By Victor Landa, NewsTaco

The on again-off again Comprehensive Immigration Reform seems to be on again, for now.

The last we heard was that CIR was dead in the water. With Syria heating up the world and a battling congress using immigration as a jousting pole, there was a dwindling hope that CIR would be considered in the House of Representatives anytime soon. Even the brightest optimists folded their pic-nic blankets and ran for cover from the political storm. The timing wasn’t right, the political mood wasn’t the best – 2013 would not be the year.

But somewhere in some GOP strategist’s back pocket was a nagging thought. It went something like this: “We need to bring Latino voters into the Republican fold; we’re dismal at it;  we should do CIR.”

The thought festered.

And while it festered there was a lot of loud arguing about immigrants, immigration, law breaking, going to the back of the line, strengthening the border and immigrants-are-freeloaders type lies.

But there are some truths stuffed in the GOP strategist’s back pocket. They do need to bring Latinos into their fold. They are dismal at it. And they do believe that immigration reform is the way to do it. On that last item, though, there is a slight perception problem. Most Latinos stay away from the GOP because of their nasty rhetoric and because their political and social ideas don’t coincide. So softening the nastiness and acting on immigration are not the panaceas they believe them to be. But that’s all grist for another mill day.

For now there are rumors that CIR will be considered this year after all.

Here are some hints to consider, as reported by The Washington Post:

  • “Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said Thursday that his panel is working on four new pieces of legislation dealing with border-control laws. “
  • “Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) told immigration advocates in a private conversation this month that the issue remains on the agenda …”

There’s work being done on the GOP side. And as you’d expect that work is all about border security. There are also lines etched in the sand having to do with “special pathways” to citizenship (Republicans don’t like that term …). They want new immigrants, including the undocumented who have been here for years, to go to the proverbial “back of the line.” And they won’t get a fight there – the back-of-the-line idea is a given, it’s going to happen that way.

But it’s the same old swap meet.

Border security will happen because the Democrats see it as a political horse-trade asset and the defense industry will pressure (quietly) to get it done – there are hundreds of hundreds of millions of dollars to be made securing the border.

Truthfully, there are more interests willing to move forward to get CIR done in the next three months then there are  opportunistic nay-sayers who want to use the issue for political gain, on both sides of the aisle.

It’s like the good ‘ole boys want to play one more hand at the poker table before the night is done. They just need to agree on the rules, pull the chairs, sit down and deal. But they’ve done this before, so it’s not a sure bet. We’ll see.

[Photo by davidsilver]

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