Representative Raul Labrador (R., Idaho), formerly a member of the House immigration gang, vigorously pushed back today on the idea that it would help Republicans politically if they passed a bill on immigration reform, even if the bill wasn’t perfect.
“If we don’t do it right politically, it’s going to be the death of the Republican party,” Labrador said in an interview with Meet the Press.
“If we do it right, I think it’s going to be good for us,” he continued, “but if we don’t do it right, what’s going to happen is that we’re going to lose our base because we’re still going to have a large number of illegal immigrants coming into the United States, and the Hispanic community is not going to listen to us because they’re going to always listen to at this point to the people that are offering more, that are offering a faster pathway to citizenship, all those things. so I think we lose on both groupds if we don’t do it right.”
Speaking about the Senate’s immigration bill, Labrador expressed concern. “They put the legalization of 11 million people ahead of security,” he said bluntly.
He also said that the current process to enforce a secure border in the Senate bill didn’t satisfy him.
“If you give to this administration the authority to decide when they’re going to enforce the law, how they’re going to enforce the law, and you tell them that it’s okay if they decide if there’s going to be . . . 20,000 border patrol agents or they get to determine when the border is secure, I can tell you that [Department of Homeland Security secretary] Janet Napolitano has already said that the border is secure.”
“So what’s going to happen is that we’re going to give legalization to 11 million people,” he added, “and Janet Napolitano’s going come to Congress and tell us that the border is already secure and nothing else needs to happen.”