Eric Cantor, the House majority leader who lost his seat in a shock Republican primary result in Virginia last week, has defended his opinions on the revision of immigration laws in the United States while acknowledging that his position angered a lot of people on both sides of the political fence.
Cantor, who will be stepping down as the second-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, claims that he has always been a supporter of giving specific undocumented child immigrants legal status. He also admits to being against an attempt to more broadly rewrite immigration laws via the comprehensive bill passed by the US Senate, which is controlled by the Democrats, in 2013.
“Did that infuriate folks on both sides? Sure,” Cantor admitted during an interview with This Week on ABC. “But it is the principled position. I think an incremental reform approach to immigration is what we need.” On the State of the Union program on CNN, Cantor pointed out that his views on immigration legislation have remained consistent. “I’ve always said that I am not for a comprehensive amnesty bill, but I’ve always said that I was for the kids who, through no fault of their own, find themselves here and know no other place as home.”
David Brat, the Tea Party member who defeated Cantor, accused Cantor of supporting the granting of amnesty to undocumented immigrants; however, Senator Lindsey Graham, a known reform supporter who decisively won his primary, says that what defeated Cantor was not being pro-immigration reform but the uncertainty of his position either way.