John Boehner appears to be making advances that would favor immigration reform in the coming year. One such indication was his recent hiring of a longtime immigration advisor who supports and has fought for immigration reform since 2003. Another indication was his end of the year condemnation of teal party groups who oppose immigration reform and whom Boehner has said “lost all credibility.Acknowledging these hints of support for reform, advocates of Mr. Boehner say that he is committed to “step by step” moves to revise immigration law. Although no further explanation was given to what “step by step” reform means to John Boehner, his aides have said in the past that he is opposed to a single comprehensive reform bill. While many House Republicans believe that an immigration overhaul is essential to them winning the 2016 presidential election, some advocates believe that separate bills that would “fast-track” legalization for agricultural laborers, increase employment visas for technical workers, and legalize dream act applicants is a likely compromise. While this would be an obvious step in the right direction of reform, it is a long way from stopping the removal of the millions of undocumented immigrants currently in the United States.
According to the New York Times, the first sign of immigration reform we are likely to see will be in May or June. White House officials and activists seem to believe that this will be a prime time to introduce legislation since most Republican lawmakers will finish their primary campaigns, and will be amendable to a compromise before the midterm election campaigns next fall.