David Brat, who scored a major upset in defeating the No. 2
Republican in Congress in Tuesday's primary in Virginia, labeled
immigration as a major point of contention between himself and
Cantor, crediting his own hardline stance in his victory.
Some advocates fear that House Republicans will interpret the
primary's results as a sign they should avoid entangling themselves
with immigration legislation before November's congressional
"Many Republicans will react reflexively and say: 'Let's not touch
this issue,'" said Frank Sharry, executive director of the America's
Voice immigration advocacy group.
Seeing the chances of legislation dim with Cantor's defeat,
immigration advocates cast doubt on Wednesday on President Barack
Obama's strategy to hold back on executive action until he has given
the Republican-controlled House of Representatives a last chance to
Obama said last month he would be delaying much-anticipated changes
to the nation's deportation policy in hopes the House would act on
passing comprehensive immigration before this August's legislative
recess, which is seen as the last practical window for passing a
bill under this Congress.
[to top of second column]
"If there were doubts before, this is sort of the lid to put on it.
We now need the president to act," said Eddie Carmona, campaign
manager for PICO National Network's Campaign for Citizenship.
Obama, speaking at a fundraiser on Wednesday, rejected the view that
Cantor's loss spelled the end of immigration reform.
"It's interesting to listen to the pundits and the analysts and some
of the conventional wisdom talks about how the politics of
immigration reform seem impossible now. I fundamentally reject
that," Obama said.
(Editing by Peter Cooney and Eric Walsh)
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