Immigration reform advocates watching the historic Senate debate this past week say they are surprised by the momentum they’re sensing in favor of liberalized and comprehensive reform.

There’s been some long-awaited help coming this week from George W. Bush on this issue — one of the only in recent times where the President is actually on the right side of things (if even vaguely so).

The massive immigrant political mobilization of the last week has reminded the GOP of the cresting clout of Latino voters — and future voters. It’s way too early, however, to declare any definitive victory. It’s still a long shot that anytime before the mid-term elections the Senate and House will actually agree on a forward-looking bill. But the ball is certainly being moved foreward.

Check these polls just out and released by the National Immigration Forum. TIME Magazine today released a new poll, that shows overwhelming support for the type of immigration reform approach passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee and currently under consideration by the full Senate.

The Forum and the center-right Manhattan Institute, meanwhile, have issued the results of another poll today of 1,000 "likely voters" that indicates solid majorities prefer a plan for future immigrants that includes a path to permanent residency and citizenship (as in the Judiciary Committee’s plan), as opposed to a strictly temporary "guest-worker" plan. See the analyses here and here.

We may possiblty be standing at the threshold of a new Latino and immigrants civil rights movement. As the mobilizations and demos continue there is sure to be more polarization and more reaction/counter-reaction around the issue. The question will be: who has the momentum? Which was is history flowing? The first preliminary soundings look encouraging.