The lesson of Eric Cantor: Republicans can't win on immigration

Often what happens is that the immigration debate is used as a proxy for whether Republicans care about Latinos. That’s exactly how Democrats frame the issue each time Republicans vote down reform legislation. If Republicans don’t partner with the left on immigration reform, they get crushed as being anti-Latino.

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And if Republicans do support immigration reform? It hurts them politically at both an individual and party level.

If immigration reform makes immigrant voting blocs larger without making them more Republican, GOP reformers become like the store owner who loses money on every sale but hopes to make it up on volume.

And thanks to the opposition of many conservative primary voters to such legislation, Republicans like Cantor who try to show even limited support for immigration reform can easily find their stores under new ownership.

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