We've heard it. Now let's see it.

During his trip to Latin America, President Bush referred to the hard work of Mariano Can, an indigenous farmer in the Guatemalan highlands who built a thriving business made possible by a loan backed by the U.S., saying: "You have proven that if given a chance, you and hundreds of others can succeed, and that's what we want."

Those comments were probably aimed at a different aspect of policy, but they also apply to the over-arching goal of his trip: immigration reform.

His comments aren't surprising. They really never are, because the President has continuously been a strong (at least in terms of what his position allows) advocate for comprehensive immigration reform. Yet these comments were directed towards a people whose continent needs, for so many reasons, to believe the words of the President of the United States. And they couldn't have come at a more important time for a President who needs to be believed.

After all, speaking to Congress versus speaking to leaders and citizens of Latin American countries about immigration reform seems somewhat different. The level of understanding is somewhat different, especially when the President of Mexico told President Bush that he has relatives who have probably handled the food he eats.

So the President returns from Latin America. He has, as always, said some very compassionate things about the idea of immigration, what it means and what its realities are. He returns from a place where he found inspiration to do the right thing everywhere he looked. But now he has to deliver. He has as many of the pieces in place that he could ask for. The rest he'll have to fight for.

The time is ripe for meetings with Senate Majority Leader Reid, Senator Kennedy and Speaker Pelosi. The time is also ripe to step up his lobbying efforts if he is going to hit his unofficial deadline of August for an immigration overhaul to get through Congress.

We've seen the word legacy attached to immigration reform so many times. We know the President wants to get this done and we've seen what he'll do to get what he wants. If he goes to work to pass comprehensive immigration reform, he will at least be able to add that to his compassionate conservative resume.

We want to believe in that compassion, Mr. President; and so do our neighbors to the South.