A day after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) lost his primary after Dave Brat hammered him on amnesty, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) embraced “immigration reform” on a conference call with Michael Bloomberg’s pro-amnesty group and Grover Norquist.
Paul, a potential 2016 contender, reportedly said that “amnesty is a word that’s trapped us,” and, according to CNN, emphasized, “If you want immigration reform, there has to be openness to compromise.” Earlier on Wednesday, talk radio host Rush Limbaugh declared that when politicians in Washington say “immigration reform” what they really mean is “amnesty.”
“I say everywhere I go, ‘I am for immigration reform,'” Paul said, according to the Wall Street Journal.
This is not the first time Paul has embraced amnesty. As Breitbart News reported, Paul spoke at the University of Chicago earlier this year and told David Axelrod, the director of the school’s Institute for Politics, that he would “expand the work visa program to include” all of the country’s illegal immigrants. Hispanic groups were still not satisfied, calling Paul “offensive” even after he said he favored allowing all of the country’s illegal immigrants to remain in the country.
Paul participated in a monthly call with Bloomberg’s Partnership for a New American Economy and Norquist that seeks to push Congress to pass amnesty legislation this year. Paul diminished the role that amnesty had in Brat’s victory, but Brat only made amnesty the focus of his campaign in the final month. Brat’s attacks even compelled Cantor to send deceptive anti-amnesty mailers to voters in his district.
“The central policy issue in this race has become Cantor’s absolute determination to pass an amnesty bill. Cantor is the No. 1 cheerleader in Congress for amnesty,” Brat declared in an op-ed for the Richmond Times-Dispatch during the last week of the primary. “This is not the Republican way to fix our economy and labor markets.”