The anti-reformers say opposition is still alive and well. It’s just that conservatives feel little need to show their force, since they believe the GOP-controlled House would never accept the immigration bill passed by the Senate this spring.
And while many observers agree prospects for a big bill look unlikely in the House, momentum has been picking up in corners of the Republican Party. If pro-immigration forces can harness the softening Republican line, they just might breath new life into their cause — leaving anti-reformers regretting not spending August on offense.
“The people on our side, right now, they aren’t all that terrified,” Roy Beck of the anti-immigration reform group NumbersUSA said. “The day after the Senate bill passed, the storyline in the media was this thing is dead on arrival at the House. For six weeks almost all the media stuff they’ve been seeing is they are not going to let the Senate bill come forward. It’s very inside baseball about what Cantor and Boehner are up to. It’s not an in-your-face kind of threat for most people.”