Conservative columnist David Brooks on Sunday explained to Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-ID) why he and other House Republicans were making a mistake by opposing comprehensive immigration reform over a path to citizenship.
"You know, I've seen a lot of intellectually weak cases in this town, and I have rarely seen as intellectually weak a case as the case against the Senate immigration bill," Brooks said during a panel segment with Labrador on NBC News. "The Republicans say they want to reduce illegal immigration. The Congressional Budget Office says the Senate bill will reduce it by a third to a half. They say they want economic growth, all the top conservative economists say it will produce economic growth. They say they want to reduce the debt, the CBO says it will reduce the debt."
"All the big major objectives the Republicans say they stand for, the Senate bill will do," he added. "The other tertiary issues, whether we get 80 percent or 90 percent, compared to the big things this bill does, they're minuscule."
Labrador, however, shot back that Brooks' assertion was "totally ridiculous" because "every five years, we're going to have to do another Reagan amnesty."
"For somebody to sit here on national TV and say it's a weak argument for us to argue we want something like 90 percent, I think it's actually beyond the pale," Labrador declared. "There's a lot of other things we can do to make this law stronger."
"The CBO said it would reduce it by a third to 50 percent and what I hear the congressman saying is he won't support it unless it's 100 percent because we'd have to go back and do a Reagan," Brooks observed.
"Don't put words in my mouth!" Labrador exclaimed.
"Okay, well let me say that the current law produces this X much illegal immigration, this [new] law cuts it significantly," Brooks continued. "It's better than the current law. Generally when something is better than what we got, generally you want to support that thing."