Idaho Republican Congressman Raul Labrador is calling for more border security after he took a tour of the border (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty)

Labrador leaves House immigration group, says he will still pursue reform

Idaho Republican Congressman Raul Labrador said he could not come to an agreement with a bipartisan House group known as the “Group of Eight,” saying the breaking point was over “health care issues” in the immigration reform bill, so he will no longer be part of the group. Labrador says, however, he will introduce his own immigration legislation in the House.

“I think my exit just means that I couldn’t agree with them on language – I don’t think it means anything for immigration reform,” the Republican told reporters. Labrador made his decision after the Group met this afternoon.

Labrador is seen as a key Republican in the House when it comes to championing immigration reform.  The conservative Puerto Rican has practiced immigration law. Today he said he still thinks “we will have an immigration product come through the House of Representatives through the Judiciary Committee.”

But unlike the Senate which introduced a sweeping bill, House Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte and now Labrador say they will introduce “piecemeal” legislation.

However, Florida Republican Congressman Mario Díaz-Balart, who is part of the Group of 8 in the House, said to reporters he was optimistic the bipartisan group had found a way forward.

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