Despite the growing pressure of the health reform debate, the White House is discussion the formation of an immigration reform bill that could still be presented to Congress this year.
In a private session with his staff this Monday, President Obama discussed ways to move forward on proposals from two senators, New York's Democrat Charles E. Schumer of and South Carolina 's Republican Lindsey Graham.
According to a person with knowledge of the meeting, the White House may ask Schumer and Graham to produce an outline of a bill that could be turned into legislative language
At the heart of the bill would be language that would include a path for citizenship that would legalize the 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally. The bill would not be a panacea for illegals, but would require applicants to register, pay taxes and a penalty. A white house spokesman, Nick Shapiro made it clear that improved border security would be a mandate.
Proponents for immigration reform were pleased that the White House has not forgotten it's pledge to the immigrants of our country, however they are quick to point out that momentum has been lost and that "time is of the essence."
The participants at the meeting looked at the immigration rally scheduled for March 21 as a beacon that would create that momentum.
Immigration reform has always been a delicate issue door whomever is the president, however, in this presidency, a promise was made during the campaign to create a bill that would take the million of people out of the shadow and into the American way of life. Many acknowledge that without the Hispanic vote, President Obama may never have been elected.
But with the pressures caused by the Health reform debate the White House has had little time for immigration reform.
Many worry that republicans would be uniquely to cooperate, however, as in many of the past immigration bills, republican have come out in support.