The countdown has begun. President Barack Obama will address the nation Thursday at 8 p.m. EST to announce his overhaul of U.S. immigration policy. Live stream footage of his speech can be viewed here.
With Congress divided on how to solve the nation’s heated issue of illegal immigration, Obama has promised to take executive action to advance immigration reform and unlock the congressional stalemate. Democrats are pushing for the president to provide deportation relief by extending deferred action for millions of undocumented immigrants. Many Republicans, on the other hand, argue that Obama would essentially be granting “amnesty” under the cloak of executive authority.
“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,” said Michael Steel, spokesman for House Speak John Boehner.
Boehner and other Republican leaders are considering expanding a proposed lawsuit against Obama’s executive actions to include immigration. Boehner first announced plans for a federal suit over the summer, but finding a D.C.-based law firm that is willing to undertake their legal bout has proved difficult, according to the Washington Post. Several Republican governors, including potential presidential candidates in 2016, have threatened to sue the federal government if Obama issues an executive order on immigration, according to CBS News.
Nevertheless, the president has all but revealed his executive changes to the immigration system, ahead of his speech. On Wednesday Obama said: “Tomorrow night, I’m going to be announcing here from the White House some steps that I can take to start fixing our broken immigration system.”
Obama’s speech can be watched via live stream Thursday at 8 p.m. EST.