Idaho’s 1st District Republican Congressman Raul Labrador’s essay appeared in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times.
A leading GOP advocate of reform, Labrador wrote that successful reform “must not reward” an estimated 11 million people here illegally and “must prevent another wave of illegal immigrants who will demand that we legalize their status 10 or 20 years from now.”
Of the naturalization process for those here illegally, Labrador wrote:
“To qualify for such a program, the undocumented must come out of the shadows, register and undergo thorough background checks. They must pay all taxes owed, and pay a fine. They must know English and remain employed and not become a financial burden to American taxpayers. Those who have committed serious crimes or who do not willingly come forward will not be eligible for the program.
“The legislation should not provide a special pathway to citizenship for the millions who have willfully violated our immigration laws. Those who entered the U.S. as children, through no fault of their own, will be allowed to have a pathway to citizenship. But those who entered illegally as adults will only be allowed to participate in the new and improved guest worker and visa programs.”
The Times added a correction after the op-ed was published, regarding Labrador’s statement that immigrants “must know English.”
“A March 31 Op-Ed about conservative prerequisites for immigration reform said that undocumented immigrants in the U.S. must know English to qualify for normalization of their legal status. They must learn English.”