Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Source: Obama Speech Will Emphasize To Latinos That Immigration Action Is Coming

A source tells BuzzFeed News a much-anticipated speech at the Congressional Hispanic Institute Gala by the president will tell Latinos to wait 40 more days until after the election on long-awaited executive actions on immigration.

Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press / MCT

President Obama will reaffirm his promise of administrative actions to slow record deportations before the end of the year during a high-profile speech to Latinos and Hispanic officials on Thursday, BuzzFeed News has learned.

His speech at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) gala — his first there since 2011 — comes as activists have expressed anger and frustration over repeated delays on executive actions.

Obama will tell Latinos in attendance that he understands their frustration but will also call on them to stick with him and wait 40 more days, until after the election, according to a source who viewed the president's prepared remarks.

According to a White House official, the president will use the speech to reiterate his commitment to expanding opportunities for all hardworking Americans including Hispanics and will highlight efforts by the administration that have led to significant, measurable progress in the Latino community.

Cecilia Muñoz, director of the White House domestic policy council and a key administration figure on immigration, is also expected to attend the CHCI public policy conference on Wednesday. She is expected to convey that administration officials are sorry about the delay but will seek to correct course with the eventual actions.

A separate source said the White House asked CHCI to share the stories of students who have benefited from Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — which gave legal status and work visas to undocumented youth brought to the country as children — for Obama to include in his speech. But, for unclear reasons, the exchange never happened and the stories will likely not be told by the president.

The request by the administration would make sense: Obama has been on the receiving end of criticism from immigration activists throughout 2014, who have asked him to go big with some combination of expanding deferred action and using prosecutorial discretion to change enforcement priorities.

In fact, protesters from the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, who argue the delay of the executive actions means thousands of deportations, will be outside the president's speech.

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