Eric Cantor seems to have moved more to the middle on immigration, according to prepared remarks the House majority leader will deliver Tuesday at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington conservative think tank.
Cantor has always been in favor of giving visas to highly skilled immigrants educated in America, but today he takes it a step further, calling for legal residence and citizenship for children brought here illegally by their parents and a guest-worker program.
Cantor also says to stop making immigration a wedge issue.
"While we are a nation that allows anyone to start anew, we are also a nation of laws, and that's what makes tackling the issue of immigration reform so difficult," Cantor will say, according to prepared remarks. "In looking to solve this problem soon, we must balance respect for the rule of law and respect for those waiting to enter this country legally, with care for the people and families, most of whom just want to make a better life, and contribute to America.
"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. I'm pleased that many of my colleagues in both chambers of Congress on both sides of the aisle have begun work in good faith to address these issues. And I'm pleased these discussions make border security, employment verification and creating a workable guest worker program an immediate priority. It's the right thing to do for our families, for our security, and for our economy.
"There are some who would rather avoid fixing the problem in order to save this as a political issue. I reject this notion and call on the President to help lead us towards a bipartisan solution rather than encourage the common political divisions of the past."
Cantor does not provide any specifics in his speech and was never too enamored with the DREAM Act, which would provide a pathway to citizenship for children brought to the U.S. illegally back in 2010.
However, his position today seems to indicate that the man, who controls the legislation that makes it to the House floor, is open to making illegal-immigrant minors full citizens. The key will be for what price.
This is also significant because House Speaker John Boehner declined today to explicitly back a pathway to citizenship similar to what Marco Rubio proposed last week.