Immigration reform on hold

Posted: Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mexican leaders were disappointed Monday to hear President Barack Obama's frank pronouncement on immigration reform: It is not on the front burner this year. And if it weren't for all the other pots boiling over on Obama's front burner - the economy, health care reform, energy - we'd be disappointed, too.

Immigration issues languished for eight years under the Bush administration, which fiddled with enforcement but failed at the difficult task of winning consensus, or at least majority support, on fundamental reform.

But perhaps the further wait provides time for a more thoughtful approach to what's now the central cross-border issue - the drug cartels that grip Mexico. They are armed with guns from the United States and driven by the insatiable demands of the U.S. drug market.

Obama's statements at the North American summit in Guadalajara seemed to reinforce the status quo for both the United States and Mexico.

He may have had little choice, given his inability to promise quick work on real reform. But we hope for better from the president when border issues with Mexico do heat up in Washington.

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