House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner is signaling that he may be willing to embrace a series of small changes to the immigration laws of the United States over the course of the next few months, providing advocates for reform with some degree of hope that the bitterly divided Congress might finally reach a compromise on the issue in 2014.
In recent weeks Boehner has hired Senator John McCain’s long time immigration advisor, Rebecca Tallent, and that hiring, as well as angry remarks made by Boehner about the opposition to the recent budget deal in Congress by the Tea Party, is being taken by some as an indication that he genuinely intends to help revamp the immigration system despite opposition from hardcore conservative Republicans.
Mr Boehner’s aides have this week claimed that he is committed to making “step by step” moves to revise certain immigration laws, although which ones in particular remain uncertain. Other House Republicans, however, who view an overhaul of the immigration system as being crucial to winning the Hispanic vote in 2016, are happy to move on various individual bills to allow young immigrants that arrived in the United States when they were children to gain citizenship, increase the amount of US visas available for high-tech workers, and fast-track legalization for agricultural laborers.
However, aides say that Boehner remains set against a single bill such as the one passed by the Senate last year and is still highly skeptical of offering citizenship to all undocumented immigrants.