Do House Republicans Have Anything to Lose by Voting Against Immigration Reform?

The House must decide how to follow the Senate's bipartisan actions on immigration reform.

John Boehner.

National Republican leaders are feeling the pressure to build a broader coalition of Latino support.

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As House Republicans huddle inside Wednesday to address how to proceed on immigration reform, an audience of 500 made up of both Latino voters and DREAMers – immigrants who entered the country illegally as children – will be gathering outside the Capitol to warn the GOP that ignoring their pleas will have electoral repercussions.

"They are missing the opportunity to be part of history," says Maria Castro, 19.

While Castro is a U.S. citizen, she says she is coming out for the demonstration to show support for her mother who entered the country illegally. "Something has to be done and they would be denying their constituency room to advance as a nation."

While 50,000 Latinos turn 18 and become eligible to vote every month in the U.S., their pleas are unlikely to change the minds of many members of Congress. Members within the House of Representatives' GOP caucus aren't exactly feeling the pressure national Republican leaders are feeling to build a broader coalition of Latino support.

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After all, there are only 16 House Republicans who represent districts composed of one-third or more Latino constituents.

In districts that are reliably Republican, House Republicans harbor deeper concerns that voting 'yes' on an immigration reform bill is a surefire way to land themselves in a competitive primary race.

A June vote in which House Republicans voted along party lines to defund President Barack Obama's executive order to defer deportation of DREAMers was the first indication that House Republicans are not softening their stance on immigration reform any time soon.

And House Speaker John Boehner hasn't signaled a willingness to abandon his caucus in the name of electoral victory in 2016, either. He's pledged to do the opposite: He won't bring anything to the House floor that cannot garner a majority of his caucus's support.

So what do House Republicans have to lose?

A lot more than meets the eye, says one group, Latino Decisions, which advocates for comprehensive immigration reform.

[PHOTOS: Thousands Rally in the U.S. Over Immigration Reform]

A Latino Decisions analysis shows there are 44 GOP-held districts in which Latino voters may not make up the majority, but they could still change the outcome of future elections.

In order to take back the House of Representatives, Democrats would need to win 17 of those seats.

The group also says that Republicans stand to increase their majorities in more than 19 Democratically held districts if GOP members in the House get behind comprehensive reform now.

"Both Republicans and Democrats in the House are vulnerable to Latino influence as there are sufficient House seats presently held by both parties where Latino voters can tilt the outcome in 2014 in a manner that determines which party controls the House of Representatives in 2015," the report states.

But so far, all signals show that the House has little appetite to take on comprehensive reform.

The House Judiciary Committee, headed by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., has approved a series of border enforcement and high-skilled worker bills, but has remained silent on what to do about the 12 million immigrants living in the country now who entered illegally.

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Even a bipartisan group of seven lawmakers who have been toiling for more than 4 years on a comprehensive bill have yet to release a final product.

Staff close to the negotiations say that the group has a bill waiting in the wings, but will likely wait to introduce it until after August when House leadership may feel more pressure to take up a comprehensive approach. The thinking is that if a piecemeal approach fails to garner enough GOP votes in the House, leadership will turn to the bipartisan group for a solution.

But House Republicans are not the only ones meeting to decide how to proceed on immigration reform in the House. Wednesday will also be a big day for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which is currently made up entirely of Democrats. The group will meet with the president to discuss how its members might help push immigration reform through the House of Representatives.