President Obama has released a five-step plan for tackling immigration. On some points, he’ll find plenty of support from the public; Americans overwhelmingly support secured borders and the reduction of incentives to enter illegally (of which there are many). On other agenda items (e.g. mass amnesty), he’ll waste political capital and have nothing to show for it at the end of his term. If Obama starts with the politically-practical items, the new president will find much success. He seems to already know this: during the primary debates, Obama promised that border security and ending illegal employment would be a prerequisite for amnesty.
Here is the official plan from whitehouse.gov:
"The time to fix our broken immigration system is now… We need stronger enforcement on the border and at the workplace… But for reform to work, we also must respond to what pulls people to America… Where we can reunite families, we should. Where we can bring in more foreign-born workers with the skills our economy needs, we should."
-- Barack Obama, Statement on U.S. Senate Floor, May 23, 2007
For too long, politicians in Washington have exploited the immigration issue to divide the nation rather than find real solutions. Our broken immigration system can only be fixed by putting politics aside and offering a complete solution that secures our border, enforces our laws, and reaffirms our heritage as a nation of immigrants.
Create Secure Borders: Protect the integrity of our borders. Support additional personnel, infrastructure and technology on the border and at our ports of entry.
Improve Our Immigration System: Fix the dysfunctional immigration bureaucracy and increase the number of legal immigrants to keep families together and meet the demand for jobs that employers cannot fill.
Remove Incentives to Enter Illegally: Remove incentives to enter the country illegally by cracking down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants.
Bring People Out of the Shadows: Support a system that allows undocumented immigrants who are in good standing to pay a fine, learn English, and go to the back of the line for the opportunity to become citizens.
Work with Mexico: Promote economic development in Mexico to decrease illegal immigration.