Senator John Boehner has shown a change in his stance on immigration reform and has said that he may support a series of changes to the current immigration laws in the first few months of 2014. He hired Rebecca Tallent, who was an advisor to Senator John McCain on the issue of immigration reform.
Members of Boehner’s team say that he is committed to what he refers to as a “step by step” move to revise the immigration laws. Other Republicans have hinted that they favor immigration reform that would increase the number of visas for high-tech workers and provide an opportunity for childhood arrivals to become American citizens.
These signs show that the Republicans are taking immigration reform very seriously and see it as an essential element to their success in future elections, including the Presidential election in 2016. They understand that the Hispanic vote is critically important to their success.
Yet another sign of future movement is Boehner’s displeasure with Tea Party groups showing that he is less apt to yield to pressure by those groups who are dead set against any immigration benefits for the undocumented. Immigrant advocates are hoping now that Boehner will ignore the conservative voices who oppose a path to legalization.
Meanwhile, President Obama has said that, although he prefers comprehensive reform, he is open to a piecemeal approach which is favored by House Republicans. Mixing the piecemeal approach with the comprehensive goals of the White House will be the challenge.