Labrador on Meet the Press: 'If We Don't Do [Immigration Reform] Right, It Could Be the Death of the Republican Party'

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Idaho Republican Rep. Raul Labrador was on NBC again this morning—his sixth time, more appearances than some of the network's failed sitcoms.

Appearing on NBC's Meet the Press, Labrador was initially booked on the news program to talk about immigration reform, but the two-term U.S. House member also talked about last week's unexpected White House announcement that a key provision of the Affordable Care Act, a requirement for large businesses to secure health coverage for their employers, would be delayed until 2015.

"The Obama Administration wants you to believe that they're listening to the business owners and I give them a little bit of credit for that," said Labrador. "But the question is: What part of Obamacare actually works? They've already conceded on other points that Obamacare is not working. Now they have to do it on the employer mandate. Pretty soon they're going to have to have some questions on the individual mandates."

On immigration reform, Labrador was cautiously optimistic that a reform measure would be passed through the House.

"My concern with the Senate bill is that they put the legalization of 11 million people ahead of security. I think the American people are not going to stand for that," said Labrador. "This [Obama] administration is actually deciding when and where to enforce the law. That's what some of us in the House are concerned about. I can tell you that [Secretary of Homeland Security] Janet Napolitano has already said the border is secure. So what's going to happen is that we're going to give legalization to 11 million people and Janet Napolitano is going to come to Congress and say the border is already secure and nothing else needs to happen."

When the New York Times' David Brooks challenged Labrador with giving "an intellectually weak case" against the Senate's immigration reform bill, the Idaho congressman said, "What I just heard is totally ridiculous."

"For somebody to sit here on national TV and say it's a weak argument for us to argue that we want 90 percent security, I think it's beyond the pale," said Labrador. "There are a lot of things we could do to make this law stronger."

But Brooks pushed back again.

"This law is better than the current law. Generally, when the law is better than what we've got, you want to support that," said Brooks.

Labrador insisted that, "If we don't do this right, it could be the death of the Republican Party."

"If we don't do it right, this is what is going to happen: 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, the people who are offering more, that are offering a faster path to citizenship. I think we lose on both grounds if we don't do it right," said Labrador.

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