[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/01/obama.latino.town.hall.jpg caption="President Obama addresses a Latino Town Hall meeting while campaigning in 2008."]
Ruben Navarrette Jr.
Special to CNN
It's time again for New Year's resolutions, especially if Congress and the White House really plan to reopen the explosive immigration debate in 2010. Whether or not they do depends on which part of the political carnival you're looking at.
This week, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Obama administration is discreetly laying the groundwork to tackle immigration reform early next year.
According to the article, senior White House aides have privately assured Latino immigration activists that President Obama will throw his support behind legislation in Congress to provide a path to earned legalization for the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants now living in the United States.
But last week, the Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill reported that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, has been offering some private assurances of her own. Pelosi, the article says, has told fellow Democrats not to worry about having to address immigration reform until the Senate acts first.
By passing the buck to "the world's greatest deliberative body," Pelosi is probably hoping that deliberation will become dithering and delay. Then the House can duck the volatile issue altogether. It's the politics of self-preservation. Concerned that voters would react negatively to any talk of legalizing millions of illegal immigrants, Pelosi is obviously trying to preserve her job by protecting vulnerable Democrats.
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