Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the Senate will begin work on immigration reform when members return from recess this week.

"We need to do this this year," he told an immigration rally in Las Vegas Saturday. "We cannot wait."

His speech has stirred hopes in the hearts of many who were let down in the collapse of the 2007 "grand bargain," negotiated by the late Senator Edward Kennedy.

"It's the first time I've dared to hope since 2007," says Caroline, 43, an Irish undocumented immigrant in Yonkers.

Deirdre, 32, an undocumented Irish immigrant in Queens, said she was thrilled.

"We've waited so long," she said, "and the Irish community is ready for change!"

Reid voiced his surprisingly forceful support for immigration reform at a rally which attracted some 6,000 people,  mostly immigrants.

"We're going to pass immigration reform, just as we passed health care reform," he said.

Which means that many of us in the pro-immigrant community are going to have to hold hands and hold our noses at some of the details.

Let's hope that this time, the perfect does not become the enemy of the good.

Note: The Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform is holding an information update on Thursday in Queens.

Full details on the group's Facebook page.