Immigration reform: Obama's political dilemma
President Obama wants comprehensive immigration reform, and he’s suing to block Arizona’s tough new law. But most Americans – including many Democratic officials – are against him.
Immigration policy is tough for any president – just ask George W. Bush, who tried and failed to get comprehensive immigration reform that included a guest-worker program, which opponents in his own party said would lead to “amnesty” for illegal aliens.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures The scene at the US/Mexico border
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Obama wants comprehensive reform, including a process allowing illegal aliens in this country to gain residency by paying back taxes, undergoing background checks, and waiting their place in line behind others seeking to come to the United States. Meanwhile, Obama’s Justice Department is suing to block Arizona’s tough anti-illegal immigrant law, which is scheduled to go into effect next week.
The political fallout is not encouraging for Obama, according to recent reports.
"The White House's infatuation with immigration reform is a lose-lose proposal for Democrats this election year," a senior Democratic aide told Time. “Talk of immigration angers independents, at the same time angering Hispanics because there is more talk and no action just in time for an election.”
Western Democrats uneasy
Democratic governors – particularly those in the West – are very uneasy about the administration’s thrust on immigration, especially in light of the nation’s troubled economy.
“This is an issue that divides us politically, and I’m hopeful that their strategy doesn’t do that in a way that makes it more difficult for candidates to get elected,” Democratic Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. of Colorado (who’s not seeking reelection) told the New York Times.