It’s been a little over a week sincethe Obama administration announced that it would delay a review of deportation policies to give the House of Representatives “space” to advance an immigration reform bill, and the House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), who is facing a Tea Party challenger, is campaigning on stopping immigration reform. This is after Speaker Boehner has expressed that he wants to do something on immigration reform for the past few months.
“Another mailer touts a story that called him the “No. 1 guy standing between the American people and immigration reform,” and bragging that immigration activists are “increasingly focusing their ire at one person: Eric Cantor, the House majority leader.”
Cantor is just eight days away from his primary, and he is campaigning aggressively against Brat, airing negative television advertisements and sending out a load of mail pieces throughout his district. Cantor’s aides say they always campaign aggressively, no matter the opponent or how serious the contest.
Cantor’s district includes some of the tony Richmond suburbs and more rural areas around Virginia’s capital city. Brat is not expected to beat Cantor, but his campaign gives a peek into the political challenges the majority leader faces. These challenges will help dictate the political climate in Washington, as Cantor continues his ascent toward speaker.
For example, if Cantor is bragging about obstructing immigration reform, it’s a clear window into how difficult it would be to pass an overhaul anytime in the near future.”
If this type of anti-immigrant campaign message is what Republicans are banking on carrying them to victory in primaries and in the fall, it will become harder to pivot towards immigration reform once the new legislative session begins. This kind of messaging is precisely why many immigration activists are not convinced that a legislative solution is viable in the near future.
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr