Alan Gomez --- USA Today
After two years of failed attempts in Congress and months of internal deliberations, President Obama is likely to go it alone in the coming weeks and roll out a series of unilateral changes to the nation's immigration system.
The options could be far-reaching, from shielding millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation to tweaking the immigration system to allow more foreign workers into the country.
The announcement will undoubtedly kick off a heated debate between immigration advocates and hard-liners. It could prove the signature of Obama's immigration legacy and prompt lawsuits against his administration. It could even influence elections critical for Republicans trying to regain control of the Democrat-controlled Senate.
Both sides have lined up for weeks, offering suggestions, recommendations and admonitions. Immigration advocates have huddled with White House officials to stress how broad Obama's legal authority is. On Twitter, they use the hashtag #GoBigObama.
"President Obama can and should undertake administrative reforms that are broad, inclusive and that benefit a significant portion of the 11 million Americans in waiting," said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, referring to the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in the USA. "If the administration decides to make less significant administrative reforms, it will be because of today's politics, not the law or historic precedent that will have held him back."
Critics say Obama has crossed a constitutional line and will break the law if he protects more undocumented immigrants from deportation. On Twitter, they compare him to Roman emperors.