Outgoing Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s stunning primary defeat in his home state of Virginia shouldn’t be interpreted as a mandate against immigration reform, casino magnate and GOP donor Sheldon Adelson says.
"If we are led to believe that the results of a local election with 12 percent voter turnout in a single congressional district (one out of 435) with a mere 65,000 votes cast is all that it takes to disrupt a necessary and important national policy debate, then America is in big trouble — not just on this issue, but on a whole range of issues," Adelson wrote
in a passionate defense of immigration reform for Politico magazine.
Instead, the chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. argues, efforts to "complete immigration reform should be led by our party" — and it should start with a process to give work permits to all undocumented immigrants, as well as the chance to get driver's licenses and bank accounts.
"The immigrants here illegally need jobs, want to work, and are willing to take on jobs that are not appealing to many Americans," he wrote.
"Many of them are exploited because of their illegal status in this country," he added.
Adelson writes it isn't "realistic" to expect the United States can deport every one of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants.
"Poll after poll shows the majority of Americans support immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship," he said.
Adelson, who noted his parents were immigrants, said most of those in the United States illegally came for the "same reasons as those who are here legally — a chance to make a better life for themselves and their families."
"The the truth is we are humans first and partisans second," he wrote.
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