Fred Barnes, writing in the Wall Street Journal:
It is rare in Washington for the trend lines on a controversial issue to come together as favorably as they have for immigration reform.
Public support is roughly around 70%, according to various polls, with Gallup having it at 72%. Senate Republicans blocked an overhaul of immigration laws in 2007 but now a substantial bloc of Republicans, alarmed by the GOP's shrunken share of the Hispanic vote in the 2012 election, are eager to enact "comprehensive" reform legislation.
For their part, Hispanic groups recognize that this is an opportune moment for achieving their goal of citizenship for illegal immigrants in America. They are willing to accept legislation with a protracted timetable—a minimum of 13 years—before citizenship can be attained.
And two backers of immigration reform have emerged as key players since Congress took up the issue last week with hearings of the Senate Judiciary Committee. One is President Obama. In February, the leak of a White House bill—including provisions that would be anathema to Republicans—threatened to upset the pro-reform coalition. Since then, the president has promised to stay out of the congressional deliberations.