Immigration reform is almost certainly dead on Capitol Hill this year fter after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's unexpected defeat last night in a primary election. After President Obama's re-election, immigration reform was seen as an issue both parties could deal with quickly. Democrats wanted to deliver on promises made to their Latino backers and Republicans wanted to get the issue off the table to avoid reliving the electoral demographic nightmare of 2012.
House GOP leaders said they wouldn't bring up the Gang of Eight bill the Senate passed last year, and Cantor's embrace of even piecemeal proposals was derided by opponent Dave Brat and tea party activists as “amnesty” for undocumented immigrants. Yesterday's result is likely to raise pressure from the left on Obama to use executive authority to act on deportations. The White House has said that Obama asked for a delay of his administration's deportation review until the end of the summer in an effort to give House Republicans space to act on a legislative overhaul. Cantor's stunning loss means there's little Obama can expect from the Hill, where reform advocates were caught trying to figure out what's next.