Obama to Announce Executive Order on Immigration Tonight

President Obama will announce his executive order on immigration tonight (8:00 p.m. ET). It appears that Obama will finally follow through on his promise to exercise his executive powers to address the nation's broken immigration system. In a brief video announcement, Obama said of the executive order on immigration:

"What I'm going to be laying out is the things that I can do with my lawful authority as president to make the system work better, even as I continue to work with Congress."

The details, however, of Obama's long-awaited executive action on immigration are not yet known. Not much specific information was provided in Obama's video message; however, news outlets have been quick to predict the terms of Obama's executive order on immigration. Most have cited sources that indicate Obama's executive action is expected to provide protection from removal (deportation); however, sources vary on two main eligibility requirements: (1) the presence and extent of applicants' ties to U.S. citizen or permanent resident family, such as children and spouses, and (2) the amount of time applicants have lived in the United States (five and ten years have been reported). Also reported is that Obama's executive order will expand the category of Dreamers to eliminate the age limitation previously enforced for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Again, no details are yet confirmed.

After Obama's announcement tonight, he is expected to provide further details on his executive action tomorrow, Friday, while attending a rally in Las Vegas. The finer details, in particular procedural issues of how to apply for and receive relief under the executive action on immigration, will likely only be revealed with even more time. Millions of people could benefit from Obama's executive order on immigration, but putting the plan into action will be a work in progress that could take several months to roll out and commence. Tonight's announcement will also likely trigger a backlash from anti-immigration politicians and groups, some of which have already begun threatening to sue Obama over this executive action on immigration.

As we prepare for Obama's announcement on his executive order on immigration tonight, please keep in mind the following points:

• Tonight is just the beginning. Nothing has happened yet. Details will likely roll out with time, especially procedural issues on how to apply for and receive any immigration relief under the executive action.

• Be on alert for any scams and notario fraud offering to help you through the immigration process under Obama's executive order on immigration.

• Contact a reliable and trusted immigration attorney, or community or religious organization to learn more on the details of the executive order. The government will also certainly provide detailed information online on Obama's executive action on immigration, much like it did with Deferred Action (DACA).

• If you do qualify, be prepared to document your identity (i.e., passport or other government-issued identification); family ties to the United States (i.e., birth certificates for children born here, marriage certificate to your United States citizen spouse, divorce judgments for prior marriages, etc.); and your history of residence in the United States (i.e., school records, leases, utility bills, bank or other financial records, etc.).

News of tonight's announcement is very exciting, but again, be on alert for any scams preying on the immigrant population. Wait for the details to be revealed and then contact a trusted resource.

Lastly, before Obama's long-awaiting announcement, I wish to applaud those who have fought the long, hard, and good fight for immigration change – remaining a loud voice in Obama's ear, reminding him of the importance of finally addressing our broken immigration system, the value of our undocumented immigrant population to our local communities and nation at large, and the devastating consequences of forcibly tearing families apart through deportation.