Immigration reformers eye Gang of Eight revival

Several influential lawmakers see another opening for immigration reform in 2017, especially if Hillary Clinton wins and the GOP takes another hit among Latinos. Mitt Romney was hammered for his “self-deportation” rhetoric four years ago. But that pales in comparison to Donald Trump’s vow to remove 11 million immigrants here illegally and calling Mexicans who cross the border illegally “rapists” and “murderers.”

Gang of Eight leader Chuck Schumer is poised to become majority leader if Democrats take the Senate this year. And the New York senator already said immigration reform would be a top priority, most recently in an interview last week. The recent Supreme Court deadlock that left President Barack Obama’s controversial executive actions on hold demonstrated that, for now, major changes to the nation’s immigration policy will have to come from Capitol Hill…

“The hour [when] we can move it, we’ve got to move it,” said Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), another member of the Gang of Eight, which formed after the 2012 election. “If they don’t [understand the urgency], we’ll do another autopsy after the next election and we’ll determine we’ve got to do it.” He was referring an in-depth review of what went wrong for Republicans in 2012 that implored the party to improve its standing among Latinos by embracing immigration reform.