For a president looking for a legacy piece of legislation, the current state of the immigration debate represents a high-wire act.
President Barack Obama could act alone to slow deportations, and probably doom any chance of a permanent and comprehensive overhaul. Yet if he shows too much patience, the opportunity to fix immigration laws as he wants could well slip away.
As Republican leaders dampen expectations for overhauling immigration laws this year, the White House is hoping that the GOP resistance is temporary and tactical. Obama is resisting pressure from some political allies to take matters into his own hands and ease his administration's deportation record.
House Speaker John Boehner has all but ruled out passage of immigration legislation before the fall midterm elections.