A group of House Republicans is bucking the rest of its party by attempting to force a vote on protecting immigrants brought into the country illegally as children. After Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) signed a rarely used “discharge petition” on Wednesday, just four more Republican signatures would force a House vote (if all 193 Democrats support it).

The districts that petition-signing Republicans represent

WA

MN

NY

MI

CA

PA

NJ

UT

NV

CO

TX

FL

The districts that petition-signing Republicans represent

 

WA

MN

NY

MI

CA

PA

NJ

NV

UT

CO

TX

FL

Some of the lawmakers represent competitive districts in traditionally blue states, such as California and New York. Three are from heavily Hispanic areas in South Florida. Others occupy more conservative seats.

While many have expressed their frustration at lack of progress on overhauling immigration, an analysis of their districts reveals other possible motivations for a typically loyal group to rebel against party leaders.

[Ryan losing grip on House GOP conference as midterms approach]

1 They represent the most Hispanic Republican districts

Representatives of seven of the 13 Republican districts with the largest share of Hispanics or Latinos have already signed the petition. All five whose districts are more than 60 percent Hispanic have signed it.

They include Rep. Carlos Curbelo (Fla.), who introduced the petition, and Rep. Jeff Denham (Calif.), who wrote it. Four bills would be considered in the voting scenario, including at least two that would grant legal status to “dreamers.”

Notable petition signers

bullet point

Rep. Carlos Curbelo (Fla.): Curbelo has been leading the effort to force a vote. He represents one of three GOP districts with many Hispanics in South Florida.

bullet point

Rep. David Valadao (Calif.): Valadao represents more estimated DACA recipients than any other Republican.

bullet point

Rep. Will Hurd (Tex.): Hurd’s district has a longer stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border than any other. He introduced a bill that would grant permanent legal residency to dreamers, along with some border security measures.

In total, 13 of 21 signers represent districts that are either heavily Hispanic or that supported Hillary Clinton in 2016 — in several cases both.

HOW HISPANIC GOP DISTRICTS ARE

More

Clinton

votes

More

trump

votes

75% Hispanic district

Signed

petition

More

hispanic

Curbelo

(FL–26)

50%

Other

Republicans

25%

0%

2016 presidential vote

Trump +50

More

Clinton

votes

More

trump

votes

HOW HISPANIC GOP DISTRICTS ARE

Diaz-Balart

(FL–25)

Valadao

(CA–21)

80%

Hispanic

district

Ros-Lehtinen

(FL–27)

Curbelo

(FL–26)

Hurd

(TX–23)

60%

Signed

petition

More

hispanic

Denham

(CA–10)

Knight

(CA–25)

40%

Other

Republicans

Amodei

(NV–2)

Faso

(NY–19)

Coffman

(CO–6)

Lance

(NJ–7)

20%

Love (UT–4)

Dent (PA–15)

Reichert (WA–8)

Upton (MI–6)

Costello (PA–6)

Collins

(NY–27)

Paulsen (MN–3)

0%

Katko (NY–24)

Stefanik (NY–21)

Trott (MI–1)

Clinton +25

2016 presidential vote

Trump +25

Trump +50

More Clinton Votes

More Trump votes

HOW HISPANIC GOP DISTRICTS ARE

More Clinton votes

More Trump votes

80%

Hispanic

district

Valadao

(CA–21)

Signed

petition

Diaz-Balart

(FL–25)

Ros-Lehtinen

(FL–27)

Curbelo

(FL–26)

Hurd

(TX–23)

60%

More

hispanic

Denham

(CA–10)

Knight

(CA–25)

40%

Other

Republicans

Amodei

(NV–2)

Faso

(NY–19)

Coffman

(CO–6)

Lance

(NJ–7)

20%

Love (UT–4)

Dent (PA–15)

Reichert (WA–8)

Costello (PA–6)

Collins

(NY–27)

Upton (MI–6)

Paulsen (MN–3)

Trott (MI–1)

Katko (NY–24)

Stefanik (NY–21)

0%

Clinton +25

2016 presidential vote

Trump +25

Trump +50

More Clinton votes

More Trump votes

2 Most face competitive reelection fights or are retiring

Twelve signers’ districts backed Clinton for president. Four of the signers have already announced that they are retiring. (Another already left Congress, but his signature still counts under House rules.)

Notable petition signers

bullet point

Rep. Mike Coffman (Colo.): Clinton won the district in the Denver suburbs by nine percentage points.

bullet point

Rep. Jeff Denham (Calif.): Denham’s race is ranked as a toss-up, and his district is more than 40 percent Hispanic.

bullet point

Rep. Leonard Lance (N.J.): There are not many dreamers in Lance’s district, but he is facing a difficult reelection fight in a district that narrowly backed Clinton.

bullet point

Lawmakers who are retiring: Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.), Ryan Costello (Pa.), Dave Reichert (Wash.) and Dave Trott (Mich.) are not seeking reelection this year. Rep. Charlie Dent (Pa.) already left Congress, but his signature still counts.

Those signees who are running for reelection face a more dire political situation back home than other Republicans.

Cook Political Report rates the districts of petition signers as more competitive than the rest of the Republican conference.

Signed

petition

Other

Republicans

7%

Toss-up or

Democrat-favored

11%

12%

53%

Leans

GOP

16%

70%

Likely

GOP

16%

Solid

GOP

16%

Note: Pennsylvania’s districts have been redrawn for 2018, so they are omitted here.

Toss-up or

Democrat-favored

Leans

GOP

Likely

GOP

Solid

GOP

Signed

Petition

53%

16%

16%

16%

Other

Republicans

7%

11%

12%

70%

Note: Pennsylvania’s districts have been redrawn for 2018, so they are omitted here.

Toss-up or

Democrat-favored

Leans

GOP

Likely

GOP

Solid

GOP

Signed petition

53%

16%

16%

16%

7%

11%

12%

70%

Other Republicans

3 Others are acting on behalf of farmers in their districts

Members have cited their districts’ reliance on agricultural workers as a reason for their support of the petition.

A stalwart Trump supporter, Rep. Chris Collins (N.Y.) opted to sign the petition, saying he wants to show farmers in his district that he is trying to help them.

Notable petition signers

bullet point

Rep. Chris Collins (N.Y.): “Right now, my dairy farmers are saying to Republicans: You’ve got the House, the Senate, the White House, and you’ve got to give us a legal workforce, and I agree with that,” Collins told The Washington Post.

bullet point

Rep. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.): Congress must act on immigration “including for our agriculture workers,” Stefanik said in a news release.

bullet point

Rep. Fred Upton (Mich.): Dairy, apple and asparagus farmers in his district all rely on immigrant labor.

The immigration fight dealt another blow to farmers this month when members of the far-right House Freedom Caucus voted down the farm bill to demand a vote on their preferred immigration plan, though Republican lawmakers agree it lacks the votes to pass.

The conservative alternative

The petition-signing group consists of mostly Republicans with some of the most moderate voting records.

CO-SPONSORED

GOODLATTE-

mccaul BILL

Signed

petition

Curbelo

less

CONSERVATIVE

Goodlatte

MORE

CONSERVATIVE

LESS CONSERVATIVE

MORE CONSERVATIVE

Curbelo

Signed

petition

Other

Republicans

LESS CONSERVATIVE

MORE CONSERVATIVE

Curbelo

Signed

petition

Other

Republicans

Many more from across the ideological spectrum have signed on as co-sponsors of a more conservative bill sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (Va.) and Rep. Michael McCaul (Tex.).

LESS CONSERVATIVE

MORE CONSERVATIVE

Other

Republicans

CO-SPONSORED

GOODLATTE-mccaul BILL

Goodlatte

LESS CONSERVATIVE

MORE CONSERVATIVE

CO-SPONSORED

GOODLATTE-

mccaul BILL

Other

Republicans

Goodlatte

That bill would grant only temporary status for dreamers, lower legal immigration levels, target “sanctuary cities” that do not cooperate with federal authorities and bolster border security.

Other Republicans are watching how negotiations with leadership play out before they sign the petition to bring up a vote, which needs only four more signatures to move ahead.

Mike DeBonis contributed to this report.

About this story

Petition signers from the U.S. House Clerk. Demographic data from U.S. Census Bureau. Election results from Polidata. Estimated DACA recipients from the University of Southern California’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration. Lawmaker ideology comes from the first dimension of the DW-Nominate index, which scores a lawmaker's voting record between -1 (most liberal) and 1 (most conservative). Read more.

Share

Most Read

Follow Post Graphics