Politics

Cantor Wants Youth Amnesty Deal With Obama

Photo of Neil Munro
Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

GOP Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor called for a compromise immigration deal with President Barack Obama during a campaign interview with a local Virginia TV station.

“I have told the president, there are some things we can work on together,” he said in the WTVR interview.

“We can work on the border security bill together, we can work on something like the kids,” he said referring to his proposal to offer some undetermined variety of amnesty to the children and youths of millions of parents who entered the country illegally.

“So far, the president has just insisted that it’s all or nothing, [it is] my way or the highway,” Cantor complained. “That’s not going to happen,” he added.

But President Barack Obama is willing to make a deal, says one White House advisor, Rev. Richard Ryscavage.

Ryscavage is a Jesuit priest, a sociology and anthropology professor at Fairfield University, the director of the university’s Center for Faith and Public Life and a member of a new White House panel on immigration.

A compromise is “what they’re preparing for, that’s what they think is going to happen, so they’re [publicly] asking for a lot of stuff that privately they don’t think they’re going to get” in a final deal, he told The Daily Caller June 6.

The White House’s domestic policy director, Cecilia Munoz, is willing to compromise, said Ryscavage, who works with administration officials on immigration issues. “Cecilia even knows that” the White House must compromise, he said.

Before she took the job at the White House, Munoz was a top leader at the ethnic advocacy group, La Raza.

White House officials are pushing for a larger amnesty than they expect to get, he said.

But, he added, they don’t want to deal with the need for better anti-fraud measures. “They don’t want to go into that, because they don’t believe anyone commits fraud,” he told TheDC.

Cantor’s June 6 offer of a youth amnesty comes during the final days of a surprisingly close primary race, where his rival — Dave Brat, an economics professor — has slammed him as an unwavering ally of big business.

A June 2 poll commissioned by the Daily Caller showed Cantor with only 52 percent support, and his rival at 40 percent support with 9 percent undecided. The poll of 583 likely GOP primary voters was conducted by Vox Populi.

That’s a narrower margin than a May 28 poll of 400 primary voters by McLaughlin and Associates, which gave Cantor a 34 point lead, 62 percent to 28 percent. That poll was commissioned by Cantor’s reelection campaign.

Brat is using Cantor’s advocacy for an immigration deal to win support from the Seventh District’s voters, who oppose an amnesty of a legalization by roughly three to one.