Congressman Raúl Labrador was on NPR yesterday morning. He is one of the point men for the Republicans on the issue of immigration reform. As strange as it might sound, I actually agreed with him when he started to explain his position.
REP. RAUL LABRADOR: The people that came here illegally, knowingly, I don't think they should have a path to citizenship. If you knowingly violated our law, you violated our sovereignty, I think we should normalize your status, but we should not give you a pathway to citizenship. Now, there's going to be...
At this point, he was interrupted by one of the hosts, Mr. Steve Inskeep, for a clarification.
I don't see as there is really any choice but to offer a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. There isn't really any such thing as a one-size-fits-all law. With this in mind, there needs to at least be the possibility of citizenship for the undocumented immigrants.
But I could debate the finer points of immigration laws with Congressman Labrador for hours, but that wouldn't get me to the root of his dishonesty on this subject.
Later in the program Congressman Labrador said that his wasn't political for the Republicans. They weren't going to get any political benefit out of it at all. I have highlighted a part of his statement that you should pay close attention to.
LABRADOR: You know, I don't think voting should even be part of the question. These are people that violated our laws. Why are we even talking about them having the ability to vote? This is not about politics. In fact, as Republicans, we need to understand that we're not going to get any benefit from fixing the immigration system. I think the Democrats, at this point, because you have the president who is in power, are going to get all the accolades. We just need to do it because it's the right thing to do.
He was then ask a question by Mr. Inskeep to clarify whether he really differed from the Democrats and President Obama or whether he was merely stating things differently. Again, I highlighted the part that you should pay attention to.
LABRADOR: I hope it's not significantly different, but it might be, because the question that I have for the president and for some Democrats is whether they want a political victory or a policy victory? If they want a political victory they're going to draw a fine red line and they're going to say, either pathway to citizenship or nothing else. They know that the Republicans in the House are not going to be able to vote for that, and then they're going to be able to beat us over the head in 2014 and say look, the Republicans don't like immigrants, which is not true. We want to face this problem in the House of Representatives. We have a large majority of the House of Representatives that wants to do something right now.
And right there is where he contradicts himself in two back to back statements. First he says that it can't be about politics because the Democrats are going to get all the benefit, then he says that the Republicans will take a beating if they don't get an immigration bill passed.
Congressman Labrador, you are trying to misrepresent your views to the people. This is absolutely about politics for the Republicans. Democrats have been supporting immigration reform for quite some time now. We have been standing behind the DREAM act, comprehensive immigration reform, and a fair solution to our immigration problem for quite some time while the Republicans were protesting for a bigger wall between the United States and Mexico. Republican governors have been trying to take the law into their own hands and pass immigration laws so strict even the American people can't adequately document their citizenship.
No, this is all about politics for the Republicans. This is about their loss in the 2012 elections and their hope to regain significance on the back of people that they have despised for decades.