Posted 07:00 PM ET

Immigration: It is urgent, the president says, to enact immigration reform this year. But the only urgency is in the minds of Democrats trying to shore up their political fortunes.

As ObamaCare flames out, and the economy continues its slo-mo grind, the issue that has suddenly jumped to the top of his priority list is immigration reform. "We've kicked this particular can down the road too long," President Obama insisted Thursday in a speech at the White House.

But given the real issues facing the U.S. — from high, long-term joblessness in an economy that cannot grow and now millions of Americans losing their health benefits due to the unintended consequences of ObamaCare — providing amnesty to those who have entered this country illegally should be far down the to-do list.

His credibility in tatters due to the promises he has broken on health reform, Obama now assures us that his latest brainchild is "good for our economy" and "good for our national security."

It's about as credible as his promises for ObamaCare.

Giving millions of illegals amnesty would flood the job market with competition for low-skilled jobs that those here legally, both immigrants and natives, could do.

Adding insult to injury, plenty of them would qualify for affirmative action preferences at the expense of the Americans whose livelihoods they are taking.

There are other costs, too. Obama's immigration reform would entitle millions to welfare benefits. A recent study by the Heritage Foundation found that providing amnesty for illegals would cost the U.S. roughly $108 billion a year as the welfare spigot is opened.

The average illegal immigrant household, if legalized, would consume $28,000 more in services annually per household than it pays in taxes — a huge amount when spread over 11 million people living here illegally.

There's also the matter of national security.

As Obama claims amnesty will somehow make America safer, the ugly reality remains that every illegal who sneaks through to the U.S. has in one way or another collaborated with Mexico's notorious cartels, because the latter have controlled all illegal border entry points since 2007. Legalizing illegals will make coming here outside the law pay, enriching these criminal organizations.

More to the point, the Obama administration has already shown little willingness to enforce any border measures as he promises.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio recently said that Obama could double-cross the GOP with promises of enforcement, only to renege on them afterward.

He's also shown an astounding unwillingness to screen immigrants. Last year, when Obama gave conditional permission to young illegals to stay, 99% of the applications were accepted. Anyone who thinks Obama would protect Americans from Mexico's cartel gunmen, possible Mideast terrorist infiltrations and other nightmares from south of our border is dreaming.

What we're seeing here is a president running scared, fearful that the likely delay of ObamaCare will give the opposition a huge issue in the 2014 midterm elections, cutting into Democrats' ability to raise funds.

So the idea is to cynically shore up the Latino vote and paint as racists the Republicans, who would like to solve the problem without creating a pinata for Democrats.

It's disingenuous indeed for the president to then claim he's not running for anything, and "immigration reform" is "the right thing to do."

That's belied by his refusal to compromise. The GOP says it's willing to pass immigration reform bills piecemeal, but Obama says no dice.

He's insisting on another ObamaCare-size "comprehensive" package of goodies to illegals and lobbyists.

The GOP seems to want to play ball. House Speaker John Boehner has talked of passing an immigration reform bill by the end of the year, while the Gang of Eight in the Senate stand ready to compromise.

Even GOP Rep. Darrell Issa plans to introduce a bill to provide amnesty for six years — an amnesty that, once in place, would be tough to eliminate.

Don't pass anything in haste. The only real problem with current immigration law is it isn't enforced. It's hard to believe that anything Republicans agree to with Obama and the Democrats will be any different.