House majority leader Eric Cantor has found himself at the center of the debate over immigration reform and seems unable to win whichever way he turns; events at the State Capitol saw him come under fire from advocates on both the left and the right of politics.
The 7th District Republican has become an increasing focus of the national immigration reform debate, with advocates for reform seeing him as an obstacle to their goal; on the other side, he has been accused of supporting granting amnesty to undocumented immigrants by his district primary opponent. Democrat Luis Gutierrez from Illinois has appeared with CASA de Virginia representatives, which is the same group that has brought the debate literally right to Cantor’s own doorstep in Northern Virginia and in Glen Allen.
Gutierrez told an audience, which included immigrants facing deportation, that Cantor needs to help put the immigration reform bill up to the vote. “We’re here because the majority leader, Eric Cantor, controls the agenda of the Congress of the United States,” Gutierrez said. “And we have come here to say … stop being an obstacle. Stop being in the way.”
The Senate passed a comprehensive bill on immigration reform in June 2013. The House of Representatives would prefer a more piecemeal approach to the issue, with Cantor focusing on the immigrant children who came to the United States when they were underage. He has been attacked by Republican rival Dave Brat, who has accused him of representing corporations looking for cheap labor rather than ordinary Americans.