Immigration Reform Window Slams Shut
Monday, July 7, 2014
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The small window for immigration reform in Congress, which was open last month for a short period, slammed shut with Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Virginia) stunning defeat in his June primary.
Cantor's Defeat Sends SignalWhat had been a very carefully knit together opportunity by immigration reform supporters to move reform bills before this fall’s mid-term election, unraveled as conservative House Republicans ran for cover. Many saw Cantor’s defeat as a grim warning for any who might consider thinking or saying positive things about immigration reform.
Cantor’s opponent, Tea-Party-backed college professor David Brat, ran almost exclusively on an anti-immigration reform platform He won handily in the suburban Richmond district. Cantor, who recently had been speaking more positively about immigration reform, found himself being accused by Brat of supporting amnesty for immigrants.
Immigration reform forces beat a hasty retreat in the face of the quickly evaporating support. A Washington “fly-in” to lobby members of the House planned for June 24th was canceled as immigration reform leaders tried to regroup and assess the damage. PLNA had planned to send a delegation to participate in the fly-in.
What Now?The consensus is that it is very unlikely that anything will move on immigration reform this year. Some think there may be a narrow window in early 2015, after the new Congress is seated.
But many involved in the immigration reform effort believe that it may take another presidential defeat by a Republican candidate in 2016 before there will be any serious desire on the part of Republicans to move immigration reform forward.
Nonetheless, pro-immigration forces must keep up the pressure on reluctant Republicans. It's important that we not be silent. When the time is right to move the issue forward, our Republican friends must be ready to move with us.
For more in depth analysis of the potential for immigration reform, go to Gregg Robertson’s blog at Landscape Management.