Immigration reform's narrow window for survival

“For many members, they’d be more comfortable when their primaries are over,” said California Rep. Darrell Issa, an influential Republican who has favored immigration reform.

Alfonso Aguilar, the executive director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, said waiting out the primaries makes “perfect sense” — although he’s not convinced that the GOP base is as riled up over immigration as it is over other issues such as Obamacare.

“However, perception is reality, so you have members that are concerned, and the perception is out there that our base does not like this,” Aguilar said.

Jeremy Robbins, the executive director of the Partnership for a New American Economy — the pro-reform group with ties to former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg — said reform “certainly gets easier” after the primaries pass.

“I think there are multiple viable windows … and that makes us optimistic,” Robbins said, adding that primary deadlines are a “big factor.”