At the end of the summit of North American leaders, President Obama vowed to have an immigration bill proposal ready by the end of 2009.
Speaking in Guadalajara, Mexico, yesterday Obama also said the reform will be challenging and he expected "demagogues" to try to prevent a legalization of those who are already in the U.S.
With that, he appeared to suggest he would push for an amnesty on those who have entered the country illegally, something groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) oppose, fearing it will lead to even higher unemployment among Americans.
"We cannot keep our heads in the sand and ignore the impact illegal immigration has on wages and jobs," Dan Stein, president of the FAIR, said earlier this year.
"It is a fiscal necessity and moral imperative to protect the American worker," he added, citing figures suggesting the illegal alien population has grown to 1.7 million in Texas, a 16 percent increase since 2005, costing the state about $5.9 billion annually.
Others take a different view, however.
For example, Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, believes the public wants to see legalization so that aliens are also "paying their taxes and not being used by bad-acting employers to undercut honest employers."
The president said his officials had already begun meeting with lawmakers in order to come up with an immigration plan acceptable to both Democrats and Republicans.