Obama immigration plan: Everything you need to know about the president’s executive action (VIDEO).

Everything You Need to Know About Obama’s Immigration Plan in Two Minutes

Everything You Need to Know About Obama’s Immigration Plan in Two Minutes

Who's winning, who's losing, and why.
Nov. 20 2014 1:01 PM

Who’s In and Who’s Out?

Obama is offering a reprieve to millions of unauthorized immigrants. Exactly who gets one will be determined by a string of wonky details.

Obama executive action on immigration reform.
President Obama makes a statement at the White House August 28, 2014 in Washington, DC.

Photo illustration by Juliana Jiménez Jaramillo. Photos by Alex Wong/Getty Images and Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Obama is set to announce his long-promised executive immigration overhaul on Thursday night. We already know the broad brushstrokes: The plan will shield somewhere around 4 or 5 million unauthorized immigrants from the threat of deportation. But the details matter, both in Washington and in the real world, where more than a third of the nation’s estimated 11.7 million unauthorized immigrants may be covered by the president’s executive actions.

Who among that group is given a reprieve—and who is not—will be decided by a series of smaller decisions the president must make. Our video illustrates how the details of Obama’s plan could mean the difference between a work permit and the threat of deportation for a huge number of people.

Boer Deng writes for Nature. Follow her on Twitter.


Natalie Matthews-Ramo is a Slate Web and interactive designer.

Ayana Morali is the former executive producer of Slate Video.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in northeast Ohio.