What to Expect in Obama's Immigration Order

Immigrants won't get ObamaCare; parents of Dreamers gain no protection
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2014 5:47 PM CST

President Obama will lay out his executive order on immigration reform tomorrow night in an 8pm ET speech, one in which he's expected to shield up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation. That will mostly involve providing work permits to adult immigrants who have been in the US for at least five years and have families here, though they won't gain full citizenship, reports USA Today. Some other details:

  • No health care: The immigrants who gain protection will not be eligible for ObamaCare, reports the New York Times. That's a major disappointment for advocates, but it allows Obama to avoid a fight with conservatives on the matter. The immigrants likely won't be eligible for food stamps or Medicaid coverage, either.

  • Dreamers: Obama is expected to expand eligibility for a 2012 program that protects young people who came to the US illegally as kids, a group collectively known as Dreamers. However, no special protections are expected for their parents, reports Politico. Farm workers also appear to be out of luck (unless there's some overlap in other categories of protection).
  • Student visas: The plan is expected to "make it it easier for students awaiting work visas to stay in the U.S.," reports the Wall Street Journal.
  • Latin Grammys: The speech coincides with the second hour of the Latin Grammy's, which the Washington Post suggests is no accident. It gives the White House a captive audience among Hispanic viewers because Univision plans to postpone the show to fit in the speech. So far, ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox have no plans to air the speech live.
  • Obama: "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 better, even as I continue to work with Congress and encourage them to get a bipartisan, comprehensive bill that can solve the entire problem," Obama said in a Facebook video post.
  • 'Emperor Obama': John Boehner's spokesman says that “if ‘Emperor Obama’ ignores the American people and announces an amnesty plan that he himself has said over and over again exceeds his constitutional authority, he will cement his legacy of lawlessness and ruin the chances for congressional action on this issue—and many others.”
(Read more President Obama stories.)

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