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Immigration reform: Obama's political dilemma

President Obama wants comprehensive immigration reform, and he’s suing to block Arizona’s tough new law. But most Americans – including many Democratic officials – are against him.

Immigration reform: Four people sneak away from the US/Mexico border fence after illegally crossing into the border town of Nogales, Arizona, in May. They tried to stay low until they could blend into the town streets, but were caught and arrested shortly afterwards by US Customs and Border Protection agents.

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Immigration policy is tough for any president – just ask George W. Bush, who tried and failed to get comprehensive immigration reform that included a guest-worker program, which opponents in his own party said would lead to “amnesty” for illegal aliens.

President Obama finds himself in the same kind of hornet’s nest on immigration, and again it’s many in his own party as well as Republicans who are unhappy with his stand.

IN PICTURES: The US/Mexico border

Obama wants comprehensive reform, including a process allowing illegal aliens in this country to gain residency by paying back taxes, undergoing background checks, and waiting their place in line behind others seeking to come to the United States. Meanwhile, Obama’s Justice Department is suing to block Arizona’s tough anti-illegal immigrant law, which is scheduled to go into effect next week.

The political fallout is not encouraging for Obama, according to recent reports.

"The White House's infatuation with immigration reform is a lose-lose proposal for Democrats this election year," a senior Democratic aide told Time. “Talk of immigration angers independents, at the same time angering Hispanics because there is more talk and no action just in time for an election.”

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