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Raul Labrador Leaves House Immigration Reform 'Group of Eight'

First Posted: Jun 06, 2013 02:32 PM EDT

Conservative House Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho, a staunch opponent of immigration reform and a path to citizenship for many of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country, said he would no longer be a part of the bipartisan group working toward a House version of the reform bill.

Labrador said he disagreed with his colleagues over health care issues, though he has expressed concerns over the path to citizenship, which he calls "amnesty," as well as other measures. For his part, Labrador played down the schism.

"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," he said on Wednesday. Labrador also added that he would put together his own immigration reform bill, though that legislation may come in the form of smaller piecemeal bills, each of which deal with one particular issue, as opposed to the "comprehensive" approach favored by reform advocates and progressives.

Other House members intend to move on without Labrador's input. His fellow Republican, Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida said he believed the group of Representatives Labrador left behind may have now found a way forward on immigration reform. Without Labrador's dissent, it is likely the other members of the "Group of Eight," are more amenable to compromise.

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