Washington, Nov 13 (EFE).- U.S. President Barack Obama plans to announce next week a package of executive measures that will protect some five million undocumented immigrants from deportation, The New York Times reported Thursday.
The influential daily is the second media outlet to report that Obama will make an announcement on immigration next week, with the conservative Fox news network having come out with such a report on Wednesday.
The New York Times cites unidentified government officials “with direct knowledge” of Obama’s plans as the sources for the story.
The president is currently on a tour of Asia and Australia and will not return to Washington until Sunday.
The daily said that a “key” part of Obama’s plan is to allow many parents of children who are U.S. citizens or legal residents to obtain work permits and thus avoid being deported.
That part of the plan could affect between 2.5 million and 3.3 million people, depending on how long they have been in the country – either 5 or 10 years – which are set as the prerequisites for the potential beneficiaries.
The president is evaluating increasing the scope of the protection that already exists for undocumented youths who arrived in the United States when they were children and also extending it to their parents, which would benefit more than 1 million immigrants.
According to the Times, the “details” of the executive measures still have not been finalized and Obama’s announcement could be delayed until December, but not beyond the end of the year.
Fox, which cited officials close to the White House, on Wednesday reported that Obama will make the announcement next week and said that his executive action measures will include suspending millions of pending deportations.
When consulted by Efe, a White House spokesman said that “the president has not yet made a decision about the measures to adjust the immigration system.”
“In fact, he still has not received the final recommendations from the Department of Homeland Security,” the spokesman added.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest, who is accompanying Obama on his foreign tour, told reporters that the president will “soon” receive the “final recommendations” from Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
Obama has previously said he would announce these measures before the end of the summer but then he backtracked and decided not to make the announcement until after the midterm elections so as not to harm the chances of Democratic candidates in key states, the White House said