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House Speaker John Boehner Photo by: Michael Reynolds / EPA

Dramatic shift as House Speaker Boehner now backs immigration reform

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House Speaker John Boehner Photo by: Michael Reynolds / EPA

In a major breakthrough House Republican Speaker John Boehner has come out in favor of comprehensive immigration reform.

"This issue has been around far too long," Boehner said in an ABC interview. "A comprehensive approach is long overdue, and I'm confident that the president, myself, others can find the common ground to take care of this issue once and for all."

Exit polls from this week’s election showed 70 per cent in favor of comprehensive reform. The GOP lost the Hispanic vote by a record margin mostly on the issue of immigration reform.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.),
chairman of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee, said Boehner's comments represented a "breakthrough."

There are an estimated 30,000 Irish undocumented who would benefit from immigration reform. Previous bills have failed because of Hispanic opposition.

Meanwhile, newly re-elected Vice President Joe Biden is “very optimistic about ... immigration reform” given the makeup of the Senate.

Bidensaid the 55 Democrats in the Senate were going to have to work alongside the Republicans to make compromises all round and figure out the best “formula” for immigration reform.

The Vice Presidentsaid, “Barack's re-elected, so this sort of cause to keep a second term from happening is done. He's there for four years. So ... I hope there's going to be some real soul-searching about, on Republican Party, about what they're willing to cooperate on."

The Irish American politician was speaking to the press aboard Air Force Two when he said, “If you take a look at the makeup of the Senate now, I’ve been saying all along, I believe there are a half a dozen Republican senators all along who have been under different circumstances prepared to actually compromise."

Read more: Barack Obama owes victory to Hispanics, Clinton, women and blacks

He continued, “We’re going to have to compromise too. It’s not like we’re going to go in and say, this is our deal. Take it or leave it. “

The Vice Presidentwent on to comment on the power which immigrants have in the United States. He noted that the Hispanic community played a great part in gettingPresident Obamare-elected.

He said, “I feel very optimistic about, in my view, immigration reform. Because as we talked about with most of the Hispanic communities I spoke with over the last month, it played a major role. And that’s got to be a wake up call for a lot of my Republican colleagues who, like John McCain in the past, wanted to do something but felt – I don’t know what – I don’t know what slowed them finally. But I think it’s a different day. How it’s going to turn out, I don’t know, but the president and I are getting to work.

"As a matter of fact, I’m meeting with him tomorrow [Friday] at 4 o’clock. We have a national security meeting. So we’re winding it up."

Even FOX TV arch conservative host Sean Hannity has come out in favor. “We’ve gotta get rid of the immigration issue altogether. It’s simple for me to fix it. I think if you control the border first, you create a pathway for those people that are here, you don’t say you gotta go home/And that is a position I’ve evolved on...you can’t let this problem continue, it’s gotta stop.”

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