The president and Congress need to "realize that the negotiating dynamic has changed on this issue," she says. "Democrats bring the votes to immigration reform but Republicans have the most to gain with it politically." Groups like America's Voice are hoping that means a better chance at passing a large-scale legalization program without the same level of increased enforcement that has been proposed as a trade-off in the past. "We've done a lot of enforcement, but what we haven't done is deal with the 11 million people without papers."
5. Keep a Clear Message
Remember death panels? The claim started on Sarah Palin's Facebook page but became a headache for the Obama administration during the fight for healthcare reform (It was eventually awarded PoliFact's "Lie of the Year" for 2009). The president will need to focus on selling the core points of the bill -- which could be quite complicated overall -- and not get distracted by minutia and misinformation. "Something that happened in healthcare was that it was very confusing to Americans," Tramonte said. "They didn't know what was in the bill...Immigration has the potential to be much simpler."
6. Move Quickly
"Time is of the essence," according to Tramonte. Members of Congress are always looking ahead to the next election, and some advocates think a reform bill will need to be introduced early in 2013 to have a chance. "I don't think it helps any issue to stay out there in Congress for a long time," Tramonte said. "Just get it off the table and move on to the next thing."