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It’s not every day that a president makes a major announcement on social media.  On Wednesday (Nov. 19), President Barack Obama posted a video on Facebook to announce that he plans to make a primetime address to the nation to lay out the steps he will take with regard to our immigration system tonight (Thursday, Nov. 20) and then will travel to Las Vegas on the heels of that announcement to rally support for his initiative on Friday.

“Everybody agrees that our immigration system is broken. Unfortunately Washington has allowed the problem to fester for too long,” Obama said. “So what’ I’m going to be laying out is the things I can do with my lawful authority as president to make the system work better even as I continue to work with Congress and encourage them to get a bipartisan, comprehensive bill that can solve the entire problem.”

When asked about the President’s decision to use Facebook for the announcement, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, “This was an opportunity for us to reach hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people.”

In the video, also posted on the White House website, Obama said he will give a prime time immigration address Thursday, and follow it up with an event Friday in Las Vegas.

Earnest reported: “In under an hour the video reached more than 1.2 million users on Facebook — 227,000 people had viewed it, another 12,000 people had shared it. So this is a pretty effective way of the president communicating with the American public.”


Alka Bahal is a Partner and the Co-Chair of the Corporate Immigration Practice of Fox Rothschild LLP.  Alka is situated in Fox Rothschild’s Roseland, New Jersey office though she practices throughout the United States and at Consulates worldwide. You can reach Alka at (973) 994-7800, or abahal@foxrothschild.com.