Obama promised that one of the first items on his agenda next year would be a bill to legalize 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, The New York Times reported Friday.
The pledge came after many young, undocumented immigrants who could not vote started campaigns to mobilize many Latinos who could, gaining Obama 71 percent of their votes.
Now, its time for Obama to act, activists say.
"People are not going to hug the president right now," said Carlos Saavedra, 26, an immigrant from Peru and national coordinator of United We Dream, the largest network of young undocumented immigrants. "They are waiting for him to take some action."
This weekend, more that 600 leaders from 30 states are holding a "United We Dream" meeting in Kansas City, Mo., to strategize on how to keep the heat on the White House and Congress to push for immigration reform.
Even opponents to immigration reform acknowledge the youth movement's successes.
"They have framed their story in a very popular way, and they've leveraged that story very effectively," said Roy S. Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA, a leading opposition group.