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House Speaker John A. Boehner has hired a longtime advocate of legalizing illegal immigrants to be his immigration policy adviser, encouraging immigration activists but angering those who want to see a crackdown and who say Mr. Boehner’s move signals he still wants an “amnesty” bill to pass.Rebecca Tallent, whom Mr. Boehner’s office confirmed it was hiring, worked on immigration issues for Sen. John McCain and former Rep. Jim Kolbe. Both of those Arizona Republicans led the push for legalization within the GOP. Ms. Tallent will leave her job as immigration policy director at the Bipartisan Policy Center to start in Mr. Boehner’s office on Wednesday.SPECIAL COVERAGE: Immigration Reform“Tallent’s hiring suggests he really does still want to push an amnesty through the House, which to me suggests that the immigration hawks still have their work cut out for them,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which wants to see a crackdown.The Bipartisan Policy Center announced Ms. Tallent’s departure early Tuesday afternoon, saying it expected her to help forge a consensus on the thorny issue, which has bedeviled Congress for a decade. BPC President Jason Grumpet said Ms. Tallent’s experience will help her weed out what can work from what can’t.“The House is going to continue to chart its own course on immigration reform. Becky understands the issues — both those that should be on the table and those that have derailed past reform efforts,” Mr. Grumpet said in a statement.Mr. Boehner is now the key figure in the immigration debate, facing immense pressure from immigrant-rights activists to act on legalizing illegal immigrants, while many of his own House Republicans are warning him not to pursue legalization until they’ve done more on security.The Ohio Republican has said he is committed to doing something on the issue, but has rejected Senate Democrats’ approach of a single broad bill combining security, legalization and a rewrite of the legal immigration system.Instead, Mr. Boehner has said he will slice the issue into a number of bills — something his spokesman, Michael Steel, said he remains committed to.