The 1st priority of our government is dealing with the fiscal cliff. Assuming for the moment they handle that responsibly (stop laughing), the next priority should be Immigration Reform. This election was not swung by any one state or region, but by two demographics; women and Hispanics. In the aftermath, even Republicans are acknowledging the need to expand their appeal to Hispanics. With Democrats owing much of their victory to the Hispanic population and Republicans looking for a way to cater to them, now is the time to resolve the issues surrounding Immigration Reform in a bi-partisan way.
In truth, the solution to both the political and practical problems are not that difficult to achieve once your remove the policy of obstruction. The chief concerns which need to be dealt with are: 1) continued illegal border crossing, 2) labor needs, 3) the existence of millions of illegals already here.
The Dream Act and a non-citizen work visa for North America would resolve concerns 2 and 3 rather easily. The work visa would allow any citizen if the US, Canada and Mexico to work in any of the three, pay taxes there, but not receive full citizen benefits like entitlements. Concern 1 is a bit more complicated, requiring a solution which is both symbolic and substantive. Over the years we have increased spending and presence on the border, with some positive results. However the perception remains that border protection is not taken seriously, while the department remains hampered by bureacracy and limited resources. If the US Border Patrol department were moved out of Homeland Security and brought into the Defense Department, like the National Guard and US Coast Guard, this would have both the symbolic impact the Republican base needs and the substantive impact of increasing resources and efficiency, allowing for more effective patrolling of our border.
In this way we could address the concerns voiced by the entire electorate in a practical, humane way that also allows all political sides to tell both Hispanics and white conservatives that they addressed their concerns on Immigration. Now all we need is for our politicians to behave logically.