Watch President Barack Obama’s speech live Thursday at 7 p.m. Central Time.
[dropcap]P[/dropcap]resident Barack Obama will address the nation regarding his long-awaited immigration plan Thursday. He’ll be unveiling his plan’s details at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, the same place he first talked about his principles for immigration reform two years ago.
“Everybody agrees that our immigration system is broken. Unfortunately, Washington has allowed the problem to fester for far too long,” Obama said in a video posted to his Facebook page yesterday. “And so 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 to encourage them to get a bipartisan, comprehensive bill that can solve the entire problem.”
Earlier this year, an immigration reform bill was initially passed in the Senate but became stalled in the Republican controlled House. And after a large number of unaccompanied children from Latin America began arriving at the U.S. border, Obama said he would take an executive action on the issue to circumvent the House’s partisan roadblock.
However, Obama moved to delay that action based on the possibility Democrats could regain control of the House after November’s midterm elections. They didn’t. Republicans took control of Congress during the Nov. 4 midterm elections in what Obama called a “very good night” for the GOP. Since the midterms Obama’s been again talking about using executive action but has also said he would still prefer Republicans to work with his party towards reform.
“You send me a bill that I can sign, and those executive actions go away,” said Obama, the day after the midterms.
Republican leaders like House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) have called the president’s implied threat of executive action “executive amnesty” and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), said Obama’s threat was akin to “waving a red flag in front of a bull.”
It’s expected a key part of Obama’s announcement will focus on allowing undocumented parents of American citizens to remain in the United States without the threat of deportation. The change would include the parents of legal residents, but not the parents of children eligible for delayed deportation under a rule Obama enacted in 2012.
In Chicago, Centro Sin Fronteras/Familia Latina Unida will screen Obama’s announcement at Lincoln United Methodist Church, 2242 S. Damen Ave. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and in addition to screening the president’s speech, the organizations will also host speakers directly impacted by the nation’s current immigration system.
” Yesenia Guerrero…[and] Rosalbla Valdez will speak for the 4 million U.S. citizen kids with undocumented parents,” said a release announcing the event. “In some cases, these families have been fighting deportation cases for over ten years and now have a chance to be legalized.”
Centro Sin Fronteras/Familia Latina Unida have also invited Congressman Luis Gutierrrez, Commissioner Jesus Chuy Garcia, Alderman Danny Solis, and State Representative Cynthia Soto to attend the event.