President Obama is heading to Vegas! And while the general rule is, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” it probably won’t apply much to President Obama on Friday. He wants his message on immigration reform to be heard, betting it will be embraced by the millions of undocumented immigrants who will benefit from his actions as well as his other supporters.
In fact, after all the major television networks – CBS, NBC, ABC and FOX – snubbed President Obama‘s Thursday night speech from the White House which laid out his plans to use his executive powers to proceed with immigration reform on his own, bypassing congress, it is likely that President Obama wants everything that happens in Vegas to be heard loud and clear.
The President will likely have much to say, and opportunity too say it, while he visits the great State of Nevada and Sin City, the primary purpose of his stay to sign the executive order that will grant “deferred action” to two primary groups of illegal immigrants. One of those groups includes the parents of United States citizens and legal permanent residents that have been residing in the U.S. for at least five years. The other comprises young people who entered the country illegally as of 2010, reports FOX News.
The signing of the executive order will take place on a familiar stage for President Obama, the same Las Vegas High School – Del Sol – where two years ago, he laid out his previous plans for overhauling the U.S. immigration system.
In his Thursday night speech, President Obama called out to illegal immigrants, letting them know that the Obama administration would be ready to start accepting their applications for taking advantage of the “deferred actions.” Those applications that are accepted, said President Obama in his immigration speech, would provide protection to the applicant for three years.
Seeking to find what he called a “commonsense, middle ground approach,” President Obama said both that, “Mass amnesty would be unfair,” and that, “Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character.”
The result, concluded President Obama, would be that, “if you (illegal immigrants) meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law.”
At the same time, President Obama told those that are on the wrong side of the law, they shouldn’t be clicking their heels.
“If you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported.”
President Obama’s choice to follow up his immigration speech with the executive order signing in Nevada, reportedly stems from the very strong Latino constituency that exists, and is expected to grow, in the Silver State.
According to Politico, President Obama’s trip to Vegas is also motivated by his attachment to his beleaguered colleague, Harry Reid, who they call, “the soon-to-be defrocked majority leader who needs a lot of help to get re-elected to a sixth term.”
Again, the powerful Latino constituency comes into play too, Latinos being about a quarter of Nevada’s population and potentially 20 percent of the electorate come the next voting time in 2016.
In all, the announcement by President Obama of his go-it-alone plan to overhaul immigration, combined with his rolling out to Vegas to sign the executive order with Harry Reid by his side, is believed to be a first step toward reinvigorating the Democratic party following some tough 2014 losses.
Whether or not President Obama’s immigration plan and trip to Vegas will do what he hopes remains to be seen. But many supporters are giving him credit for rolling the dice.
Image via ABC-13 News