Barack Obama likely to introduce immigration reforms today

US President Barack Obama is expected to unveil his plans for immigration reform in an address to the nation on Thursday.

IANS| Updated: Nov 20, 2014, 13:29 PM IST

Washington: US President Barack Obama is expected to unveil his plans for immigration reform in an address to the nation on Thursday.

"Unfortunately, Washington has allowed the problem to fester for too long," Obama said in a video posted on Wednesday to the White House`s Facebook page, according to a Xinhua report.

"And so, 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 (the) Congress and encourage them to get a bipartisan, comprehensive bill," he said.

However, it is still not clear what executive actions exactly Obama plans to announce.

During a speech in January 2013, Obama had said, "now is the time" for the Congress to enact the immigration reforms.

The President is poised to dramatically expand his deferred action programme, allowing parents of children who are legal residents, or citizens of the US to avoid deportation proceedings and receive work permits, analysts said.

Obama is also expected to expand the process of issuing specialty visas for high-tech workers by the federal government. 

In total, an estimated four to five million illegal immigrants could be eligible for the programme, according to reports.