Lazarus - like resurrection of immigration reform?
Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post noted yesterday that House Speaker Boehner has hired Rebecca Tallent, a seasoned advisor to Republicans on immigration reform. The hire signals a possible decision by Congressional Republicans to push immigration reform – defying report that reform was dead going into 2014.
Tallent came from The Bipartisan Policy Center, where she was director of immigration policy and coordinated the publication of several pro-reform reports, such as this one on the economic benefits of immigration reform.
Although it is an election year, 2014 may afford a better opportunity than previously imagined for accomplishing something on the immigration front. The Dems and White House are more desperate than ever for some achievement, and their fear the Senate may flip in Nov. 2014 should encourage some flexibility. Meanwhile, the House right wing is not the force it was before the shutdown, while the speaker’s popularity has grown among his troops.
A final factor may play a role in pushing immigration reform to the fore. Center-right business leaders and groups, who mostly favor comprehensive immigration reform as an economic boost, are plainly alarmed about the 2014 election and have entered the fray both to unseat hard-line gadflies like Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and bolster mainstream Republicans like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). That gives reform-minded lawmakers some confidence they will get cover in 2014 if they take some political heat for backing immigration reform. It also may persuade GOP skeptics to take another look at the polls, which generally show immigration reform including an earned path to citizenship to be popular, even among Republicans.