Immigration reform is back on the congressional agenda, thanks to a surprising twist: House Speaker John Boehner is now open to wide-ranging reform, despite conservative resistance to the idea.
Observers say the change in Boehner's stance is part of his newfound opposition to tea party conservatives in his own caucus.
Boehner has suggested that while he is receptive to a range of legislative initiatives on immigration, he is interested in taking them one by one, in piecemeal fashion.
From The New York Times:
Aides continue to say that Mr. Boehner remains opposed to a single, comprehensive bill like the Senate-passed measure that would tighten border security, increase legal immigration and offer an eventual path to American citizenship for an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants. Conservatives are staunchly opposed to sweeping legislation that would offer a path to citizenship.
"The American people are skeptical of big, comprehensive bills, and frankly, they should be," Mr. Boehner told reporters recently. "The only way to make sure immigration reform works this time is to address these complicated issues one step at a time. I think doing so will give the American people confidence that we're dealing with these issues in a thoughtful way and a deliberative way."
What exactly will these changes look like, and will they be enough to satisfy immigration activists and move all groups toward a comprehensive reform?