Obama previews some guests invited to State of the Union

AP News
Posted: Jan 17, 2015 9:06 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will have some special guests in the audience for his State of the Union address Tuesday night — people who wrote him in the past year to share their personal situations.

Typically, the White House invites people whose personal stories illustrate themes in the president's speech. They sit with the first lady.

Obama says Carolyn Reed of Colorado recently expanded her sandwich shop chain thanks to a Small Business Administration loan, and raised wages for her hourly employees.

He says Victor Fugate of Missouri is able to pay his student loans because of a new program capping monthly payments. And Jason Gibson of Ohio wrote Obama to say that after losing both legs in Afghanistan, he's making progress and has a new daughter.

Obama announced the guests in his weekly radio and Internet address.

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His domestic policy adviser, Cecilia Munoz, announced a fourth guest in the White House's weekly Spanish-language address. Munoz says Dallas resident Ana Zamora was brought to the U.S. illegally as a child, but benefited from Obama's program to defer deportations for eligible immigrants. She says Zamora's parents will now be eligible for protection from deportation under Obama's recent executive actions on immigration.