Comprehensive Immigration Reform Prospects Appear Dim Following Cantor’s Defeat
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) historic primary election defeat in Virginia on June 10, 2014, in favor of the vocally anti-“amnesty” Tea Party-backed David Brat suggests that Congress may not enact comprehensive immigration reform this year, according to many commentators. They have observed that Republicans are unlikely to want to address immigration issues in the near future now that Cantor has been defeated unexpectedly, in part because he was willing to consider measures such as a modified Dream Act for young undocumented immigrants. Even Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), who won her primary while supporting immigration reform, noted that it was in the “forefront” of Republicans’ thinking that “in the state of shock that we are all in,…right now [comprehensive immigration reform is] not where we need to go. She acknowledged, however, that “[t]hat doesn’t mean it’s off the table.”
With the 2014 midterm elections coming up, many candidates may not want to take any further political risks in the short term. Incremental progress may still be possible even if passing comprehensive immigration legislation remains out of reach. Stay tuned.