Everybody involved in the serious discussions regarding this issue want a deal made, the problem is agreeing to what it is. The Democrats have often ill defined concepts for who can stay and who has to go, the GOP is mortified by the concept of anybody not born in this country being in it for any reason at any point. When you have a poorly constructed idea going up against a ridiculously outdated one, progress is tough to find.
Although I do not agree with Obama's stance on immigration, he still is putting forth an effort to reform the immigration laws in the U.S. This was seen by the passage of the "dream act." He wants to give immigrants a chance to be successful contributors to our society. I do, however, believe that he could be doing a better job. He refuses to compromise with Republicans, and therefore nothing useful will get done, which is typical for the government.
It's apparent that our country needs to come to a rational stand on immigration, one that allows law abiding immigrants a way to become citizens. For as long as a person is considered to be illegal that person has to be considered outside the law and a problem. If illegals were given a path towards legitimacy they could begin to make better lives for themselves and benefit this country instead of draining our resources. I think Obama realizes this is the best way to deal with illegal immigrants, and that unless we do something it is going to continue to be a growing problem.
Obama is about himself. That's it. Once you've got that down, then anything he does is not hard to understand. Some kind of immigration reform is going to be beneficial to both Democrats and Republicans. They were already compromising to reach an agreement. Then along comes Obama with his typical me, me, me politicking, and the subject has now been poisoned.