The anti-immigrant House Immigration Reform Caucus (HIRC) remained largely intact after the 2012 election, with the notable exception of its chair, Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA). In a close election, he narrowly lost his race for California’s newly created 52nd district. His defeat was one of just four losses HIRC members suffered in November.
The badly-named House Immigration Reform Caucus is composed of representatives who are most staunchly opposed to a humane immigration reform.
At the beginning of 2012, according to Rep. Bilbray’s Immigration Reform Caucus site, there were 93 HIRC members. Seven members retired and two members lost in primaries. Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) left the House to run for Senate. He most spectacularly lost. Of the 83 HIRC members that ran for re-election in November 2012, 79 won, just four lost – a 95% win rate.
It is not yet certain who will take the lead in pushing for anti-immigrant legislation in the new Congress. A successor to chair the HIRC has not yet been named. Early speculation is that Rep. Steve King (R-IA 4), a longtime HIRC member and one of the most vocal members of the caucus, could become the new chair in the next session.
In 2008, Bilbray replaced HIRC founder Tom Tancredo, the anti-immigrant demagogue who stepped down to (unsuccessfully) run for president in that year.