Expert Available: Immigration Reform via Executive Order

Peter Siavelis, politics professor and director of Wake Forest University’s Latin American and Latino Studies program, is available to comment on the immigration plan President Obama plans to present tonight.

Siavelis is an expert on Latino immigration to the United States and co-editor of Getting Immigration Right: What Every American Needs to Know. His comments were included most recently in an Associated Press story addressing the impact of the elections on immigration reform that appeared in El Nuevo and other Spanish language outlets.

Siavelis says:
“The message of the mid-terms came through loud and clear for President Obama. The outcome was a lose/lose situation. Obama did not engage in immigration reform before the election because he was hesitant to put red state Democrats in a tight spot. However, the vulnerable Democrats he sought to protect still lost, somewhat ironically by margins that a high Hispanic turnout could have eroded. He also did not get the immigration reform he wanted. Now the stage is set for Obama to act unilaterally via executive action to impose reform and surely to shore up the Democrats’ Latino base. We are likely to see an executive order that bans deportation and provides normalized status and the ability to work for approximately five million undocumented residents. The Republican’s vehement reaction is testament to how effective this strategy might be to bring Latinos firmly back into the Democratic orbit after straying in the midterms. Still, there are many potential pitfalls if the Republicans overreach in their reaction to the executive order, something that the President surely knows. In essence, by employing a reform strategy via executive order, Obama went from a lose/lose situation immediately after the election to a win/win situation today.”

Availability:  Siavelis is available for phone interviews tonight following President Obama’s address and is also available after 1 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 21, for interviews.

About Wake Forest University

Wake Forest University combines the best traditions of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a large research university. Founded in 1834, the school is located in Winston-Salem, N.C. The University’s graduate school of arts and sciences, divinity school, and nationally ranked schools of law, medicine and business enrich the University’s intellectual environment. Learn more about Wake Forest University at 


Categories: Media Advisory