The Iowa Republican has organized a small but growing number of conservatives who are committed to voting against any House immigration bill – no matter what it says – because they fear that the Senate will inevitably find a way to add “amnesty” to the equation.

King won’t say how many members he’s got on board, except that it reached “fairly deeply” into the GOP caucus. Lobbyists say it’s somewhere between 20 and 70 members. Even at the low end of that range, it’s enough to prevent any Republican-led immigration bill from passing.

King’s “immigration whip team” began in January, when he learned that a group of House Republicans and Democrats were secretly negotiating an immigration bill that he was certain included a path to citizenship…

The Homeland Security Committee’s border security bill could bring some Democratic votes, particularly because they are discussing inserting it into a broader comprehensive immigration bill that would also include a path to citizenship. But GOP leaders cannot count on Democrats’ assistance with just that bill because they also won’t support any immigration legislation that doesn’t include a path to citizenship.