Five objectives summarize Obama’s goals. The first expresses his intention to increase border protection through additional personnel and infrastructure at the border between the U.S. and Mexico. The second pledges to fix “the dysfunctional immigration bureaucracy” and raise the number of legal immigrants so that families can be united. Third, he intends to crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants to lower the incentive for illegal immigration. His fourth goal is to “bring people out of the shadows,” creating a path for illegal immigrants to become citizens. Finally, he plans to work with Mexico to curb illegal immigration.

Considering the pressing nature of issues such as the economic recession, healthcare and alternative energy, immigration reform is admittedly not the president’s top priority. In a campaign speech addressed to the League of United Latin American Citizens, Obama promised to address the issue within his first year in office and to work at enacting legislation within his first term. So far, the president is keeping to his timetable.

On April 9, the New York Times reported that Obama will begin publicly discussing the immigration issue in May, and will formulate legislation this fall. However, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs warns that “there are a lot of things on his plate…I don’t think he expects it will be done this year,” according to an April 10 CNN article. In the meantime, the administration is preparing for a likely polarized series of discussions, and continues to call for bipartisan cooperation on a common issue.