Amid record deportations, USA Today columnist Raul Reyes says there was a lot of anxiety in the Latino community. "It really seemed like he had forgotten about his promise on immigration."
The White House points to steps the president did take, like an executive order to stop deporting some young illegal immigrants who entered the country as children.
That wasn't enough and the president admitted as much in his post-election news conference when he vowed again to deliver on his promise.
"I'm very confident that we can get immigration reform done," the president said as he drew an outline of what that would look like: Stronger border security, penalties for companies hiring undocumented workers and a pathway to legal status for otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants.
Some key Republicans have signaled a willingness to tackle this issue.
"I found a commitment among many of the important Republicans, the leadership, many of the rank-and-file, who want something on immigration, Navarro said. "There have been a lot of things happening behind the scenes."
Other key issues
The spotlight shines less brightly on environmental concerns, climate change and energy policies, but activists and others are working to keep these issues from being ignored in the second term.
In his inaugural address the president is not expected to detail policy initiatives. Top advisers say he will touch on broad themes and put meat on the bones during his State of the Union address next month.
The president will work to define his legacy in the second term and plans to aggressively engage the public to put pressure on Congress.
His campaign grassroots organization is back in action as a nonprofit group to further his objectives.
"We'll all work to help transform Washington from the outside" Jon Carson, the new executive director of Organizing for Action, wrote to supporters in an email.
But reality lurks in the wings as many Republicans are still skeptical.
"The president seems so fixated on demonizing Republicans that he is blinded to the opportunities as well as the obligations that he has to deal with big problems in this country," said Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, on CNN's "State of the Union."