The conventional wisdom for months now has been that immigration reform is dead. Yet hope springs eternal for the large community of activists and interest groups pushing for reform to pass; this group collectively freaked out when, on Wednesday, Speaker John Boehner said House Republicans aren't willing to negotiate with the Senate on the issue.
Should Boehner, whose predictions have a tendency to run aground in the unpredictable Congress, be taken at his word? Not according to Senator Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat who was part of the bipartisan "gang" that drafted the Senate bill. At Thursday's Washington Ideas Forum, Schumer told The Huffington Post's Sam Stein that he would still put "quite a bit" of money on an immigration bill reaching the president's desk by the middle of next year.
"I think it will become a reality, because the House is in peril of losing its majority if it does nothing," Schumer said. "They have to do something. The Republican leadership in the House knows that. Speaker Boehner knows that."
It might even happen this year, Schumer said, though he acknowledged that's unlikely because Republicans won't want to change the subject from "all the fuss about Obamacare." But there's "a real good chance" of reform passing in the first half of 2014, he said.