When Congress last debated immigration reform, in 2007, the bill died on the Senate floor. Some Democrats, backed by unions, were worried that the wages of U.S. citizens would be undercut by a plan in the bill to bring in hundreds of thousands of immigrants as guest workers. On the Republican side, anti-immigration activists deluged lawmakers with so many calls that they reportedly crashed the congressional phone system.
Now Washington is going to try again. This week the White House and a bipartisan group of senators announced plans to push a comprehensive immigration reform package through Congress before summer. Here are six reasons why things look a lot better now than they did in 2007: