FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
President Obama says he has a lot on his plate and that immigration reform will have to wait until next year.
At a summit with the leaders of Mexico and Canada, the president repeated his commitment to providing a legal pathway to citizenship for those who are in the U.S. illegally. This is called amnesty.
But first, he wants Congress to finish work on health care, energy and financial regulation. The president says his administration is meeting with members of Congress and working on an immigration bill that would get bipartisan support, but doesn't expect anything to pass until 2010.
And even then, Mr. Obama acknowledges that that he will face tough opposition, what he calls "demagogues" who say any pathway to legalization is unacceptable. It's not just "demagogues." The American public has repeatedly expressed broad based opposition to granting amnesty to illegal aliens.
Last week in the Cafferty File we reported on a recent Gallup Poll that showed Americans are taking a tougher stand on immigration than they have for several years.
Not everyone is happy with the president's new timetable. Immigration advocates say they don't think reform will be as tough as the White House imagines, they'd prefer for him to act sooner.
But with rising unemployment and dwindling tax revenues with which to provide services to our own citizens, let alone millions of illegal aliens, expect the debate to rival the intensity of the one we're currently having over health care.
SO HERE'S THE QUESTION: Is it a good idea to put off immigration reform until next year?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Russ in Johnston, Iowa
There will be no immigration reform as long as some kind of amnesty for people here illegally is continually offered up from Washington. The citizens shut down D.C. 3 yrs ago for that wonderful Kennedy/McCain amnesty bill and we'll do it again. The mood of the country has not changed – hell, our govt hasn't even made a valid effort at closing the US/Mexican border.
Carolyn in Portland, Maine
It depends upon the definition of "immigration reform". Determining a pathway to citizenship must be addressed at some time. However, both northern and southern borders should have been of immediate concern to national security after 9/11. Now with the drug war spreading across the border into our country, attention is certainly necessary asap. However, Pres. Obama isn't listening any more than Pres. Bush did.
John in Vermont
Reform? Obama's "reform" sounds more like amnesty to me than "reform". Bring in more illegal workers that our tax $$$ support while they Western Union their pay back home? Our economy is in a shambles and many good workers here can't begin to find a job… We don't have the jobs or the dollars to continue to support so many illegals flowing across our southern border.
Michael in Phoenix
No! Case in point: my girlfriend is one of the directors at a major non-profit hospital here, and the cost of treating illegals coming into the emergency room (no insurance, no copays, no way to collect) for even minor treatment is outlandish. And they can't turn them away either. One of the hospitals in the area had to absorb a $400,000-plus cost for treatment of a young Hispanic woman who was in a car accident.
Immigration reform is long overdue and Obama is going to delay the process even further. I guess he is hoping to win support from the illegals that will be covered under his health care plan.