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Obama To Unveil Immigration Plan On Thursday

Updated at 1:28 p.m. ET.

President Obama says he will announce the executive actions he's taking to "start fixing our broken immigration system" during a speech to the nation at 8 p.m. ET Thursday.

"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 Congress and encourage them to get a bipartisan, comprehensive bill that can solve the entire problem," Obama said in a video on the White House Facebook page.

The president added that he also plans to address the issue Friday during remarks at a Las Vegas high school.

Obama spoke at the same high school in January 2013 when he called on Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration bill. Obama has long said he would take unilateral action on immigration before the end of the year if Congress did not act.

On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the president was nearing a final decision on what actions to take.

At a discussion on immigration Wednesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Obama would act "in the coming days" but said he did not want to get ahead of the president.

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Johnson defended the idea of Obama acting unilaterally, saying he believes the president has "a fairly wide latitude within existing executive authority to fix the system."

"It can't be that we're not allowed to lift a finger to fix the broken immigration system until Congress acts," Johnson said. "Well, we've been waiting for Congress to act. It can't be that we're not allowed to take action in a number of respects to reform the system. And we will. And we've identified a number of ways that we will."

NPR's Tamara Keith contributed to this report