By Molly K. Hooper - 12/10/13 06:00 AM EST
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said it's a "good sign" that Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) hired a former John McCain staffer as an immigration reform aide.
Boehner's recently tapped Rebecca Tallent as his point person on the issue, a move that has some on the right concerned with some claiming Tallent favors amensty.
Tallent has worked as Sen. McCain's (R-Ariz.) chief of staff and on his 2008 presidential campaign. She was heavily involved in efforts to pass immigration reform in 2006 and 2007, which has led proponents to cheer Boehner's hiring of her, seeing it as a sign the speaker is serious about passing reform legislation.
Grijalva, a proponent of a pathway to citizenship, said, "I respect her work. I hope that it's a message to some of the most strident and hard people in his caucus that he's open to exploring some way to move some legislation ... I think it's a good sign."
The Senate has passed a bipartisan immigration bill, but the House has yet to act. Boehner has said he will not go into conference with the Senate on its immigration legislation but he has denied suggestions that immigration reform is dead.