While the Republican National Committee thinks it needs to support immigration reform to start winning presidential elections, Republicans in Congress have reason to think they need to oppose to keep winning elections. Only 35 percent of Republicans support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, according to a Washington Post/ ABC News poll. Among conservative Republicans, only 30 percent support it. Despite, say, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio doing a tour of conservative talk radio to pitch his immigration proposal, support among Republicans has actually declined since February. But Republicans don't just have to win over the Republican base. There are many groups within the GOP that are fighting immigration reform, or are ambivalent about it.
According to the Post/ ABC poll, 60 percent of Republicans oppose a path to citizenship.
The 2007 Crew.
Conservatives who successfully blocked immigration reform in 2007 -- under a Republican president! -- are reanimating their coalition. "The goal is to stoke enough outrage on the right to dissuade wayward Republicans and moderate Democrats from endorsing the measure," Politico's Manu Raju and Anna Palmer report. Though some of the 2007-era lawmakers have left office -- Tom Tancredo is out of a job -- others are promising to fight an immigration bill. Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions wrote a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee chair Patrick Leahy demanding any immigration proposal take a long time to get through Congress. It was signed by five other GOP senators: Iowa's Chuck Grassley, Utah's Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, and Texas's John Cornyn and Ted Cruz. Florida's Marco Rubio appeared to concede on this point, saying, "In order to succeed, this process cannot be rushed or done in secret.”