Friday, July 4, 2014, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Obama highlighted a positive side of the immigration debate by presiding over an Independence Day citizenship ceremony for service members who signed up to defend the U.S. even though they weren't American citizens. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Barack Obama watches at left as Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas administers the oath of allegiance during a naturalization ceremony for active duty service members and civilians, Friday, July 4, 2014, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Obama highlighted a positive side of the immigration debate by presiding over an Independence Day citizenship ceremony for service members who signed up to defend the U.S. even though they weren't American citizens. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Barack Obama smiles at new citizens during a naturalization ceremony for active duty service members and civilians, Friday, July 4, 2014, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Obama highlighted a positive side of the immigration debate by presiding over an Independence Day citizenship ceremony for service members who signed up to defend the U.S. even though they weren't American citizens. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Barack Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, July 4, 2014, during a naturalization ceremony for active duty service members and civilians. Obama highlighted a positive side of the immigration debate by presiding over an Independence Day citizenship ceremony for service members who signed up to defend the U.S. even though they weren't American citizens. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Barack Obama poses for a photo with chef José Andrés following a naturalization ceremony for active duty service members and civilians, Friday, July 4, 2014, in the East Room of th White House in Washington. Andrés was honored with the Outstanding American by Choice recognition by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, an initiative that recognizes the outstanding achievements of naturalized U.S. citizens who have demonstrated their commitment to our country and to the common civic values that unite us as Americans through their civic participation, professional achievements and contributions. José Andrés received his U.S. citizenship in November of 2013, but has been an active member of the community since he arrived to the United States. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Barack Obama and Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas applaud after Mayorkas administered the oath of allegiance during a naturalization ceremony for active duty service members and civilians, Friday, July 4, 2014, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Obama highlighted a positive side of the immigration debate by presiding over an Independence Day citizenship ceremony for service members who signed up to defend the U.S. even though they weren't American citizens. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Barack Obama watches at left as Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas administers the oath of allegiance during a naturalization ceremony for active duty service members and civilians, Friday, July 4, 2014, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Obama highlighted a positive side of the immigration debate by presiding over an Independence Day citizenship ceremony for service members who signed up to defend the U.S. even though they weren't American citizens. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker speaks to civic groups in Columbia, Tenn., on Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014. Corker criticized some fellow Republicans for equating any effort to address illegal immigration to amnesty. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)
People rally for comprehensive immigration reform, Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, outside the White House in Washington. After the midterm elections immigration groups are pushing for executive action. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
People rally for comprehensive immigration reform, Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, outside of the White House in Washington. After the midterm elections immigration groups are pushing for executive action. A theme of the rally was ceasing deportation of parents who are in the United States illegally. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
People rally for comprehensive immigration reform, Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, outside of the White House. After the midterm elections immigration groups are pushing for executive action. A theme of the rally was ceasing deportation of parents who are in the United States illegally. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
People rally for comprehensive immigration reform, Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, outside of the White House in Washington. After the midterm elections immigration groups are pushing for executive action. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014, in Washington. One day after sweeping Republican election gains, President Obama and incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged to try and turn divided government into a force for good rather than gridlock on Wednesday, yet warned of veto showdowns as well. Trade legislation loomed as one possibility for quick compromise, and immigration as an early irritant. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Barack Obama arrives to a news conference in the East Room of the White House, on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014, in Washington.One day after sweeping Republican election gains, President Obama and incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged to try and turn divided government into a force for good rather than gridlock on Wednesday, yet warned of veto showdowns as well. Trade legislation loomed as one possibility for quick compromise, and immigration as an early irritant. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Anjali Gautam, of Bhutan, poses with her certificate of citizenship as her father, Shyam, snaps a picture during a Halloween-themed naturalization ceremony, Friday, Oct. 31, 2014, in Baltimore. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services welcomed 38 children, many of whom came dressed in Halloween costumes, from 18 countries. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Yassin Elalamy, of Egypt, from left, Ezra Dessie, of Ethiopia, and Hilary Suarez, of the Dominican Republic, recite the pledge of allegiance during a Halloween-themed naturalization ceremony, Friday, Oct. 31, 2014, in Baltimore. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services welcomed 38 children, many of whom came dressed in Halloween costumes, from 18 countries. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
U.S. President Barack Obama, right, speaks while meeting with bipartisan members of Congress including U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, in the Old Family Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014. Top Republicans met with President Obama today after warning him that changing U.S. immigration policy without involving Congress would invite 'big trouble' and make a future compromise impossible. Photographer: Dennis Brack/Pool via Bloomberg
U.S. President Barack Obama, right, speaks while meeting with bipartisan members of Congress including House Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, from left, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, and U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, in the Old Family Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014. Top Republicans met with President Obama today after warning him that changing U.S. immigration policy without involving Congress would invite 'big trouble' and make a future compromise impossible. Photographer: Dennis Brack/Pool via Bloomberg
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WASHINGTON (AP) - Sidestepping Congress, President Barack Obama on Thursday will announce steps he will take to shield up to 5 million immigrants illegally in the United States from deportation, defying Republican lawmakers who say such a step would poison relations with the new GOP led legislature.

Obama, in a video released on Facebook, said he would make his announcement from the White House at 8 p.m. EST on Thursday, then would travel to Las Vegas to promote the plan Friday.

He said while everyone agrees the immigration system is broken, 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 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.

As many as 5 million people in the country illegally would be spared from deportation and made eligible for work permits. But the eligible immigrants would not be entitled to federal benefits - including health care tax credits - under the plan, officials said Wednesday.

Obama was to speak at Las Vegas' Del Sol High School, a school with a large population of non-English speaking students where Obama unveiled his blueprint for comprehensive immigration legislation in 2013.

Obama to Announce Executive Actions on Immigration

Republicans are vehemently 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.

A wide-ranging immigration bill passed the Senate last year, but stalled in the Republican-led House. Obama vowed this summer to instead pursue changes to the immigration system using his own authority but delayed the measures until after the midterm elections, in part because of concerns from some Democrats facing tough races.

Democrats still lost control of the Senate in the midterm balloting.

One official familiar with the administration's planning said the beneficiaries of Obama's new executive action would be treated in the same manner as those immigrants who were shielded from deportation and who became eligible for work permits under an Obama directive in 2012. The 2012 executive action deferred deportations for immigrants who came to the United States illegally as children. The official discussed the limits of Obama's action on the condition of anonymity, lacking authority to speak on the record at this point.

Those immigrants covered by the 2012 action, called Dreamers by their advocates, can obtain work permits but are not eligible for food stamps, federal welfare benefits or disability benefits under the Supplemental Security Income program. They also are ineligible for tax credits under Obama's health care law, though they can buy health coverage at full price on the exchanges created by the law. They may be eligible for public benefits provided by some states, however.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Wednesday that Obama's executive actions will be comprehensive and include border security measures. He said he believes that immigration changes that Obama will announce are not only legal but needed in light of inaction by Congress on immigration.

Johnson spoke briefly about the president's plan during an event at the National Press Club on Wednesday, but he didn't provide any details.

House Speaker John Boehner's spokesman criticized Obama's plans, noting that the president himself has said in the past that he is not "emperor" and is limited in his ability to act on his own.

"If 'Emperor Obama' ignores the American people and announces an amnesty plan that he himself has said over and over again exceeds his Constitutional authority, he will cement his legacy of lawlessness and ruin the chances for congressional action on this issue - and many others," the spokesman, Michael Steel, said.

Astrid Silva, an organizer for the group Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, said the president "has a duty to keep his promise and use his full legal authority to take action where Congress has failed." The group said the White House has been in touch with Nevada activists about the trip.

Republicans on Capitol Hill are deeply divided and have spent much of the week intensely debating how to respond. By timing his announcement for the Friday before Thanksgiving, with Congress on recess all of next week, Obama gives the public some time to react to his announcement before Congress has a chance to respond.

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