Short & Sweet
Tonight at 8 p.m. EST President Obama will talk to the nation about immigration reform.
Here's what you need to know about the speech:
1. The president is tired of waiting. Obama thinks our immigration system is broken and Washington gridlock has prevented a solution. In a video posted to the White House's Facebook page (the White House has a Facebook page?!), the president said he plans to explain how he will use his authority to get something done. Now. Without Congress. Although, he promises to continue to work toward a compromise.
"It can't be that we're not allowed to lift a finger to fix the broken immigration system until Congress acts. 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," said Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson at a discussion on immigration Wednesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
2. He is not the first president to use an executive order. Although Presidents Reagan and Bush used the power of executive orders, it's questionable as to whether the scale of Obama's plan is legal. It could extend legal status to as many as 5 million immigrants currently living in the United States. Read The National Review to learn more about the precedent involved.
3. Republicans will retaliate. It's not as if the opposition will sit quietly by while the president acts. Republicans are already arguing that it's unlawful for Obama to act by executive order of this magnitude, reports USA Today.
4. Some immigrants will be protected; others won't. According to ABC News, the plan Obama is expected to announce tonight will extend amnesty to some immigrants, namely those who are parents of children born in the United States. But not all the 11 million immigrants living here will be protected. Tonight's speech will lay out exactly who is "safe" and who isn't.
5. Major networks aren't covering the speech. According to The Huffington Post, ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX are opting not to carry Obama's speech, likely because November is sweeps month. In other words, "Grey's Anatomy" trumps the president in this case. Meanwhile, Spanish language networks Univision and Telemundo will air the speech. You can also see it on cable news stations like Fox News and MSNBC.
Tune in tonight to learn more about the plan. There will be much debate in the coming days, weeks and months on the issue of immigration reform in this country. How everything shakes out is anyone's guess.
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