Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tx) says he is optimistic that some sort of immigration reform can be considered and possibly approved by Congress this year.
But Cornyn told 1200 WOAI news it won't be the 'comprehensive' type of immigration reform that the White House is demanding.
"Particularly after the failure of Obamacare, the people are very skeptical of thousand page bills," Cornyn said.
He says there is talk among Senate Republicans of a 'bit by bit' approach, which could include an expansion in the visa program for people who attend and graduate from college in the United States.
"People who go to our colleges and universities and then because of the cap on H1b visas, we send them home," he said.
Several Republicans business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is calling for immigration reform, claiming many industries from agriculture to high tech, cannot find enough trained workers.
But the issue is a mine field for Republicans like Cornyn. Tea Party conservatives like U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) who is running against Cornyn in the March primary, will attack any attempt to loosen immigration laws as 'amnesty' and say groups like the Chamber are only interested in allowing more low wage workers into the country four businesses to exploit.