It was clear when he hired Cecilia Munoz, former vice president of Latino advocacy group La Raza as head of intergovernmental affairs, that he was contemplating movement on the issue.
Unlike the Bush White House where there was very little real leadership on the issue, Munoz certainly knows the ropes, having spearheaded the La Raza efforts in the past to win legislative change. The near immediate decision of the two major labor unions to join forces in support of Obama is a great start.
That is the good news. The bad news is that in trying economic times the battle may be even fiercer, the hills higher than in previous attempts to change the law.
That will not stop Obama, however, who has already shown a capacity to attack problems others have urged him to leave alone.
He will well remember that many of those same people urged him not to run when he was a freshman senator for the White House, and instead bide his time. He has clearly decided on many policy options that there is no time like the present.
His determination on this issue is very welcome for an Irish community desperate for good news on this front. A recent public meeting held by the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform in Boston was very well attended and further revealed the need for action on this issue in the Irish community and by the Irish government.