Obama will try to convince Americans to back his immigration plan

When President Barack Obama addresses the nation Thursday night, he’ll try to convince Americans that he is making the right decision by acting on his own to…
Obama will try to convince Americans to back his immigration plan

President Barack Obama will unveil Thursday night the executive actions he plans to take on immigration. He’ll also make the case for his decision to bypass Congress and act on his own. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

When President Barack Obama addresses the nation Thursday night, he’ll try to convince Americans that he is making the right decision by acting on his own to fix as much of the nation’s broken immigration system as he can.

“He feels like he has an obligation as president of the United States to explain to the people who elected him precisely why he’s taking the actions that he is taking,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said during a press briefing on Wednesday.

Obama will announce the executive actions he’ll take on immigration in a prime-time address Thursday night. The next day, he’ll travel to Las Vegas where he’ll explain how his actions will toughen border security, strengthen the economy and encourage millions of undocumented immigrants to come out of the shadows and get right with the law.

The president’s executive actions could shield as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants — including the parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents — from deportation and grant them work authorization.

SEE ALSO: Obama says he’ll unveil his immigration executive actions on Thursday

Earnest said Obama feels that once he makes his case for why executive action on immigration is needed, the “vast majority” of Americans will support his decision to act. He added that Obama “will be spending quite a bit of time” talking about his executive actions on immigration, not only Thursday night but for the days and weeks ahead.

But a poll released Wednesday by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal indicates Obama has his work cut out for him. The poll shows 48 percent of Americans oppose Obama’s plan to take executive action on immigration. Meanwhile, only 38 percent support the president’s plan and 14 percent have no opinion or are unsure.

Immigration advocates say the best way to convince Americans that Obama is making the right decision is by voicing how the president’s executive actions will transform the lives of millions of people. In other words, putting a human face to the issue.

To do that, America’s Voice and United We Dream teamed up to launch a new campaign called “Our Home.” The campaign features stories of immigrants who could benefit from Obama’s executive actions.

SEE ALSO: Dreamers to Obama: Don’t leave our parents behind

Ingrid Vaca, an undocumented immigrant from Bolivia, is among the first stories featured in the campaign. Vaca is a mother of two Dreamers benefiting from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that offers deportation relief and work permits to undocumented youth.

In a video produced by the “Our Home” campaign, Vaca talks about her dreams and says she would feel “free” if she had the same protections as her sons.

Organizers of the campaign are encouraging other immigrants to share their stories, especially now that Republicans are planning efforts to block the executive actions Obama takes on immigration.

“We know that our stories are powerful and can change hearts and minds,” America’s Voice said in an email to supporters. “Our stories are the best way to set the record straight and tell President Obama and the country what’s at stake for millions of immigrants like Ingrid who have built families, homes, and deep ties to the U.S.”

SEE ALSO: Republicans looking for ways to stop Obama on immigration