Obama to shield 5 million from deportation

by Carrie Budoff Brown, Seung Min Kim and Anna PalmerI  |  published on November 20, 2014

Barack Obama
The White House is in full-out sales pitch mode for President Barack Obama’s announcement Thursday that he will shield about 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation, circumventing Congress to provide the most sweeping changes to immigration policy in decades.

Obama is meeting with key Democratic lawmakers. Aides are speaking with advocates and lining up surrogates who will help promote the plan. A Facebook video with the president released Wednesday afternoon drew more than 1 million viewers and was shared more than 23,000 times, reaching the feeds of more than 5.5 million people.

The White House even managed to get Univision to delay its live telecast of the Latin Grammy Awards, with its audience of about 10 million viewers, for Obama’s speech at 8 p.m. Eastern time — although it won’t be aired by the four major broadcast networks.

All this for an announcement that’s going to set off a political firestorm. The White House has said the executive actions are needed because Congress won’t act, while GOP leaders say the president is going beyond his authority and poisoning the well for any future immigration talks.

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