“[Immigration has] been off the table for a while but now it’s really never going back on the table,” said a lawmaker close to the House Republican leadership Tuesday night. “No one who wants to be in leadership eventually will ever, ever go for it and likely raise holy hell if it comes up.”
Tea party challenger David Brat campaigned against Cantor on the immigration issue, calling the majority leader “the number one Republican supporter of amnesty.” Brat’s core support came from conservative media figures and outlets that care most deeply about the immigration issue: Breitbart, radio host Laura Ingraham, and writer Mickey Kaus.
“Clearly that’s one of the issues that he lost his race on, I think there’s frustration over a lot of issues, and amnesty should be clearly off the table,” Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp told BuzzFeed.
“Republicans don’t trust the president to enforce the laws, and we had Eric suggesting he could work with him on certain immigration issues,” Huelskamp said. “But I think it’s clear now that anybody who wants to keep their job in the Republican party won’t pass amnesty.”