As I wrote over the weekend, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) rolled out a comprehensive immigration plan. Conservative anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist gave a thumbs up. Now Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) posts on his Facebook page: “Senator Rubio is exactly right on the need to fix our broken immigration system. I support the principles he’s outlined: modernization of our immigration laws; stronger security to curb illegal immigration; and respect for the rule of law in addressing the complex challenge of the undocumented population. Our future depends on an immigration system that works.”

Rep.Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) -Katie Derksen / For The Washington Post

This bodes well for the immigration plan and Ryan, who, like Rubio, wants to (and needs to) grow the party. It is too much to hope, perhaps, that all the serious 2016 contenders would eschew hot-button immigration language and get on board with Rubio’s plan (or something similar). But to repeat 2012, when the candidates outbid each other in insulting rhetoric and unrealistic positions (“self-deportation”) would be suicidal for the party in 2016. If the Senate and the White House won’t move on immigration (Sen. Harry Reid is allergic, it seems, to voting on anything controversial) so be it. The Republicans now have the opportunity too seize the mantle of reform on immigration