Obama said that even though he's answered all of the GOP's concerns about immigration, "they'll never be satisfied."
Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn said, "Here we go again," and called (yes again) for more border security, before he and other Republicans would show interest in citizenship issues.
Arizona Senator John McCain, a leading advocate for immigration reform back in 2006 and 2007, is now one of Obama's most hardline critics in opposing him on the issue.
But some of the most liberal members of Congress on the matter, like Chicago area Democrat Luis Gutierrez, who recently finished a seven city tour of the U.S. to talk about the issue, sounds disgusted with his fellow Chicagoan for not promulgating comprehensive immigration legislation, in comments published by the Wall Street Journal.
"The moment to use pressure is gone. You missed it. The train left the station. I want to be honest with my constituents and with the American people.... I don't want to rev them up for something that doesn't have any possibilities of success.
Another critic to Obama's left on immigration, Frank Sharry with the group America Voice Education Fund, disagreed with the conventional wisdom that the speech was all about shoring up Latino support for the President's re-election chances in 2012, saying:
"I believe it is a sincere effort to build support, attract unusual allies and create political space for an eventual legislative breakthrough. Yes, it will be very difficult to achieve that breakthrough in this Congress — especially in light of the lurch to the right by Republicans in Congress on this issue and the resulting obstructionism on immigration reform. But even if Republicans continue to block reform this Congress, the President’s efforts are exactly what is needed to achieve an eventual breakthrough in 2013 or beyond. He is leaning into this debate and engaging the nation in a discussion that promises to move public opinion and mobilize key constituencies from across the political spectrum."
In his El Paso speech, Obama cited statistics indicating that his administration has done the job about cleaning up things at the border, reporting that drug seizures are up 31 percent, and criminals deported up 70 percent.
It's unquestionably true (much to Latino advocates dismay) that deportation are definitely up from the Bush years - yet Obama gets little credit from his Republican critics for those stats.
And yet officials in states like Florida say they need to pass their own immigration laws because of the failure of the federal government to act. They're right, but the question is: who's fault is that?