February 26, 2017

Obama Immigration Reform Speech

And right on cue, after the Democratic losses faced in the 2014 mid-term election, comes the announcement on immigration reform many of us were expecting:

Our immigration system has been broken for decades — and every minute we fail to act, millions of people who live in the shadows but want to play by the rules and pay taxes have no way to live right by the law and contribute to our country.

So tomorrow night, President Obama will address the nation to lay out the executive actions he’s taking to fix our broken immigration system. You can watch the President live tomorrow night at 8 p.m. ET at WhiteHouse.gov/Live.

Here’s the video:

It’s a gambit right out of the starting gate of the race for the 2016 Presidential election, perhaps intended to appeal to the group most responsible for helping to bring Obama into the White House to begin with.

And as noted on Huffington Post, several major network stations like ABC, NBC, and CBS, and not actually airing the 15 minute speech:

Despite the great significance of Barack Obama’s planned executive action on immigration reform, the four major television broadcast networks are not planning to cover the president’s Thursday night address where he is expected to announce his plan.

ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX have all indicated they won’t break their planned programming to cover Obama’s 8 p.m. ET speech. CNN’s Brian Stelter first reported that ABC, NBC and CBS were opting out, and an official with FOX confirmed the same with The Hill.

It goes to show how the current mindset of Americans is more vested in fantasy-land than reality.  “Political stuff” is supposed to take a back seat to one’s favourite television serial.

It’s not the first time a President has acted on his own, -as an article “Republicans Were Fine With Bush Acting On Immigration Reform Without Congress” o n Thinkprogress.org notes:

In defending his actions, Bush sounded a lot like Obama does today.

“Although the Congress has not addressed our broken immigration system by passing comprehensive reform legislation, my administration will continue to take every possible step to build upon the progress already made,” Bush said.

White House Press Secretary Dana Perino explained that the administration had initially held off on the changes to allow Congress breathing room to deal with the immigration problem comprehensively, adding, “We’re going as far as we possibly can without Congress acting.”

an Executive Order also how George W. Bush dealt with his own concerns on the matter, the full article from back then “Bush pushes agenda without Congress“, by NBC News, notes how then-President Bush pushed his policy after it previously failed in congress:

His strength is sapped by an unpopular war, Democrats are running Congress, and the 2008 presidential election is in full roar, distracting attention from the president’s priorities. With dwindling options, Bush has decided he might get more done in his final months by going it alone.

Outgoing presidents often unleash a flurry of executive orders and regulations in a last-minute attempt to leave their mark on U.S. policy. Frustrated by Congress’ inability or unwillingness to pass the president’s agenda, the administration already is taking steps to do it through executive action.

With his immigration bill dead, the administration rolled out a proposed rule to address some of the major issues in the failed legislation. It will tighten border security, streamline guest-worker programs and pressure employers to fire illegal immigrant workers.

So regardless of who airs the speech or who doesn’t, it’ll be a major topic over the coming weeks.  Due to the holiday season starting, it will get PLENTY of air time.