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Rep. Labrador: Bad immigration bill could be ‘the death’ of the GOP

Passing a bad immigration reform bill could politically damage the GOP, one prominent Hispanic Republican said Sunday morning.

“If we don’t do it right, politically it’s going to be the death of the Republican Party,” Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), a leading GOP voice on immigration reform, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Labrador was asked to respond to claims from GOP proponents of immigration reform that failing to pass a bill would cost the party the support of Hispanic voters.

{mosads}Labrador warned that the GOP could lose its base by backing a bill that failed to secure the border. 

“If we do it right I think it’s going to be good for us,” Labrador said on Meet the Press. “But if we don’t do it right what’s going to happen is 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 at this point to the people that are offering more, that are offering a faster pathway to citizenship.

“I think we lose on both grounds if we don’t do it right,” Labrador said.

The Tea Party favorite and former immigration attorney has been a leading advocate for reform, but in early June left a bipartisan House group working on the issue after he said they failed to reach a consensus on how to keep illegal immigrants from receiving government benefits.

Labrador has also been a sharp critic of the Senate passed immigration bill, saying it doesn’t do enough to secure the border and fails to offer enough visas for high-skilled workers to enter the U.S. 

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has said the Senate bill is dead on arrival, waiting instead for a House measure on immigration reform. Boehner though has cautioned that he will not move a bill that lacks the support of a majority of the GOP conference.

Tags Boehner John Boehner

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