Labrador to NY Times: Step-By-Step Immigration Reform Isn't Dead

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Core members of the U.S. House Republican majority met privately July 10 to consider pending immigration reform legislation, but when they emerged, they sounded defiant, dismissing the recently-passed U.S. Senate measure.

This morning's New York Times reports that the meeting resulted in key House members indicating they don't "plan to take up anything resembling the Senate bill, which many believe is bad policy and smacks of an amnesty strongly opposed by the conservatives who hold sway over much of the rank and file."

"'Comprehensive' has always been a swear word in the House of Representatives, but having a step-by-step approach that deals with the issues comprehensively, I don't think that's dead," Idaho Republican Rep. Raul Labrador told the Times.

Labrador began his week cautioning his own political party on the July 7 edition of NBC's Meet the Press.

"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," said Labrador. "I think we lose on both grounds if we don't do it right."

Meanwhile, former President George W. Bush made some rare political comments July 10 during a naturalization ceremony at his new presidential center outside of Dallas.

“The laws governing the immigration system aren’t working," said Bush. "I do hope there is a positive resolution to the debate, and I hope during the debate that we keep a benevolent spirit in mind and we understand the contributions that immigrants make to our country.”

But Labrador wasn't kind to the ex-president.

"He's just another voice on this issue," Labrador told the Washington Post. "[House members] are all independent actors here. We're not little kids waiting for someone to tell us how to vote and act."

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