Judging by the comments made by key Republicans on Sunday morning talk-shows, the big surprise coming out of Washington when it comes to immigration reform is if there won't be a major agreement reached sometime this year.
Arizona Senator John McCain was one of the leading voices for such reform back in 2006 and 2007, but seemed to be singing from a different sheet of music when he ran for re-election in Arizona in 2010, emphasizing border security more than any pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented people in this country.
But when asked by ABC's Martha Raddatz on ABC's This Week how he can persuade other Republicans to buy into that pathway to citizenship now, McCain said he'd invoke some "straight talk," otherwise known as bringing up how Republicans lost the Latino vote by a 71-29 margin in last November's presidential election.
"Look at the last election," McCain began. "Look at the last election. We are losing dramatically the Hispanic vote, which we think should be ours, for a variety of reasons, and we've got to understand that.
Second of all, this — we can't go on forever with 11 million people living in this country in the shadows in an illegal status. We cannot forever have children who were born here — who were brought here by their parents when they were small children to live in the shadows, as well.
So I think the time is right. By the way, we just acted to avert a nuclear option in the Senate. Believe it or not, I see some glimmer of bipartisanship out there."
President Obama plans on giving a speech on immigration on Tuesday. McCain said he thought it helps that Obama is also advocating for such legislation. "I think it's important that we all work together on this," saying he looks forward to sitting down with him on the issue.
On Fox News Sunday, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin sounded equally optimistic about a bipartisan effort coming together, saying "we are trying to work our way through some very difficult issues but we are committed to having a comprehensive approach to finally in this country having an immigration law that we can live with. We've been virtually going for maybe 25 years without a lot a clear statement about immigration policy. That's unacceptable in this nation of immigrants. And we're also saying that, we're putting as a high priority the unification of families. To make sure that families have a chance to come together. I'm glad the Dream Act is also an integral part of it.."
Like so many others in conservative land, Tennessee Senator Bob Corker said on the same program that he liked some of the things being discussed by Florida junior U.S. Senator Marco Rubio. "The details matter," he said, adding that he also hoped a bipartisan solution could be accomplished.
On Meet The Press, Paul Ryan also said he supports "earned legalization" quoting Rubio. He said there was still some doubt among Republicans whether President Obama really wants the same thing, or likes the issue politically.