President Obama is set to address Congress and the nation tomorrow in his State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill, and immigration reform will no doubt take center stage in this year's speech. Comprehensive reform on immigration may well be the President's last chance to pass a major piece of domestic legislation in his final three years in office, particularly as GOP members will be seeking to court the Latino vote following Mitt Romney's disastrous performance in this section of population.

However, exactly how President Obama will tackle the issue in his State of the Union address tomorrow is not so straightforward. Pressure is mounting on the President from both immigration rights activists and party members -- indeed five House Democrats from Illinois have announced they will bring an immigration activist as their guest to tomorrow's event. Yet the President must be conscious of the challenge faced by House Speaker John Boehner in passing legislation with GOP support. 

Thus rather than risk alienating GOP members further by harsh criticism of calling for drastic legislative changes, President Obama will most likely draw attention to the economic benefits that are implicit in immigration reform. As the White House highlights, "Economists, business leaders, and American workers agree – we must take advantage of this historic opportunity to fix our broken immigration system.  At stake is a stronger, more dynamic, and faster growing economy that will foster job creation, higher productivity and wages, and entrepreneurship." 

The State of the Union address is traditionally a time for the President to demonstrate his leadership, and undoubtedly President Obama will be seeking to lead the charge on comprehensive reform. Yet as the political failure that was the Government Shutdown revealed, President Obama will have to tread lightly in order to avoid another stalemate with GOP members. 

Marshall Fitz, immigration policy director at the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress explained the necessity for diplomacy: “[President Obama] wants to be in a leadership posture on lot of issues important to him and his legacy. But I think he would agree this as important issue as any, and yet for him to be too far out there in this speech and really kind of either pushing or prodding Republicans to move forward or drawing lines in the sand is probably an ineffective way of getting to the goal.”