If only, as conservative talk show host Sean Hannity said recently about U.S. immigration, "it's simple ... to fix it."There's hope and potential in the new openness of folks like Hannity and some Republican politicians to correcting the many flaws in the nation's immigration system. The language of compromise has been missing for much too long.But the fix won't be simple, because the problems aren't simple. There are many of them. And they can't be addressed adequately in isolation.Let's take young people who were brought to the United States illegally by their parents but have grown up knowing this country as their home.A recent directive from President Barack Obama allows these so-called Dreamers to apply for temporary work authorization without fear of deportation for two years. If federal law were to provide them with a way to become citizens, as the Dream Act that has bounced around Congress for years was designed to do, how should that affect their family members who remain in the country illegally?Reform advocates argue that it makes sense to give the estimated 11 million residents here illegally "a line to get into." How could that work without crowding out the many who've been waiting years to complete the legal immigration process?Or let's take the issue of requiring employers to check their workers' legal status. Imposing penalties on businesses that don't screen employees through e-Verify sounds like a straightforward enforcement mechanism, but it must be monitored adequately.As the Texas Tribune reported this week, some companies subvert it by classifying their workers as subcontractors to avoid not only checking their legality but to evade payroll taxes, workers' compensation and overtime. Law-abiding competitors want the law changed to prevent that. (bit.ly/QHmT9L)Implementing a guest worker program without displacing American workers or artificially depressing wages is another challenge.Despite the complexities involved, there appears to be a convergence of sentiment from many directions to move forward. At his first post-election news conference, Obama described what he considers key elements of a comprehensive immigration reform plan (1.usa.gov/QIjvvi):"I think it should include a continuation of the strong border security measures that we've taken because we have to secure our borders. I think it should contain serious penalties for companies that are purposely hiring undocumented workers and taking advantage of them. And I do think that there should be a pathway for legal status for those who are living in this country, are not engaged in criminal activity, are here simply to work. It's important for them to pay back taxes. It's important for them to learn English. It's important for them to potentially pay a fine. But to give them the avenue whereby they can resolve their legal status here in this country I think is very important."Meanwhile, Republican Sens. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, John McCain of Arizona and Rand Paul of Kentucky already are poised to lead discussions with Democrats, McClatchy Newspapers reported. (bit.ly/WbWouN)Graham and McCain have supported reform in the past but backed off because of political pressure.In an e-mail news release, Jennifer S. Korn, executive director of the conservative-leaning Hispanic Leadership Network, called it a "step in the right direction" that conservatives are speaking out. "Immigration reform is not a one-party issue, it's an American issue and one that voters elected our politicians to address," she said.And Jennifer Rubin, who writes The Washington Post's "Right Turn" blog, made a forceful case that there is nothing conservative about opposing immigration reform. (wapo.st/T1xj3l)"As for the rule of law, the most common objection to immigration reform, there is nothing that breeds more contempt than a system operating on an underground economy and willful refusal to enforce existing law," she wrote. "It is not conservative to envision a police state robust enough to deport millions of people. The current immigration system is as counterproductive as prohibition, breeding lawlessness, violence and corruption."The compromises won't come easily, but they're necessary. As Obama said, "We need to seize the moment."