By Kathleen Hennessey, Tribune Washington Bureau (TNS)
WASHINGTON — President Obama is expected to announce a series of major changes to immigration policy during a trip to a Las Vegas high school on Friday.
The president is expected to speak at Del Sol High School on Friday afternoon, a source familiar with the plans said Wednesday. Obama first launched his campaign to overhaul the immigration system during a speech at the school in January 2013.
Since then, the president’s legislative push has been thwarted by Republican opposition in the House. Obama has said that he won’t wait any longer for Republicans to pass legislation and plans to use his executive authority to ease deportations.
The White House said Tuesday that Obama had not yet decided on the details of his plans. Administration officials have indicated that the proposals could affect as many as 5 million people and could be aimed at the parents and relatives of U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
In his 2013 speech at the school, Obama urged Congress to move forward a comprehensive bill to overhaul the immigration system.
“The time is now” to get it done, he said then, laying out “key markers” he would require to be part of immigration reform — among them a pathway to citizenship for many of the 11 million undocumented residents living in the U.S.
If Congress didn’t act quickly, he said, he would send his own bill to them and “insist that they vote on it right away.”
The Senate approved a proposal last year, but the House has refused to act, in large part because of Republican division on the issue.
Photo: U.S. President Barack Obama meets with his national security and public health teams to receive an update on the Ebola response in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)