Nancy Pelosi: House Republicans Will Pass Immigration Reform ‘If They Ever Want to Win a Presidential Race’

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said congressional Republicans will have to pass immigration reform if they ever want the GOP to retake the White House.

“I believe that the members of Congress, many more than are directly affected themselves by the number of Hispanics in their district, will do what is right for our country,” Pelosi (Calif.) said in an interview aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “And it’s certainly right — for the Republicans, if they ever want to win a presidential race.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 27, 2013. (AP)

Pelosi said she’s “very optimistic” that comprehensive immigration reform will pass “before long, and certainly this year.”

The onus is now on the Republican-led House, after the Democratic-led Senate overwhelmingly passed its bill Thursday. House Speaker John Boehner said last week that any type of immigration legislation to come to the House floor must have the approval of the majority of congressional Republicans.

“We wouldn’t even be where we are right now had it not been that 70 percent of Hispanics voted for President Obama, voted Democratic in the last election,” Pelosi said. “That caused an epiphany in the Senate, that’s for sure. So, all of a sudden now, we have already passed comprehensive immigration reform in the Senate. That’s a big victory.”