Tags: Barack Obama | Immigration | illegals | immigration | executive order | speech

Immigrant Groups Plan 'Watch Parties' for Obama Speech

Thursday, 20 November 2014 10:06 AM

Illegal immigrants across the country are expected to attend mass “watch parties” Thursday as President Barack Obama lays out his amnesty guidelines in a prime-time address.

Their fate, and their future in the United States, will depend on how they are categorized by his unilateral plans to ease deportation for the millions of undocumented immigrants here, The Washington Times reported.

His measures could make up to 5 million people eligible for work permits, while he will likely prevent parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents from being deported as long as they have been in the country for five years.

But there will be thousands watching Obama on TV, at the mass parties and elsewhere, who will be devastated to learn that the parents of so-called Dreamers, undocumented migrants brought here as children, will probably not be covered.

Pastor Emma Lozano, who heads the Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago, where immigration has a special ministry, plans to sit with people who are currently facing deportation as they listen to Obama’s announcement.

"We’re going to be watching this very closely, people in my church," she told the Times. "We’re going to have the TV on in both languages and really praying and hoping we get what we deserve."

Casa, a major immigrant-rights group based in Maryland and Virginia, has organized three screening parties, while the New York Immigration Coalition is holding three parties around the city, according to the Times.

"The president will detail his plans to take executive action to provide administrative relief to millions of immigrants," the New York group said. "We expect such relief to be a program that offers a temporary solution for millions of families and workers around the country, offering protection from deportation and work authorization."

Obama’s speech, which will not be shown on major networks, is scheduled for 8 p.m. Eastern time from the White House, and will be followed by another speech on Friday in Las Vegas giving more details on his executive immigration order.

Immigration advocates have waited six years for Obama to fulfill his campaign promise that he would reform the system, the newspaper noted.

And Pastor Lozano said that activists are going to be disappointed if the new law fails to apply to thousands of people who have recently been deported, but would now have been allowed amnesty under the changes.

"We’re going to assist those that are going to be eligible for whatever he gives, but at the same time if it falls short we’re going to come down hard and continue the fight," she told the Times.

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Illegal immigrants across the country are expected to attend mass "watch parties" Thursday as President Barack Obama lays out his amnesty guidelines in a prime-time address.
illegals, immigration, executive order, speech
Thursday, 20 November 2014 10:06 AM
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