President Jonathan Visits Awo’s Widow On Her 99th Birth-Day.

Jonathan and awolowo

President Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated Hannah Awolowo on her 99th birthday , which is today.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the nonagenarian is wife of the late nationalist, political writer and statesman, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

The president’s congratulatory message is contained in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, on Monday in Abuja.

The statement said “President Jonathan and his family join millions of admirers of the late nationalist, renowned political leader and sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo in wishing his “Jewel of Inestimable Value” very happy birthday celebrations.

“He prays that God will grant Mrs Awolowo many more years of worthy service as the matriarch and moral compass of the great Awolowo political dynasty which continues to play a
commendable role in national development.

“President Jonathan looks forward to personally participating in the celebration of Mrs Awolowo’s landmark 100th birthday next year to honour the highly-revered spouse of one of Nigeria’s famous founding fathers.

“He prays that God Almighty who has blessed Mrs Awolowo with remarkable longevity will grant her continued good health and very memorable birthday celebrations.”

Midweek Must read: Imminent Collapse of Civil Rule in Nigeria, By Femi Falana.

lawmakers-in nigeria

THE dreaded Boko Haram sect has continued to unleash mayhem on defenceless civilians including school children in the north east region. In the last couple of months, the satanic society has annexed part of the territory of the Republic of Nigeria.
In the circumstance, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has requested both chambers of the National Assembly to ratify his decision to extend emergency rule in the war torn Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states in accordance with section 305 of the Constitution. While the Senate has commenced deliberations on the request the House of Representatives has been violently restrained by the Police from considering such matter of urgent national significance.
Without any justification whatsoever, the Speaker of the House, Honourable Aminu Tambuwal, and his colleagues were teargased by the Police and prevented from gaining access to the chambers of the National Assembly last Thursday. In a bid to enter the chambers some of the legislators risked their lives by jumping the fence. In the process, they exposed themselves and the nation to undeserved ridicule.Consequent on the break down of law and order instigated by the Police the National Assemby complex was closed down by the Senate President, General David Mark (rtd). Thus, the House was prevented from carrying out its legislative duties contrary to the order of the Federal High Court that the status quo ante bellum be maintained pending the determination of the suit filed by Honourable Tambuwal over the removal of his security aides.
Although the majority of the members foiled the coup to remove the Speaker the triumph of democracy in the National Assembly may be short lived. Since the ruling party cannot secure the endorsement of the required two thirds majority to remove Speaker Tambuwal the House will be factionalized while the minority will be given official recognition and security protection under a new leadership.
In justifying the barbaric invasion of the National Assembly complex by security forces the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba, claimed that the police received intelligence report that hoodlums were going to break the law and order in the premises of the National Assembly. To the detriment of democracy the security forces decided to break the law when the hoodlums failed to turn up as arranged!
In a reckless display of partisanship the Police ensured that the Deputy Speaker of the House, Honourable Ihediora and a few other legislators were not subjected to any form of harassment.

Meanwhile, the Presidency and the Police have turned round to blame the Speaker and his colleagues for assaulting security operatives who were discharging their “lawful duties” at the National Assembly complex. According to the Police, Tambuwal and a motley crowd of his supporters “broke the cordon, assaulted the Police and evaded due process…”
Evasion of due process
The Police then warned “all political actors to respect constituted authority and due process and desist from the use of thugs to pursue their agenda.”
As security forces were used last week to disrupt the proceedings of the National Assembly President Jonathan was prevented by a former militant , Mr. Government Tompolo from attending the flag-off ceremony of the $16 billion EPZ project in Warri, Delta State.
Like the terrorists who have prevented the President from visiting Chibok, the militants declared him a persona non grata and forced him to stay away from Warri. As if that was not enough, the journalists who had assembled at the venue to report the event were abducted by a horde of armed goons. Even though the reporters regained their freedom after six hours of horrific physical and mental torture those who committed the grave criminal offences of kidnapping and threatening to overawe the President of the Republic have not been arrested by the Nigeria Police Force!

Thus, through sheer negligence and official impunity on the part of the Federal Government the country has become a failed State where security forces are competing with criminal gangs in the wanton infringements of the civil liberties of law abiding citizens. Like the terrorists who attack communities while ill-equipped soldiers vamoose, armed thugs are allowed to threaten the life of the President of the Republic while the Police without any reaction from the Police.
But unlike terrorists who abduct school girls in the night, militants kidnap journalists, lawyers and others during the day.
Unlike coup plotters who overthrow legitimate governments at night security forces collude with anti-democratic forces in broad daylight to remove elected leaders of legislative houses. Having been enriched by the State and allowed to acquire weapons without any license some ex-militants have set up armed gangs for the 2015 general election.It is common knowledge that many politicians have also established illegal violent groups of unemployed youths and cultists. Of recent, there were bloody clashes between armed thugs in several parts of the country.

In fact, policemen attached to some politicians have taken part in such clashes which marred some of the congresses of the APC and the PDP. The Sheik Ahmed Lemu Panel set up by President Jonathan to inquire into the post election violence which occurred in Akwa Ibom State and some northern states in April 2011 had recommended that over 850 armed thugs and hoodlums be prosecuted for culpable homicide, arson and allied offences.
Although the recommendation was accepted by the Federal Government the persons indicted in the report have not been prosecuted. In one of his media chats last year, President Jonathan rightly condemned the military invasion of Odi community in Bayelsa state in November 1999 by the Olusegun Obasanjo Administration.
Shortly thereafter, Chief Obasanjo accused President Jonathan of training snipers to attack his political opponents. Although the serious allegation was denied by the Presidency security forces are now joined by hounded militants and other nihilist groups to harrass voters during elections. It is an irony that the President of the Republic is being harassed and intimidated with weapons acquired under the pretext of executing multi-billion oil pipeline monitoring contracts by ex-militants!In the first and second republics security forces and thugs were used in the manipulation of elections and the violations of the rights of the Nigerian people. Such naked abuse of power by the Federal Government paved away for military interventions and the civil war.

In the third republic, the military dictators annulled a credible presidential election. The crisis that ensued terminated the expensive political transition programme and facilitated the return of a full-fledged military dictatorship with dire consequences.
However, it is hoped that the ongoing politicization of the security forces, the unprecedented wave of official corruption and the subversion of democratic institutions by the Federal Government will not lead to the eventual collapse of the fragile fourth Republic.
In spite of the threat of terrorist and other nihilist groups to balkanize the country I strongly believe that the rickety democratic process can still be salvaged by all the genuine democratic forces who led the Nigerian people to fight against unending military rule and who equally defeated the cabal that attempted to take advantage of President Umaru Yaradua’s ill-health to seize power from the then Acting President, Dr. Jonathan.
As time is not on our side, the forces of democracy ought to return to the trenches now to halt the imposion of fascism on the nation by the Jonathan Administration.

Attorney Probed For Hypnotizing Female Clients.

Ohioan, 57, directed woman to perform sex acts.

An Ohio lawyer is under criminal investigation for hypnotizing a female client during meetings and directing her to engage in a series of sexual activities while in a trance and under his control, police report.

The probe of Michael Fine, 57, was detailed yesterday in an emergency court motion filed by the Lorain County Bar association, which is seeking an immediate suspension of the lawyer, who has been practicing for more than 30 years.

According to the court records, a second woman recently told police that she believed that Fine sought to hypnotize her during meetings in his office (where the pair discussed the woman’s divorce case).

As detailed in an affidavit prepared by an investigator with the Lorain County prosecutor, “Jane Doe” hired Fine last year to represent her in a child custody matter. The woman recently contacted cops to report that she had “strange memories and feelings” after a series of meetings with Fine that occurred in his office and in a conference room at the county courthouse.

“She would be unable to recall substantial portions of the meetings, and afterwards she would realize her clothes and bra were out of place and moved, and her vagina was wet,” reported investigator Richard Thomas.

After being told by cops that “more definite evidence” was needed, the woman recorded her next two telephone conversations with Fine, and provided the tapes to police. As described by Thomas, one of the October recordings begins with a discussion of the woman’s court case, “but when Fine learns she is alone, he places her in a trance.” What follows, Thomas noted, “is of an explicit sexual nature, wherein he induces her into multiple orgasms.”

The bar association motion charges that Fine (pictured above) used “code” words to induce “Jane Doe” to “enter a trance-like stage.” While his client was hypnotized, Fine told her that she was “being made love to by the world’s greatest lover” and that he was her “teacher.” The attorney also assured “Jane Doe” that she “will appear normal and only remember their discussions regarding legal matters,” Thomas stated.

An October 21 phone call followed a similar script, with Fine inducing “Jane Doe” into a trance after a “short conversation about her case.” During the call, Thomas reported, Fine told the woman he would cause her “horniness and arousal and excitement” and a “life-changing experience.” The bar association complaint adds Fine told the woman that their encounters were “a secret and no one’s going to know, right.” Fine, who directed the woman to bring a vibrator to their next office meeting, ended the call by saying, “You’ll only recollect what we were talking about your case until we see each other tomorrow. Do you understand?”

Armed with the audio recordings, criminal investigators fitted “Jane Doe” withaudio and video recording devices in advance of a November 7 meeting in Fine’s office.

As agents monitored the sting operation, Fine hypnotized “Jane Doe” and directed her to sit on a couch. “Fine begins sexual dialogue, explaining sexual acts that he will do for her,” Thomas reported. Cops busted into the room as Fine was seated next to the woman “holding and massages her hand and rubs her shoulders.”

As recounted in the bar association motion, Fine told the woman that “you will insist to me that I touch you in any way that brings you pleasure,” and that “you are free to touch yourself. To play with yourself. To get yourself off. Have every experience that you so crave and desire.” The lawyer also told “Jane Doe” that “you are going to demand that I touch you and you touch me. Do you understand?”

State investigators provided bar association officials with copies of telephone recordings made by “Jane Doe” and a DVD of her November 7 office meeting with Fine.

A second female client, identified in court filings as “Jane Doe 2,” has alleged that Fine “was attempting to hypnotize her” during meetings in his office. The woman, who hired Fine in September to represent her in a divorce action, told bar officials that he repeatedly discussed “relaxation and meditation techniques” with her.

During one meeting, “Jane Doe 2” recalled, Fine sat beside her and touched her fingers, forearm, and forehead. He asked if her arms felt “weightless” and directed her to “place her finger tips together and imagine two green dots coming together.” Fine then told her to focus on his voice while he counted down from ten, saying that she would experience a “wave of relaxation” that would cause leave her eyes feeling heavy. He added that she should “think of a happy place–the sounds, the smell, etc..”

The woman reported that in her after-hours meetings with Fine he would comment on “her looks and physical appearance” and asked about the nature of her sexual activity with her husband, including whether they had “rough sex.”

“Jane Doe 2” added that she “felt the loss of time during her meetings…as she cannot recall how so much time passed during the meetings for what she remembers discussing.”

After recently learning that Fine no longer worked at his law firm, “Jane Doe 2” told one of Fine’s former partners that she “felt as though she might have been hypnotized,” the attorney recommended that she contact the local prosecutor’s office (where she subsequently met with Investigator Thomas).

“Jane Doe 2” told bar association officials that she felt “creepy and disgusted” by Fine’s conduct, and was sick that he “picked her out” after she was “so upset and distraught about her marital situation when she went to him.”

In seeking Fine’s immediate suspension, the Lorain bar association argues in its Ohio Supreme Court that the attorney “poses a substantial threat of serious harm to the public.” Fine is married to a court reporter and is the father of two daughters. (13 pages)

2015: UDOM CALLS NIGERIA’S FIRST LADY ENEMY OF AKWA IBOM, PREPARES YOUTHS FOR RAMPAGE.

Patient Jonathan and Udom Emmanuel.

Patient Jonathan and Udom Emmanuel.

A frontline Governorship aspirant in Akwa Ibom State, alleged to be Governor Godswill Akpabio’s ‘anointed,’ Mr. Udom Emmanuel, is said to be on a campaign of calumny against Nigeria’s First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, whom he sees as an impediment to his aspiration.

Investigation revealed that Mr. Emmanuel, the immediate past Secretary to the State Government (SSG), through some of his recent actions and statements, inciting youths against the First Lady.

In a statement, one of the Youth leaders, Mr. Michael Okon, accused the First Lady of trying to manipulate the list of just concluded Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) ad hoc delegate congresses in the state, threatening that youths of the state will resist such manipulation to any level.

“Mr. President Sir, it is no longer hear-say that the unseen hand behind the problems in State PDP regarding the ad hoc delegate list result of Saturday, November 1, 2014, hangs on the neck of our supposed First Lady. We are compelled to say, without reservation for apology, that she is overheating the polity. I tell you, this act will further make us to be susceptible to the opposition, particularly APC. We do not want to be spoon-fed by anybody, neither do we want to be decided for,” the statement stated.

The statement which was tagged “Dame Patience Ebele Jonathan: The Unseen Nemesis of our future,” also indicted the National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Adamu Muazu, and National Working Committee (NWC) members of the party of foul play.

“This is a call to all youths of Akwa Ibom State to rise and disparage the hanky-panky of the Presidency. We have worked, toiled, and slaved to have the our future, our dream and no First Lady, No Muazu, No NWC member will take our right and throw it to the mud.”

The statement concluded by insisting that their principal, the former SSG, won in a landslide, at the just concluded congresses, according to the statement, “the just concluded delegate congresses of our great Party, PDP, no doubt saw Elder Udom Emmanuel on the lead, but we hearing a different tune from Abuja. It shall not stand. We know what we want as youths of this state and nobody will stay in Abuja and decide for us.”

Meanwhile, Akwa Ibom Coalition for Good Governance has described the allegation as false and baseless, and urged the security agencies to look into the matter and bring the youth leader to book for trying to throw mud on the Presidency.

The group in a statement signed by its National President, Comrade Unyime Usanga, also copied the Inspector General of Police, the Director of Department of Security Service and the National Chairman of PDP, urging them to verify how the said youth leader managed to know the result of the congresses, a sacred document of PDP, to the extent of saying it was tampered with.

“We disassociate ourselves from insult meted on our country’s First Lady and the Presidency. As we all know, the ad hoc delegate list is a sacred document of the party. It is usually published on the eve of the primaries. So, we urged the security agencies to bring this culprits and their sponsor to verify how they managed to know that such document was tampered with by the First lady, who is neither a member of PDP nor a member of its NWC,” the statement urged.

“From the statement of the youth leader in support of the aspiration of Udom Emmanuel, one is quick to observe that he has urged youths within his control to fight against the leadership of the party at the national level, which is contrary to the norms of the party. We also know that this alleged fight may be mere media propaganda. We are not adamant to the tricks and antics of desperate politicians, but we wish to tell the Presidency that Akwa Ibom State is known for peace, if any rancor commence thereafter, Mr. Michael Okon and his sponsor should be held responsible.”

They called on Mr. Michael Okon and his groups to account for the result sheets of the Ward Congresses in the state so as to prove to the public that their principal was the winner of the congress; else their allegation will be considered baseless and cheap blackmail.

_THE SUNSET NEWSPAPER

2015 ELECTION: UDOM MOVES TO LABOUR PARTY.

*AS WADATA PLAZA RECOGNIZES ATTAH, ETIEBET DELEGATES LIST.

*PENCILS NSIMA EKERE, SAM AKPAN, RICHARD KING AS LIKELY SUCCESSOR.

*THE UMANA UMANA’S CONNECTION.

By Edidiong Udo.

   "Udom, I'm thinking about your moving to Labour Party" - Akpabio

“Udom, I’m thinking about your moving to Labour Party” – Akpabio

There is an indication that, the immediate past secretary to the state government, Udom Gabriel Emmanuel is on his way out of the Peoples’ Democratic Party as a result of the party’s refusal to accept the concocted delegate list by Chief Godswill Akpabio.

The state governor, Chief Dr. Godswill Akpabio who is pioneering the gubernatorial ambition of the former SSG, is alleged to have shouted on the National leadership of the Peoples’ Democratic Party over its refusal to accept his ward ADHOC congresses delegate list and also promise to go to any length to ensuring that his ‘anointed’ become his successor.

A party official in Abuja who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that, after due consultation and examination of the petitions sent by other governorship hopefuls regarding November 1st ward congresses in the state, the National Working Committee of the People’s Democratic Party had agreed that Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel should stand down for a neutral aspirant who will be able to retain PDP leadership in the state.

He further disclosed that, the party’s leadership had earlier penciled down about five aspirants for the plum job, before they later erased two names. ‘This Akwa Ibom governorship candidate is giving us too much problems. Your governor is fighting fire and brimstone insisting for Mr. Udom Emmanuel, here, we have our do’s and don’t , the NWC earlier agreed on Chief Benjamin Okoko, Rt. Hon. Okpolupm Etteh, Obong Nsima Ekere, Bishop Sam Akpan and Prof. Richard King. However, the first two names were later crossed out for the last three names. By next week, they will reconvene in order to choose one of the three names. I can only assure you that one of those names will hold the flag of our dear party.’

The source alleged that, the party has also reject in his entirety the fictitious delegate list of Governor Godswill Akpabio for that of Obong Victor Attah, noting that, the latter’s delegates list will be used for the forthcoming house of assembly primaries in the state.

He said that, Obong Victor Attah and Chief Don Etiebet’s delegate list was unanimously accepted by the NWC, dismissing the rumour that the National Chairman imposed it on other members. ‘…Who told you such lie? Our national chairman never did that, the list was overwhelmingly accepted by all of us, it was not imposed as rumour mongers have speculate.’

He maintained that, the senatorial ambition of Chief Dr. Godswill Akpabio was sacrosanct but insisted that, Udom Emmanuel and other gubernatorial aspirants will be compensated in due time and season by the party.

On the fate of Obong Umana Okon Umana, the source hinted that, he was part and parcel of the agreement reached by the NWC of the party, and commended him for his doggedness, loyalty and obedience to the party, adding that, such attitude was scares.

Meanwhile, Udom Emmanuel may not wait and enjoy the dividend of loyalty to the party as he has concluded plans to defect to the labour party.

A source from the state labour party agreed that, the governor held a closed door meeting with the chairman of the party and urged him to fix Udom Emmanuel as its flag-bearer, promising the government support towards his success at the poll.

The source maintained, ‘Though the governor will not defect with Udom to our party, he will give us the financial, media and security supports to ensure Mr. Udom Emmanuel wins the general election. One thing is certain, this is a fresh election, so any political party can win, it must not be PDP’.

At presstime, all efforts to reach the state chairman of labour party proved abortive, but when contacted the party’s PRO, he provoked, ‘Is Udom Emmanuel not a citizen of this state? Does he not have the right to a vote and be voted for? So what stop him from joining the labour party if he so wish? Or you want to write everything since you are a journalist…’

Obama Goes It Alone, Shielding Up To 5 Million Immigrants From Deportation.

President Obama announces executive actions on U.S. immigration policy during a nationally televised address from the White House on Thursday.

President Obama announces executive actions on U.S. immigration policy during a nationally televised address from the White House on Thursday.

Pool/Getty Images

After six years of often bitter back-and-forth with congressional Republicans over the issue of immigration, President Obama announced he has decided to go it alone by temporarily shielding up to 5 million immigrants from being deported.

In a prime-time speech to the country on Thursday, Obama said that he would defer the deportation of the parents of children who are either U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, and that he also would expand that protection to more “DREAMers,” or children who entered the country illegally with their parents. Those two groups also will be allowed to work in the United States legally, after passing a background check and paying a fee.

In Short…

Obama’s executive action:

— Delays the deportation of the undocumented parents of children who are in the country legally.

— It also protects any children who were brought to this country illegally before January 1, 2010.

— It directs immigration officials to concentrate on deporting criminals and those who pose a threat to national security.

Obama said the executive action did not amount to amnesty, because it does not provide for a path to legalization.

Hitting back against Republican critics, he also defended the legality of his actions, saying every president in the past 50 years has taken similar steps.

“To those Members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill,” Obama said. “I want to work with both parties to pass a more permanent legislative solution. And the day I sign that bill into law, the actions I take will no longer be necessary.”

Even before Obama delivered his speech, congressional Republicans warned that this action would kill any chance of passing comprehensive immigration legislation. Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn took it a step further, warning of a political and social firestorm.

“The country’s going to go nuts, because they’re going to see it as a move outside the authority of the president, and it’s going to be a very serious situation,” Coburn said in an interview with USA Today. “You’re going to see — hopefully not — but you could see instances of anarchy. … You could see violence.”

We live blogged the speech, so keep reading for a detailed version of events:

Update at 9:19 p.m. ET. ‘We’re Gonna Stay Together':

Washington Post reporter Katie Zezima was at a watch party in Arizona with immigration activists. She’s been posting Vines that show an emotional reaction to President Obama’s executive action.

Astrid Silva, the young woman mentioned in Obama’s speech, cried as she told a reporter that her parents would not have to “live in fear” because her younger brother was a U.S. citizen.

Here’s video of Bianca Gamez, whose parents brought her into the country illegally when she was a child:

Update at 8:57 p.m. ET. ‘A Historic Victory':

In a statement, Cristina Jimenez, the managing director of United We Dream, one of the organizations that has been pushing for immigration reform on behalf of “DREAMers,” called tonight’s announcement a “historic victory.”

She said that tonight’s executive action will result in 5 million people living “without fear.” But, she said, there are still too many who will live under threat of deportation.

“This is a long-term struggle,” Jimenez said. “We will continue organizing until our entire community can come forward and enjoy the full rights of citizenship.”

Update at 8:46 p.m. ET. Video Of The Speech:

Via the PBS Newshour, here’s video of Obama’s full 15-minute speech:

YouTube

Update at 8:16 p.m. ET. An Appeal To American Exceptionalism:

To wrap up his 15-minute speech, President Obama did what he often does in major speeches: He appealed to American exceptionalism.

He said:

“Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger — we were strangers once, too.

“My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too. And whether our forebears were strangers who crossed the Atlantic, or the Pacific, or the Rio Grande, we are here only because this country welcomed them in, and taught them that to be an American is about something more than what we look like, or what our last names are, or how we worship. What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal – that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will.”

Update at 8:11 p.m. ET. A Bigger Debate:

After asking Congress not to shut down the government over this, Obama turns to the American public and asks them to remember that this is about a greater debate.

He said:

“It’s about who we are as a country, and who we want to be for future generations.

“Are we a nation that tolerates the hypocrisy of a system where workers who pick our fruit and make our beds never have a chance to get right with the law? Or are we a nation that gives them a chance to make amends, take responsibility, and give their kids a better future?”

“Are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of ripping children from their parents’ arms? Or are we a nation that values families, and works to keep them together?

“Are we a nation that educates the world’s best and brightest in our universities, only to send them home to create businesses in countries that compete against us? Or are we a nation that encourages them to stay and create jobs, businesses, and industries right here in America?”

That’s what this debate is all about. We need more than politics as usual when it comes to immigration; we need reasoned, thoughtful, compassionate debate that focuses on our hopes, not our fears.

Update at 8:08 p.m. ET. No Path To Citizenship:

“This deal does not apply to anyone who has come to this country recently,” Obama says. “It does not apply to anyone who might come to America illegally in the future. It does not grant citizenship, or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive – only Congress can do that. All we’re saying is we’re not going to deport you.”

Update at 8:06 p.m. ET. Prioritizing:

Obama says he will direct law enforcement to focus their deportation efforts on criminals.

“That’s why we’re going to keep focusing enforcement resources on actual threats to our security,” Obama said. “Felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mother who’s working hard to provide for her kids. We’ll prioritize, just like law enforcement does every day.”

Update at 8:04 p.m. ET. Congressional Inaction:

Obama says that this problem is best solved through legislation, but the House has refused to act.

“Until that happens, there are actions I have the legal authority to take as President — the same kinds of actions taken by Democratic and Republican Presidents before me — that will help make our immigration system more fair and more just,” Obama said.

“Tonight, I am announcing those actions.”

Update at 8:03 p.m. ET. Touts Immigration Record:

President Obama touts his record on securing the U.S./Mexico border:

“When I took office, I committed to fixing this broken immigration system. And I began by doing what I could to secure our borders. Today, we have more agents and technology deployed to secure our southern border than at any time in our history. And over the past six years, illegal border crossings have been cut by more than half. Although this summer, there was a brief spike in unaccompanied children being apprehended at our border, the number of such children is now actually lower than it’s been in nearly two years. Overall, the number of people trying to cross our border illegally is at its lowest level since the 1970s. Those are the facts.”

Update at 8:02 p.m. ET. Immigration System Is Broken:

President Obama begins by telling the American people that the country’s immigration system is broken.

“It’s been this way for decades,” Obama said. ” And for decades, we haven’t done much about it.”

Update at 7:31 p.m. ET. The Fine Print:

We’ve outlined in broad terms what is included in Obama’s executive action. If you’re curious, here’s the fine print, according to the White House:

— The parents of legal permanent residents and U.S. citizens will be able to apply for temporary relief from deportation and a work permit if they have lived in the country for more than five years.

— Obama will expand his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals to include any children who were brought to this country illegally before January 1, 2010. Before, the president had deferred the deportation of those born after 1981 who had entered the country before June 15, 2007.

— Neither of those two groups will be given a green card. Both of them will be able to get a Social Security card, but they will not be eligible for Social Security benefits.

— About 4 out of the 5 million estimated to qualify for deferred action will be parents of American children.

— On the enforcement front: The administration will now concentrate on deporting criminals and those who pose a threat to national security. This means an unknown number of immigrants may continue to live in the United States illegally but without the threat of deportation.

— It’s important to note this is an executive action not an executive order, which is legally binding.

Update at 7:17 p.m. ET. Obama’s Turnaround:

One piece that is certainly worth a read is one published by The New York Times that outlines Obama’s turnaround on the issue of executive action.

In many public appearances, Obama said he did not have the legal authority to act unilaterally on the issue of immigration.

“If we start broadening that,” Obama said referring to an earlier executive action that deferred the deportation of young immigrants, “then essentially I’ll be ignoring the law in a way that I think would be very difficult to defend legally. So that’s not an option.”

The action that Obama will announce today very clearly expands on his earlier directive to suspend the deportation of DREAMERs, children who entered the country illegally with the parents.

Update at 6:51 p.m. ET. A ‘Middle Ground':

The White House has released two excerpts of President Obama’s prime-time speech. In the first, he says that this approach is not amnesty. Instead, the president will say, leaving the system the way it is amounts to amnesty.

Mass amnesty would be unfair,” Obama will say. “Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character. What I’m describing is accountability — a commonsense, middle ground approach: If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. If you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported. If you plan to enter the U.S. illegally, your chances of getting caught and sent back just went up.”

Obama will also challenge Republicans who question the legality and wisdom of his executive actions by asking them to “pass a bill.”

Update at 6:17 p.m. ET. The Legal Authority:

In a briefing with reporters Thursday afternoon, a senior White House official explained the legal reasoning behind the two big actions.

First, the senior administration official said, the executive branch is given “prosecutorial discretion” by the constitution. That means the Department of Homeland Security can set enforcement priorities and can decide whom to deport.

Second, they say that providing relief to young undocumented immigrants and to the parents of U.S. citizen children is justified on humanitarian grounds.

The official said the action is predicated on a desire not to separate parents from kids who are lawful, and an understanding that’s a relationship Congress wants to respect.

The White House official pointed out that every president going back to President Dwight Eisenhower has used this kind of authority and President George H.W. Bush used his to give relief to 1.5 million children, about 40 percent of the undocumented population in the country at the time.

Rep. Raul Labrador, a Republican from Idaho, told All Things Considered, he believed this action is illegal.

The Department of Justice has released a memo that details the legal justification.

Update at 6:06 p.m. ET. Acting Like An Emperor:

Preempting Obama’s speech, Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, released a video statement criticizing the actions.

He said:

“Instead of working together to fix our broken immigration system, the president says he’s acting on his own. That’s just not how our democracy works. The president has said before that ‘he’s not king’ and he’s ‘not an emperor,’ but he’s sure acting like one. And he’s doing it a time when the American people want nothing more than for us to work together.”

Update at 6:02 p.m. ET. Relief For Others:

Senior administration officials said the Department of Homeland Security will also put out new guidelines for enforcement.

Immigration officials will prioritize the deportation of criminals and new arrivals, which means that some of the immigrants who don’t qualify for relief and have been in the United States for a while may never be deported.

The Two-Way

Obama Goes It Alone, Shielding Up To 5 Million Immigrants From Deportation November 20, 2014 6:00 PM ET EYDER PERALTA Twitter President Obama announces executive actions on U.S. immigration policy during a nationally televised address from the White House on Thursday. President Obama announces executive actions on U.S. immigration policy during a nationally televised address from the White House on Thursday. Pool/Getty Images After six years of often bitter back-and-forth with congressional Republicans over the issue of immigration, President Obama announced he has decided to go it alone by temporarily shielding up to 5 million immigrants from being deported. In a prime-time speech to the country on Thursday, Obama said that he would defer the deportation of the parents of children who are either U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, and that he also would expand that protection to more “DREAMers,” or children who entered the country illegally with their parents. Those two groups also will be allowed to work in the United States legally, after passing a background check and paying a fee. In Short… Obama’s executive action: — Delays the deportation of the undocumented parents of children who are in the country legally. — It also protects any children who were brought to this country illegally before January 1, 2010. — It directs immigration officials to concentrate on deporting criminals and those who pose a threat to national security. Obama said the executive action did not amount to amnesty, because it does not provide for a path to legalization. Hitting back against Republican critics, he also defended the legality of his actions, saying every president in the past 50 years has taken similar steps. “To those Members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill,” Obama said. “I want to work with both parties to pass a more permanent legislative solution. And the day I sign that bill into law, the actions I take will no longer be necessary.” Even before Obama delivered his speech, congressional Republicans warned that this action would kill any chance of passing comprehensive immigration legislation. Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn took it a step further, warning of a political and social firestorm. “The country’s going to go nuts, because they’re going to see it as a move outside the authority of the president, and it’s going to be a very serious situation,” Coburn said in an interview with USA Today. “You’re going to see — hopefully not — but you could see instances of anarchy. … You could see violence.” We live blogged the speech, so keep reading for a detailed version of events: Update at 9:19 p.m. ET. ‘We’re Gonna Stay Together': Washington Post reporter Katie Zezima was at a watch party in Arizona with immigration activists. She’s been posting Vines that show an emotional reaction to President Obama’s executive action. Astrid Silva, the young woman mentioned in Obama’s speech, cried as she told a reporter that her parents would not have to “live in fear” because her younger brother was a U.S. citizen. Here’s video of Bianca Gamez, whose parents brought her into the country illegally when she was a child: Update at 8:57 p.m. ET. ‘A Historic Victory': In a statement, Cristina Jimenez, the managing director of United We Dream, one of the organizations that has been pushing for immigration reform on behalf of “DREAMers,” called tonight’s announcement a “historic victory.” She said that tonight’s executive action will result in 5 million people living “without fear.” But, she said, there are still too many who will live under threat of deportation. “This is a long-term struggle,” Jimenez said. “We will continue organizing until our entire community can come forward and enjoy the full rights of citizenship.” Update at 8:46 p.m. ET. Video Of The Speech: Via the PBS Newshour, here’s video of Obama’s full 15-minute speech:

President Obama announces executive actions on U.S. immigration policy during a nationally televised address from the White House on Thursday.

President Obama announces executive actions on U.S. immigration policy during a nationally televised address from the White House on Thursday.

Pool/Getty Images

After six years of often bitter back-and-forth with congressional Republicans over the issue of immigration, President Obama announced he has decided to go it alone by temporarily shielding up to 5 million immigrants from being deported.

In a prime-time speech to the country on Thursday, Obama said that he would defer the deportation of the parents of children who are either U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, and that he also would expand that protection to more “DREAMers,” or children who entered the country illegally with their parents. Those two groups also will be allowed to work in the United States legally, after passing a background check and paying a fee.

In Short…

Obama’s executive action:

— Delays the deportation of the undocumented parents of children who are in the country legally.

— It also protects any children who were brought to this country illegally before January 1, 2010.

— It directs immigration officials to concentrate on deporting criminals and those who pose a threat to national security.

Obama said the executive action did not amount to amnesty, because it does not provide for a path to legalization.

Hitting back against Republican critics, he also defended the legality of his actions, saying every president in the past 50 years has taken similar steps.

“To those Members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill,” Obama said. “I want to work with both parties to pass a more permanent legislative solution. And the day I sign that bill into law, the actions I take will no longer be necessary.”

Even before Obama delivered his speech, congressional Republicans warned that this action would kill any chance of passing comprehensive immigration legislation. Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn took it a step further, warning of a political and social firestorm.

“The country’s going to go nuts, because they’re going to see it as a move outside the authority of the president, and it’s going to be a very serious situation,” Coburn said in an interview with USA Today. “You’re going to see — hopefully not — but you could see instances of anarchy. … You could see violence.”

We live blogged the speech, so keep reading for a detailed version of events:

Update at 9:19 p.m. ET. ‘We’re Gonna Stay Together':

Washington Post reporter Katie Zezima was at a watch party in Arizona with immigration activists. She’s been posting Vines that show an emotional reaction to President Obama’s executive action.

Astrid Silva, the young woman mentioned in Obama’s speech, cried as she told a reporter that her parents would not have to “live in fear” because her younger brother was a U.S. citizen.

Here’s video of Bianca Gamez, whose parents brought her into the country illegally when she was a child:

Update at 8:57 p.m. ET. ‘A Historic Victory':

In a statement, Cristina Jimenez, the managing director of United We Dream, one of the organizations that has been pushing for immigration reform on behalf of “DREAMers,” called tonight’s announcement a “historic victory.”

She said that tonight’s executive action will result in 5 million people living “without fear.” But, she said, there are still too many who will live under threat of deportation.

“This is a long-term struggle,” Jimenez said. “We will continue organizing until our entire community can come forward and enjoy the full rights of citizenship.”

Update at 8:46 p.m. ET. Video Of The Speech:

Via the PBS Newshour, here’s video of Obama’s full 15-minute speech:

YouTube

Update at 8:16 p.m. ET. An Appeal To American Exceptionalism:

To wrap up his 15-minute speech, President Obama did what he often does in major speeches: He appealed to American exceptionalism.

He said:

“Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger — we were strangers once, too.

“My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too. And whether our forebears were strangers who crossed the Atlantic, or the Pacific, or the Rio Grande, we are here only because this country welcomed them in, and taught them that to be an American is about something more than what we look like, or what our last names are, or how we worship. What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal – that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will.”

Update at 8:11 p.m. ET. A Bigger Debate:

After asking Congress not to shut down the government over this, Obama turns to the American public and asks them to remember that this is about a greater debate.

He said:

“It’s about who we are as a country, and who we want to be for future generations.

“Are we a nation that tolerates the hypocrisy of a system where workers who pick our fruit and make our beds never have a chance to get right with the law? Or are we a nation that gives them a chance to make amends, take responsibility, and give their kids a better future?”

“Are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of ripping children from their parents’ arms? Or are we a nation that values families, and works to keep them together?

“Are we a nation that educates the world’s best and brightest in our universities, only to send them home to create businesses in countries that compete against us? Or are we a nation that encourages them to stay and create jobs, businesses, and industries right here in America?”

That’s what this debate is all about. We need more than politics as usual when it comes to immigration; we need reasoned, thoughtful, compassionate debate that focuses on our hopes, not our fears.

Update at 8:08 p.m. ET. No Path To Citizenship:

“This deal does not apply to anyone who has come to this country recently,” Obama says. “It does not apply to anyone who might come to America illegally in the future. It does not grant citizenship, or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive – only Congress can do that. All we’re saying is we’re not going to deport you.”

Update at 8:06 p.m. ET. Prioritizing:

Obama says he will direct law enforcement to focus their deportation efforts on criminals.

“That’s why we’re going to keep focusing enforcement resources on actual threats to our security,” Obama said. “Felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mother who’s working hard to provide for her kids. We’ll prioritize, just like law enforcement does every day.”

Update at 8:04 p.m. ET. Congressional Inaction:

Obama says that this problem is best solved through legislation, but the House has refused to act.

“Until that happens, there are actions I have the legal authority to take as President — the same kinds of actions taken by Democratic and Republican Presidents before me — that will help make our immigration system more fair and more just,” Obama said.

“Tonight, I am announcing those actions.”

Update at 8:03 p.m. ET. Touts Immigration Record:

President Obama touts his record on securing the U.S./Mexico border:

“When I took office, I committed to fixing this broken immigration system. And I began by doing what I could to secure our borders. Today, we have more agents and technology deployed to secure our southern border than at any time in our history. And over the past six years, illegal border crossings have been cut by more than half. Although this summer, there was a brief spike in unaccompanied children being apprehended at our border, the number of such children is now actually lower than it’s been in nearly two years. Overall, the number of people trying to cross our border illegally is at its lowest level since the 1970s. Those are the facts.”

Update at 8:02 p.m. ET. Immigration System Is Broken:

President Obama begins by telling the American people that the country’s immigration system is broken.

“It’s been this way for decades,” Obama said. ” And for decades, we haven’t done much about it.”

Update at 7:31 p.m. ET. The Fine Print:

We’ve outlined in broad terms what is included in Obama’s executive action. If you’re curious, here’s the fine print, according to the White House:

— The parents of legal permanent residents and U.S. citizens will be able to apply for temporary relief from deportation and a work permit if they have lived in the country for more than five years.

— Obama will expand his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals to include any children who were brought to this country illegally before January 1, 2010. Before, the president had deferred the deportation of those born after 1981 who had entered the country before June 15, 2007.

— Neither of those two groups will be given a green card. Both of them will be able to get a Social Security card, but they will not be eligible for Social Security benefits.

— About 4 out of the 5 million estimated to qualify for deferred action will be parents of American children.

— On the enforcement front: The administration will now concentrate on deporting criminals and those who pose a threat to national security. This means an unknown number of immigrants may continue to live in the United States illegally but without the threat of deportation.

— It’s important to note this is an executive action not an executive order, which is legally binding.

Update at 7:17 p.m. ET. Obama’s Turnaround:

One piece that is certainly worth a read is one published by The New York Times that outlines Obama’s turnaround on the issue of executive action.

In many public appearances, Obama said he did not have the legal authority to act unilaterally on the issue of immigration.

“If we start broadening that,” Obama said referring to an earlier executive action that deferred the deportation of young immigrants, “then essentially I’ll be ignoring the law in a way that I think would be very difficult to defend legally. So that’s not an option.”

The action that Obama will announce today very clearly expands on his earlier directive to suspend the deportation of DREAMERs, children who entered the country illegally with the parents.

Update at 6:51 p.m. ET. A ‘Middle Ground':

The White House has released two excerpts of President Obama’s prime-time speech. In the first, he says that this approach is not amnesty. Instead, the president will say, leaving the system the way it is amounts to amnesty.

Mass amnesty would be unfair,” Obama will say. “Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character. What I’m describing is accountability — a commonsense, middle ground approach: If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. If you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported. If you plan to enter the U.S. illegally, your chances of getting caught and sent back just went up.”

Obama will also challenge Republicans who question the legality and wisdom of his executive actions by asking them to “pass a bill.”

Update at 6:17 p.m. ET. The Legal Authority:

In a briefing with reporters Thursday afternoon, a senior White House official explained the legal reasoning behind the two big actions.

First, the senior administration official said, the executive branch is given “prosecutorial discretion” by the constitution. That means the Department of Homeland Security can set enforcement priorities and can decide whom to deport.

Second, they say that providing relief to young undocumented immigrants and to the parents of U.S. citizen children is justified on humanitarian grounds.

The official said the action is predicated on a desire not to separate parents from kids who are lawful, and an understanding that’s a relationship Congress wants to respect.

The White House official pointed out that every president going back to President Dwight Eisenhower has used this kind of authority and President George H.W. Bush used his to give relief to 1.5 million children, about 40 percent of the undocumented population in the country at the time.

Rep. Raul Labrador, a Republican from Idaho, told All Things Considered, he believed this action is illegal.

The Department of Justice has released a memo that details the legal justification.

Update at 6:06 p.m. ET. Acting Like An Emperor:

Preempting Obama’s speech, Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, released a video statement criticizing the actions.

He said:

“Instead of working together to fix our broken immigration system, the president says he’s acting on his own. That’s just not how our democracy works. The president has said before that ‘he’s not king’ and he’s ‘not an emperor,’ but he’s sure acting like one. And he’s doing it a time when the American people want nothing more than for us to work together.”

Update at 6:02 p.m. ET. Relief For Others:

Senior administration officials said the Department of Homeland Security will also put out new guidelines for enforcement.

Immigration officials will prioritize the deportation of criminals and new arrivals, which means that some of the immigrants who don’t qualify for relief and have been in the United States for a while may never be deported.

The Two-Way