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LABRADOR LEAVES "GROUP OF EIGHT" IMMIGRATION TALKS

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-ID), a member of the bipartisan “Group of Eight” House members who are negotiating an immigration reform bill, decided to leave the group today when Members couldn’t satisfactorily resolve the issue of who would be responsible for the health care costs of undocumented illegal immigrants.

Up until recently, the “Group of Eight” had an agreement in principle that illegal immigrants would be responsible for their own health care costs, principally through requiring them to purchase health insurance.  When it became clear today that the disputes that arose during the drafting of language to incorporate that agreement could not be resolved, Rep. Labrador decided to leave the talks.

“I have tremendous respect for the members of the bipartisan group who have been working with me to fix our broken immigration system,” said Rep. Labrador, “But after today’s meeting, the framework of the bill has changed in a way that I can no longer support.  Like most Americans, I believe that health care is first and foremost a personal responsibility. While I will no longer be part of the bipartisan 'Group of Eight' House negotiators, I will not abandon my efforts to modernize our broken immigration system by securing our borders and creating a workable guest worker program.  I remain hopeful that the House can pass a bill around these principles and I will keep fighting to make it happen.”