Immigration reform optimists are hoping that U.S. House Speaker John Boehner may be willing to break ranks with the Tea Party as Congress gets back from its holiday break.
The right wing of Boehner's Republican party has opposed comprehensive immigration reform and threatened to go after the seats of members who do. But Sunday, on ABC's This Week With George Stephanopoulos Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said he believes Boehner is ready to ignore the Tea Party and work with Democrats on a reform bill.
"For the first time, Speaker Boehner said he won't let the minority of his caucus -- the Tea Party minority -- run the show," Schumer said on ABC. "The Republican leadership realizes that if we don't do immigration and get immigration reform done, it hurts them politically."
The Hispanic and immigrant vote cost Republicans dearly in the 2012 presidential election and they do have political motivations for reaching out to those communities. Heightened border control and more visas for skilled immigrants could be two issues that bring more Republicans into reform cause.
Schumer was part of the "Gang of Eight" that got a comprehensive reform bill passed in the Senate last June.