Labrador’s immigration partner invites illegal immigrant to tonight’s State of the Union

Illinois Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a close partner of Idaho GOP Rep. Raul Labrador on immigration reform, said Monday that he’s invited Gabino Sanchez to President Obama’s State of the Union address tonight.

Sanchez, of South Carolina, is fighting deportation, with assistance from Gutierrez, who has accompanied Sanchez to three Immigration and Customs Enforcement appointments.

Labrador’s office has touted his relationship with Gutierrez,  with the pair being part of a small group working on a bipartisan immigration reform bill in the House.

Washington Post reporter Rosalind Helderman, who visited Idaho last month to write a profile of Labrador, reported on the invitation, which is aimed at highlighting the immigration issue.

In an interview last month with the Pacific Northwest Inlander in Spokane, Guitierrez praised Labrador.

“He understands the issues and realizes immigration is more than just a political or labor market issue. He sees the human side of immigration, the families that are being ripped apart by deportations or the decades it takes for some families to get visas.”

Like Labrador, Guitierrez is of Puerto Rican descent. A former member of the Chicago City Council, he was he first Hispanic elected to Congress from the Midwest, in 1992.



with Gutierrez, a liberal from Chicago.

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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