It is a divisive and emotional issue. Despite other major issues facing the country, the Obama Administration is making immigration reform a top priority and the new plans are especially important in San Diego.
The president is pushing to get a bill before Congress by the end of the year.
Some are questioning whether now is the right time to take it on, wondering if the plan will hurt President Obama’s chances at solving other issues on his agenda. Others -- on both sides of the issue -- say the discussion is long overdue.
Border Angels President Enrique Morones says the time for humane comprehensive immigration reform is now.
“We're delighted President Obama continues to come through with promises he made as a candidate,” Morones said.
Morones says he wants a humane way for people to enter the country, while still having border security, and a pathway to legalization for 12 million illegal immigrants already living in this country.
“Nobody's looking for amnesty. Have us pay some sort of duty, have us learn English, have us get to the end of a line which does not exist for the majority of today's immigrants,” Morones said.
Former U.S. Attorney Peter Nuñez says the President is not emphasizing worker verification or stopping future illegal immigration and questions the merits of what the President is trying to do.
“It is amnesty because people are being allowed to stay. You can put whatever bells and whistles and roses, whatever,” he said.
But, like Morones, he too says the time is right to discuss it, especially in light of the tough economic times.
“That's why I want to have the debate now, because it makes no sense to be importing workers or allowing people here illegally to stay when we have millions of Americans out of work, so for me I'd love to have the debate now,” Nuñez said.
“Just think of your own personal situation,” Morones said. "Have you personally lost a job to someone you think might be undocumented? I doubt it. Those jobs are different jobs and this stimulates the economy of this country.”
Some question whether taking on immigration reform will detract from other issues on the domestic agenda.
Both sides say there will always be other issues, but immigration is an issue that needs to be addressed and fixed.