While acknowledging that the recession makes the political battle more difficult, President Obama plans to begin addressing the country’s immigration system this year, including looking for a path for illegal immigrants to become legal, a senior administration official said on Wednesday.
Some White House officials said that immigration would not take precedence over the health care and energy proposals that Mr. Obama has identified as priorities. But the timetable is consistent with pledges Mr. Obama made to Hispanic groups in last year’s campaign.
He said then that comprehensive immigration legislation, including a plan to make legal status possible for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants, would be a priority in his first year in office. Latino voters turned out strongly for Mr. Obama in the election.