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President Obama is expected to take executive action to help illegal immigrants stay in the country while Congress is away on a five-week recess, pro-immigrant advocates said Saturday.

Obama and his allies believe his authority to act without legislative approval has been strengthened by congressional gridlock over comprehensive reform.

“I’ve heard not to expect anything until toward the end of August. They’ve been listening to suggestions by advocates over what could be done. The president has yet to make a decision about what steps he plans to take,” said Brent Wilkes, national executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if the president makes some kind of announcement before the end of August, prior to the Congress returning.”