Idaho Congressman Takes Lead on Immigration Issue

Republican Raul Labrador, a congressman from Idaho, is starting to work with his party to develop a consensus on the issue of immigration reform, the Coeur d’Alene Press reports.

Labrador, a favorite of the tea party movement, is using his unique experience with immigration to kick start meetings with conservative groups and other members of Congress. He was born in Puerto Rico and worked as an immigration lawyer for 15 years before winning a seat in Congress.

“There’s not a lot of people with my background and experience here,” Labrador told the publication. “You want to find an area where you can contribute.”

His ultimate goal is get the GOP to collectively come up with a feasible plan and, thus a realistic solution to the immigration issue facing the nation. He wants his party to be seen as a party for legal immigration, not anti-immigration. Labrador doesn’t support citizenship amnesty for those currently living in the country illegally, but he is not in favor of simply closing the border.

According to the Spokesman-Review, Idaho lawmakers killed a strict immigration bill proposed by state Senator Mike Jorgenson in March 2010. The law sought to penalize companies that hired illegal workers and require driver’s license tests to be in English.