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Richardson: Labrador, three others key to immigration reform

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, addressing statehouse reporters from across the country this morning at the Capitolbeat conference in Phoenix, said he thinks the election of four Hispanic Republicans to Congress – including Idaho Congressman-elect Raul Labrador – is a promising sign for bipartisan immigration reform in the coming Congress. Richardson, who is Hispanic and who served in Congress for a decade and a half before becoming governor, said, “I think the chances are improved. There could be some areas of bipartisanship and the ability to get something done.”

He and other border-state governors have struggled with the immigration issue, dealing regularly with border violence and lawlessness. “You never win any votes dealing with this immigration,” Richardson said. “You know, Ronald Reagan pardoned 2 million immigrants. … Unless there’s bipartisanship, there will not be a comprehensive immigration bill.”

Richardson, a Democrat, a second-term governor, and former energy secretary and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said, “My hope is the newly elected Hispanic Republicans … move beyond their campaign rhetoric, which was mostly anti-immigrant, and become … leaders.” He said, “I see them as potential linchpins of a bipartisan compromise agreement.”


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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