House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., cited race as a key reason that the Republican-led House of Representatives has not moved on a comprehensive immigration reform bill.
"I think race has something to do with them not bringing up the immigration bill," Pelosi told reporters Thursday. "I've heard them say to the Irish, 'If it was just you, it would be easy.'"
Pelosi’s comments reflect what many aides from both sides say privately: that because immigration reform is framed as a Latino issue nationwide, many Republicans who come from districts with a small amount of Hispanics have no incentive to support it.
In fact, 84 percent of House Republicans represent a district that is less than 20 percent Latino.
The Senate passed a comprehensive immigration bill last summer but House Republicans have resisted taking up that measure or alternatives. GOP leaders have also argued that the party does not trust President Barack Obama to enforce the law as passed.