Why Immigration Reform May Die in the House

May 29, 2013

USA Today reports that Republican Congressional districts are less diverse than ever following the 2012 redistricting. What that means is that, while Republican leaders across the country have been clamoring for the party to embrace Latino voters and endorse comprehensive immigration reform, there's actually little incentive for many GOP members of the House to do so.

Based on analysis by the Cook Political Report, the story explains that the average Republican Congressional district is now 75% white, that's compared to Democratic districts averaging 51% white. In 2002, House Republicans had over 6 million MORE minorities in their districts than they do now, despite the fact that minorities made up the bulk of population growth in the last decade. That means that in primary races for House seats incumbents must appeal to those base voters who are whiter and more conservative than the national average.

Some political strategists are creating models to forecast how GOP House members might vote, and looking for ways to demonstrate demographic and political incentives to influence that vote in favor of immigration reform. Others, including conservative groups opposing immigration reform, are moblizing to fund Republican primary challengers who oppose to any legislative overhaul of immigration that includes a "pathway to citizenship" for immigrants.

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