Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) on Tuesday predicted that Republicans would fail to win back the White House in 2016 in a "blowout" unless they pass immigration legislation before then.
"You thought the Super Bowl was a blowout last month?" Gutierrez asked on the House floor. "Wait until November 2016, if immigration reform is still hanging out there undone.
Gutierrez, a vocal supporter of immigration reform that includes a citizenship path for millions of illegal immigrants, said Republicans need the help of these residents to take back the White House. He said an immigration bill is one way to get some of those people on their side.
"There is simply no math that adds up to 270 electoral votes unless the Republican Party stops getting slaughtered by 30, 40 and 50 points among the largest, fastest-growing groups of voters in this country," he said.
"And it gets only worse with each passing day, with another 2,000 Latino citizens turning 18 every day and becoming eligible to vote," he added. "The cost to the GOP politically is just too high if the GOP-controlled House blocks legislation this year."
He said he believes House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) knows that this year is the best chance Republicans have to do something and get the issue of immigration "off the table" before 2016.
Republicans said last month that they want to pursue immigration reform proposals this year. But last week, GOP leaders said many of Republicans don't trust President Obama to enforce tighter border restrictions, particularly given how Obama has delayed several portions of the healthcare law that most call ObamaCare.
Gutierrez dismissed the GOP's argument that they can't trust Obama, and said deportations under Obama have increased, which shows Obama is enforcing border security laws.
"Then I heard the Speaker say that the GOP doesn't trust the president of the United States. Really?" Gutierrez asked. "Despite two million deportations and the lowest rate of illegal immigration in recent decades, the House GOP doesn't believe President Barack Obama will enforce immigration laws?"