After an election win that owed a lot to Hispanic voters, President Obama has made clear that fixing our broken immigration system is perhaps his top legislative priority for his second term. At the forefront of that effort is creating a formal path to citizenship for young people who came to the U.S. illegally as children. But a broader push is likely. “He believes that comprehensive immigration reform is achievable,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said of Obama last month.
Some Republicans—aware of the need to improve their standing with Latinos—have made noises about cooperating. But the party’s deep-seated anti-immigration sentiment—especially in the GOP-controlled House—figures to make progress difficult. Throw in the issue’s massive economic implications, which will draw the business community into the fight, as well as the sheer passion of the young immigration activists who feel the wind at their backs, and you’ve got all the makings of a once-in-a-generation legislative showdown.
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