Multiple sources involved in discussions with House Dem leaders about this tactic fully expect that [House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi] will pull the trigger on the discharge petition. Though plans could change, they view this as more a matter of timing and lining up key players than anything else at this point.Under House rules, a majority of the chamber can bring legislation to the floor by signing such a discharge petition. But while a majority of the chamber would pass the Senate's immigration reform bill in an open vote, House Speaker John Boehner refuses to allow such a vote, fearing it would spur a Tea Party uprising and cost him his speakership.
However, too many Republicans have tried to have it both ways—claiming they'd support reform if it came up for a vote, but content with the current obstructionism. The discharge petition will force Republicans to put up or shut up. And while few (if any) will break with their leadership on this, their refusal to sign will be yet more confirmation to Latinos that it is the GOP that stands in the way of keeping their families and communities together.
It could also deflect some heat off President Barack Obama, who was just called the "deporter-in-chief" by the president of the National Council of La Raza, the largest Latino civil rights organization in the country. And given that Obama's administration has already deported more undocumented immigrants than President George Bush did during his entire eight years, the description fits.