Senate Democrats are turning to an unlikely ally for help in their push for bipartisan immigration reform: former CNN anchor and noted anti-illegal immigration spokesman Lou Dobbs.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), chairman of a Senate subcommittee on immigration and leader of the Democratic effort to forge a comprehensive immigration bill, met with Dobbs on Wednesday to discuss future immigration reform, The Hill reports.
Though many are pessimistic that the Democrats' loss of a Senate supermajority and focus on more pressing matters may make immigration reform impossible, Schumer insists they aren't giving up. This unexpected partnership, Schumer says, is a preliminary indication of the Democrats' dedication to finding a bipartisan solution on the immigration issue.
"Now I've said all along, even before last Tuesday with the Massachusetts election, we need a bipartisan bill -- two Democrats and two Republicans to produce it. We're not there yet. We're still working on getting our Republicans, but we're talking to people who have a lot of interest and enthusiasm, and our intention is to move forward," Schumer said Thursday, according to Politico.
Dobbs, who anchored CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight until his departure in the fall, frequently voiced a populist conservative opposition to illegal immigration on CNN, he appeared to loosen his stance shortly after leaving the network, and even declared limited support for amnesty in late November. (Dobbs also stirred controversy during his final year with the cable network by becoming the only mainstream media personality to publicly support "birther" conspiracies about President Obama.)
Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, Schumer referred to Dobbs's evolving "views on immigration"
In a recent interview Dobbs emphasized that he was "changing his tune" on the issue.
"I don't know that I'm 'popular,' but I'm trying," Dobbs told ABC News. "I hope I will be, by the way, because I intend to be part of the solution."