Snow blower sales have spiked in Hell, as House Majority Leader and Tea Party favorite Eric Cantor, a man who regularly butts heads with Speaker John Boehner over the Speaker not being conservative enough, has now flipped so hard on immigration it threatens to reverse the Earth’s magnetic poles.
As reported by The Huffington Post, Cantor now believes that “Dreamers,” the children of illegal immigrants brought to the US through no fault of their own, should be given legal residence and a path to citizenship. In a speech before the American Enterprise Institute, he said:
“A good place to start is with the kids. One of the great founding principles of our country was that children would not be punished for the mistakes of their parents. It is time to provide an opportunity for legal residence and citizenship for those who were brought to this country as children and who know no other home.”
This represents a monumental shift in policy from the Republican norm of the past several years, where conservatives and Tea Partiers alike derided any attempt to embrace the unwitting children of illegal immigrants as “socialism” and “a path to amnesty,” as if such a path were something everyone already just knew was totally insane.
Cantor himself couldn’t have possibly moved further from his previous positions. He’s voted for a border wall with Mexico, and against education, health, and welfare benefits. He sports a near-perfect rating from the hard-right U.S. Border Control organization (they’re like the NRA of immigration … ) for his previous sealed-borders, hardline stance against immigration — a record they will certainly consider tarnished after this latest announcement.
Cantor was quick to say that any reforms to immigration will be “conservative,” no doubt an attempt to placate the fanatics in his own party. The overall shift in position, however, is extremely transparent as the GOP attempts to recover ground in minority an immigrant populations. This is extremely important to the future survival of the Republican party, as more than 80 percent voted for President Obama in 2012 and they will comprise the majority of the U.S. population as soon as 2050.
The conservative media seems to be embracing Cantor’s flip-flop, perhaps aware of the necessity of such a move. Some are already hailing his “bold”new stance — Fox News in particular tip-toes around the issue and speaks of the hope of grand compromise that would allow these poor, beleaguered children to stay, as if they themselves hadn’t been trying to pack the bags for the last decade.
The right-leaning Washington Times even weighed in, comparing Cantor’s language to the progressive vision of Teddy Roosevelt and even begrudgingly noting that Cantor seems to also have lifted some of his new language straight from President Obama.
Maybe he’s finally figured out that Obama knows the score when it comes to immigration? One can only hope.