Immigration Reform Proponents Optimistic About Passage

Tenuous compromise continues to plod towards the finish line.

The Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., right, is aiming this week to finish work on a landmark immigration bill to secure the border and offer citizenship to millions, setting up a high-stakes debate on the Senate floor, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, May 20, 2013. Sen. Leahy is speaking with Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., left. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo)

Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., right, is aiming this week to finish work on a landmark immigration bill. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., left, speaks with him Monday on Capitol Hill.

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Rebecca Tallent, former chief of staff for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and director of immigration policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, says the momentum is real but the conclusion for immigration reform is far from known thanks to bicameral politics.

[BROWSE: Political Cartoons on Immigration]

"A strong Senate vote will be very helpful, but those saying a strong Senate vote will force the House to take up the Senate bill are wrong," she says. "The worst thing you can do for immigration reform right now is to try to jam the Senate bill down the House Republicans' throat. They have to feel invested in the process, they have to feel that they have had an input and that's not just at the committee level."

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