One of the House's key pro-immigration Republicans, Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, is optimistic over immigration reform's prospects for passage. According to The Hill:
A bipartisan House group is making “really good progress” on immigration reform legislation despite missing a target date for an agreement, a top Republican participant said.
“I am now more sure than ever that we’re going to have a bipartisan bill,” a longtime advocate of comprehensive reform, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), said in an interview. “We’re making incredible progress.”
Diaz-Balart is one of four Republicans in the House's own "Gang of Eight" working on reform legislation. I visited the Hill last week and stopped by more than a dozen Senate and House offices meeting with key staffers working on reform legislation and they are optimist, though understandably nervous. Some have been around long enough to know that the whole thing can derail quickly. On the other hand, I visited offices of some members of Congress who would hardly be seen as big supporters of reform and heard more moderation on this issue than I've experienced in many years working on these issues. So I don't think Diaz-Balart is just spinning people.
Democrats working in the House were also encouraged by Diaz-Balart's remarks:
The Democratic members of the House immigration group – Reps. Luis Gutierrez (Ill.), Xavier Becerra (Calif.) and Zoe Lofgren (Calif.) — were unavailable for interviews, but aides backed up Diaz-Balart’s status report.
“If he’s optimistic, I would be optimistic,” one Democratic aide said.