President Obama Takes Executive Action to Shield Millions of Undocumented Immigrants from Deportation

In your journal, write a CRITICAL REACTION to the news story below.

Below is a column from USA TODAY.  NOTE:  This is the opinion of Greg Korte.

USA TODAY, November 21, 2014
WASHINGTON — The immigration speech President Obama gave a week before Thanksgiving was the one he was supposed to give before Labor Day. But Obama punted until after the election. "I want to spend some time, even as we're getting all our ducks in a row for the executive action, I also want to make sure that the public understands why we're doing this," he said on Meet the Press in September. Having spent nearly three months doing that, Obama on Thursday delivered a 15-minute speech to the American people and a 33-page legal justification memo to anyone who would challenge his use of executive actions to delay deportation for 5 million immigrants.
"The actions I'm taking are not only lawful, they're the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican president and every Democratic president for the past half century," Obama said.
In recent days, the White House has rolled out a they-did-it-too justification for executive actions, citing Eisenhower, Reagan and George H.W. Bush as precedents.
And then, for good measure, his speechwriters dusted off  and built Obama's remarks around it. When Bush spoke from the Oval Office — to broadcast networks that didn't give Obama the same courtesy — a Republican House had passed an immigration bill stalled in the Republican Senate.

Bush, 2006: "Some in this country argue that the solution is to deport every illegal immigrant and that any proposal short of this amounts to amnesty. I disagree."
Obama, 2014: "I know some of the critics of this action call it amnesty. Well, it's not."
Bush, 2006: "There is a rational middle ground between granting an automatic path to citizenship for every illegal immigrant, and a program of mass deportation. That middle ground recognizes that there are differences between an illegal immigrant who crossed the border recently and someone who has worked here for many years, and has a home, a family, and an otherwise clean record."
Obama, 2014: "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."
Bush, 2006: "The vast majority of illegal immigrants are decent people who work hard, support their families, practice their faith, and lead responsible lives. They are a part of American life but they are beyond the reach and protection of American law."
Obama, 2014: "They work hard, often in tough, low-paying jobs. They support their families. They worship at our churches. ... As my predecessor, President Bush, once put it: 'They are a part of American life.'"
"It really did strike me as a clearer statement of compassionate conservatism than Bush ever really was able to make," said Chad Murphy, who teaches presidential rhetoric at the University of Mary Washington. "That the speeches are so similar really confirms that for me. He's basically saying that if you work with us and start paying taxes, we welcome you. If you don't, we will punish you."
But where the two presidents largely agreed on the principles and policy, they diverged in strategy. While Bush issued a number of small-bore executive orders — to expedite citizenship for immigrants in the military, or to defer deportation for students affected by Hurricane Katrina — his speech called on Congress to act.
Obama announced much more sweeping orders, delaying deportation for millions of immigrants. He dared Congress to act. If health care reform was the signature accomplishment of Obama's first term, he hopes immigration will be the crowning achievement of his second. Obama got his health plan passed in 2010 without a Republican vote. On immigration, he's not even giving them the chance to vote.
No doubt there will be consequences for Obama as he faces a solid Republican Congress in his last two years. Some in Congress are talking about using a spending bill to limit his executive action. Efforts to get an attorney general confirmed — much less a Supreme Court nominee — just got more difficult. And if health care is any indication, the debate could stoke election consequences for years.
At the end of their speeches, both Bush and Obama called for a more reasoned, respectful, compassionate debate on immigration. They warned against playing on worst fears. And they humanized the issue by talking about immigrants they've met. For Bush, a wounded Marine named Guadalupe Denogean. For Obama, a college student named Astrid Silva.
Bush left office with the work undone. Obama has all but ensured it will remain so for his successor, who can dust off his speech eight years from now and quote him when he said, "Are we a nation that kicks out a striving, hopeful immigrant like Astrid – or are we a nation that finds a way to welcome her in?"
Click this link to hear the 15-minute speech President Obama gave, announcing his executive actions on immigration reform.


ABOVE--click on the link for some tips on READING PASSAGES on your AP test.

MLK's "I HAVE A DREAM" Speech, August 28, 1963
Click above link to hear Joan Baez singing "We Shall Overcome" at The March on Washington.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."
But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.
We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.
We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.
We cannot turn back.
There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: "For Whites Only." We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."¹
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.
Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."2
This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:
My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that:
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.
From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!3

¹ Amos 5:24 (rendered precisely in The American Standard Version of the Holy Bible)

2 Isaiah 40:4-5 (King James Version of the Holy Bible). Quotation marks are excluded from part of this moment in the text because King's rendering of Isaiah 40:4 does not precisely follow the KJV version from which he quotes (e.g., "hill" and "mountain" are reversed in the KJV). King's rendering of Isaiah 40:5, however, is precisely quoted from the KJV.

CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964 . . . 50th Anniversary!

Watch this 15-minute background film.

1.  What president first proposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act to end segregation?

"The northern white person makes often an intellectual change, but for the person who is a Southerner, who grew up in the kind of climate that Lyndon Johnson did, has to make not only an intellectual change, but an emotional change."--Dorothy Height, Civil Rights Leader

"I've always had the notion that I would rather have a converted Southerner on my side than a  wobbly Northern liberal."  Vernon Jordan, The Urban League

Why did the Democrats of the South become Republicans after the 1964 Civil Rights Act?

JFK's Inaugural Address--a Rhetorical Masterpiece


Read pages 51-59 in your Language of Composition book.  Read John F. Kennedy's 1960 Inaugural Address, which describes America's position in the world during the Cold War.  Read about the rhetorical devices Kennedy uses in his speech.  After the speech you will find a Glossary of Rhetorical Terms that cites parts of JFK's address as examples to illustrate the device.  This is a gold mine for you!  

For a daily grade quiz on Friday, you must know:


You can watch JFK's Inauguration by clicking this link:

Serving Up Fries for a Living Wage: $20/hr and a 40-hour week in Denmark.
         New York Times, October 28, 2014 BUSINESS DAY          
Serving up Fries, for a Living Wage
Fast Food in Denmark Offers Something
U.S. Workers Long For

by Liz Alderman and Steven Greenhouse

Click the above link to read the story.

Write a CRITICAL REACTION in your journal comparing Fast Food Workers in the U.S. to those in Denmark.


Be sure you are keeping up with your journal assignments so you can become stronger at discerning the argument and rhetorical strategies in all nonfiction that you read.


"Ebola Blame Game Takes the Stage at Midterm Election Debates" by Juana Summers, NPR News
This is a news story, not an opinion piece.  Write a response in which you tie the comment, "It's a terrible thing to say, but fear is a heck of a motivator," to what you know about Arthur Miller's theme in "The Crucible," and Robert Frost's warning in the last stanza of "Choose Something Like a Star."  This should be a strong, well-developed two paragraphs in your journal.

Albert Einstein's Letter to Phyllis, a 6th Grader
See page 9, 10 in your Language of Composition textbook.
Follow the assignment, and write your response in your Journal.

"Potlatch for Politicians," New York Times column by Timothy Egan.
Answer the questions on the handout as you write your critical reaction. Remember you are always charged with defending, challenging or qualifying. (You can disagree.)