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Eye On Boise

Mon., Dec. 7, 2009, 11:21 p.m.

Labrador fires back at Jorgenson

Rep. Raul Labrador fired back at Sen. Mike Jorgenson's criticisms of him on immigration, saying he's working with Rep. Phil Hart on an immigration bill now that "would actually penalize employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens," among other provisions. Jorgenson criticized Labrador for voting against SB 1157 in 2007, a successful bill sponsored by Sen. John McGee to require anyone receiving public benefits in Idaho to first prove legal residency; the bill passed the House on a 47-21 vote. "The problem with that bill was the report at the time was that it was not going to do anything, and it was going to cost the state money," Labrador said. "The federal law already said that you cannot give benefits to illegal aliens. So it was a law that was not necessary."

Jorgenson also said, "He has not been supportive on anything that would enforce immigration in the state of Idaho. ... The fact that he represents and works for industries that are pro-amnesty is wrong."

Labrador responded, "That's the problem with Jorgenson right now, is that he has no clout in the Senate, he killed his own bill in his own committee by not knowing what the bill included, and then he blames other people for his ineptitude." Labrador said Jorgenson wanted to require Idaho employers to use the "e-Verify" system to screen potential employees for legal residency, but "that's a violation of the federal law, of the e-Verify law. The e-Verify says that you cannot use it for screening. ... E-Verify is supposed to be once you hire an employee."

Labrador said he thinks the dispute between the two lawmakers goes back to the fight over the gas tax in last year's legislative session, when Labrador was an outspoken opponent of Gov. Butch Otter's proposal to raise the tax to fund road work. "Jorgenson was one of the great supporters of the gas tax, and he was upset, very upset when we could not pass a gas tax in the House," Labrador said. "And he and some of his friends had decided that this is the way to get back at me because he wanted to raise taxes in the middle of a recession and I would not support that." Click below to read Jorgenson's full press release calling on Labrador to withdraw from the congressional race.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                          CONTACT: Mike Jorgenson
December 7, 2009                           

Labrador Wrong For Idaho
Idaho Families Can’t Afford Raul’s Liberal Plans

Coeur d’Alene, ID – On Monday, Senator Mike Jorgenson (R-Hayden) called on Raul Labrador to withdraw from the 1st Congressional race.   

"Raul Labrador is an immigration attorney and admits to defending illegal immigrants in his law practice. He has been on retainer as an immigration attorney to the Idaho industries that support a "free flow of labor across America's sovereign borders" while at the same time serving as an Idaho State Representative. Labrador has defended individuals who have smuggled illegal immigrants into the United States and who have committed document fraud. He voted to give illegal immigrants Idaho taxpayer funded benefits, supported several Congressional bills that would grant the precious gift of citizenship to people who are residing in our country illegally and has fought to keep illegal immigrants in Idaho by refusing to support a bill with mandatory employment verification,” Jorgenson said.  “His pro–illegal immigrant stances are wrong for Idaho taxpayers and Idaho’s unemployed.”

Jorgenson continued, “In this economy Idaho families can’t afford Labrador’s liberal plans.  Illegal immigrants are costing Idaho taxpayers approximately $200 million per year–-more than the Idaho state budget deficit. Labrador will represent the industries in Idaho who rely on a constant flow of illegal aliens for their work force.”
“We need someone in Congress who will vote to uphold federal immigration law and deny any path to citizenship to those who have entered and resided in the United States and Idaho illegally. Raul Labrador will act against the will of the citizens of Idaho if elected at the expense of Idaho taxpayers and Idaho's unemployed,” concluded Jorgenson.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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