According to the Washington Post, there are more than 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, and immigration reform was a hot-button issue during the presidential campaign. In recent years the United States tried to battle the problem by beefing up 600 miles of security fencing along the Mexico-U.S. border and doubling the number of border patrol officers.
In his first year, Obama made no moves of consequence. Over the past year, Obama had a few more pressing issues, like the economy, a couple of wars and health care reform. But the president says he wants to find a “tough but fair pathway to citizenship,” for undocumented immigrants that are already in the country — and for those that want to come here.
“We can create a system in which you have ... an orderly process for people to come in, but we’re also giving an opportunity for those who are already in the United States to be able to achieve a pathway to citizenship so that they don’t have to live in the shadows,” Obama said during a news conference in downtown Guadalajara, Mexico, last August.
Obama says he also plans to “crack down” on employers who hire undocumented immigrants by removing tax incentives and requiring proof of citizenship or legal residency of their employees. Discussions on the immigration issue among legislators have already begun, so expect more action on this issue in 2010.