(CNN) -- The government's open. Washington is back at work. House Republicans, licking their wounds, are asking themselves what's next. And President Barack Obama has thrown down the gauntlet: The top item on his agenda is immigration reform.
What are the chances that the House will now move ahead on immigration? The answer will have less to do with immigration than with how the budget battle has changed the larger political dynamic in Washington.
House Republicans' views on immigration are untested, and many advocates for reform believe they are implacably hostile. But the truth is Republican opinion has been evolving since the 2012 election. More and more House Republicans, perhaps the majority, know that reform is overdue and that the GOP must be part of the solution -- to remain competitive with Latino voters and because it's the right thing to do.
Individual lawmakers and essential staff continued to work on the issue even through the dark days of the shutdown. And members are coalescing around answers to the hardest of the hard questions: what to do about immigrants living in the United States illegally? House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is working on a bill that would create a path to citizenship for "Dreamers" brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
And one recent informal count found 84 House Republicans -- more than one third of the total -- in favor of legal status for the Dreamers' parents.
Bottom line: If it weren't for the rancor of the budget brawl, the House might be in a good place on immigration, with Republicans ready to move forward and pass a package of measures they could send to a conference with the Senate bill.
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Surprisingly, it appears to cut both ways -- both for and against the prospect of an immigration overhaul.
Even before the government reopened, two different factions were making their voices heard. Some, such as Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho -- an opponent of the budget deal but a strong proponent of immigration reform -- argued that the budget battle had made it hard, if not impossible, for House Republicans to reach a deal with Obama.
Others, such as Rep. Aaron Schock of Illinois, who voted for the budget package, said it's time to get back to the give and take of governing -- time to sit down with Democrats and compromise, including on immigration.
Which of these two sentiments will prove stronger in the House? GOP lawmakers are reeling from their recent drubbing. Skepticism and negativity are at an all-time high. And it will take both kinds of champions -- tough-minded and accommodating -- to negotiate a deal. But if enough other Republicans agree with Schock and make their views known, that could empower leadership to open the way to consideration of some immigration bills.
Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/21/opinion/jacoby-immigration-after-shutdown/
Revilla Law Firm, P.A., is a Miami immigration law firm practicing in all areas of immigration law, with a concentration in deportation defense. If you wish to speak with one of our qualified Miami immigration attorneys, contact our firm today at (305) 858-2323 or toll free (877) 854-2323. We offer a free initial consultation in our Miami office.
ABOUT US: Antonio G. Revilla III is a Former U.S. Immigration Prosecutor and Miami immigration attorney. He has over 21 years of legal experience and is currently the President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), South Florida Chapter.