Despite continued hand-wringing over fiscal policy, President Obama remains on schedule to push for immigration reform this month, an insider tells the Huffington Post. The effort will likely be led by Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who warns that "in the end, immigration reform is going to depend very much on whether Speaker Boehner wants to do it." Still, the fiscal cliff negotiations suggest the House Republican leadership could be open to compromise, say immigration reform advocates.
Even without Congress, Obama is taking action on the issue: An executive order by the Homeland Security department yesterday offers illegal immigrants a chance to stay in the US while applying for permanent residence—if they can show that time away from close American citizen relatives would cause "extreme hardship," the Los Angeles Times reports. Some 1 million people could be affected by the new rules. Before the change, which takes effect in March, the application process could keep spouses, parents, or children away from family members for up to a decade, the New York Times notes.