A new window for immigration reform has openedfor early this summer, according to a front-page story in The New York Times.
House Speaker John Boehner and leading GOP members as well as Democrats say that if goodwill can be built on several unrelated bills in the coming weeks then a deal could be struck.
The early summer date will be after GOP House members have contested their primaries for the November election and need not fear any right-wing backlash.
There are an estimated 50,000 Irish undocumented in the US. Legislation that passed the US Senate would also allow 10,000 Irish a year to emigrate legally to the US.
The surprising twist comes after Boehner was critical of anti–immigration reform members of his own party last week. In comments to the media yesterday he blamed President Obama for the impasse but also seemed to offer a way out.
“The biggest impediment..is that the American people don’t trust the president.. to implement the law that we may or may not pass,” he said, clearly leaving the door open.
The Times report that bipartisan moves between the two sides has Democrats in the senate looking for bills they can pass unrelated to the immigration issue in order to build up goodwill.
Future trade deals and streamlining of federal jobs programs are among the suggested goodwill building bills that could be passed.
Also, Republicans warn that they do not want any loosening of current laws as President Obama has previously discussed by a presidential executive order.
On Tuesday, 250 Christian pastors brought their message of the necessity of immigration reform to Capitol Hill and met with leading Republicans.
Chamber of Commerce leaders, Silicon Valley CEO’s, moderate Republicans, such as potential presidential nominees Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan, have been strongly urging immigration reform on the party.
Now the prospects for change have suddenly brightened again.