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Insiders Optimistic About Immigration Reform

February 2, 2013

Cautious optimism: That's the best way to describe how both Democratic and Republican Political Insiders feel about the chances of comprehensive immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship, passing Congress this year.

A majority of Democrats and Republicans think it's either very or somewhat likely that such legislation passes in the 113th Congress, while only 3 percent of Democratic Insiders and 2 percent of the Republican Insiders say it's very unlikely.

What is the likelihood of comprehensive immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship, passing Congress this year?

  Democrats
(107 votes)
Republicans
(94 votes)
Very likely 39% 25%
Somewhat likely 50% 53%
Somewhat unlikely 8% 20%
Very unlikely 3% 2%

Democrats view Republicans as finally having to accept a political reality after losing decisively in 2012 and eager to jab the GOP over what they see as a political winner for their party.

"The GOP has gone from bigotry to opportunism faster than Sarah Palin can take down a caribou," said one Democratic Insider.

Indeed, some Democrats argue their opponents will be forced to back immigration reform because of demographic realities.

"Enough Republicans have seen the light to make it happen," said another Democratic Insider.

Republicans don't disagree but, as you would expect, they put it differently.

"Republicans get over their headache, after banging into the wall for years," said one Republican.

Still others argue that Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a prominent advocate and member of the bipartisan group of eight senators who outlined immigration reform principles this week, will rehabilitate the party's image.

"Rubio is to immigration policy as Nixon is to China," said one Republican Insider.

But not all GOP Insiders are so optimistic. They argue that reform will hit a wall in the House, where tea party members have signaled their opposition and feel emboldened after attempting to derail the fiscal cliff deal earlier this year.

"It's hard to see how an amnesty bill makes it through the House," argued one Insider. "The need is real, the commitment is unfortunately happy talk," said another.

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