Jeff Denham is running again for the California District 10 Congressional seat. I do not pretend to disagree with many of his positions because, honesty, I am willfully and blissfully unaware of many, if not 99 percent of them. A quick glance of his bill sponsorship and co-sponsorship history leaves very little to oppose as well as to champion. A citizen, as is our luxury in our great nation, need only be aware and act on those issues that catch his or her interest and make a difference in his/her day-to-day life; that is, those things that rub them the wrong way. Mine, although it may not be yours, and very likely very far from yours, is immigration.
Jeff Denham’s views, and (most importantly) his policy positions with regards to immigration are, in my view, misdirected, out of step with his district, and, at least, hypocritical. Denham was a co-sponsor of H.R.15 in the 113th Congress (2013-2014). The name of the bill was “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act,” an innocuous enough title. Summary of the bill by the Congressional Research Service reads as follows: “States that passage of this Act recognizes that the primary tenets of its success depend on securing U.S. sovereignty and establishing a coherent and just system for integrating those who seek to join American society…[The primary] border security goal is to gain situational awareness and operational control of high traffic areas and operational control along the Southwest border of the United States. Again, harmless, and above all senseless for anyone to oppose this bill on its face. Who in their right mind would not want to protect our country from those that would attempt to do it harm? Why would you defend immigrants who’s first act on American soil is to break the law and cross over illegally, especially the southern border?
The devil, if there is a devil in this debate, is in the details. I don’t know Jeff Denham. I don't care to know the man if only for the simple fact that as I get older I tend to not want to meet anybody. I don’t believe there is a devil in this fight, only policy actions and opinions that matter.
The policy implications of the Congressman’s beliefs are dire for the Latino immigrant and farming community of our area. I believe he is out of touch with the needs and general beliefs of this district. H.R. 15, as was written, would: “prohibit(s) the [HSA] Secretary from processing applications for registered provisional immigrant status (RPI) until the Secretary has submitted to Congress the notice of commencement of implementation of the Comprehensive Southern Border Security Strategy and the Southern Border Fencing Strategy.” That is, no undocumented immigrant currently in the U.S could begin the process of applying for a green card until a southern border fence is accepted and implemented strategy or until the majority of both chambers of Congress and the President agree on the definition of Comprehensive.
I’m not sure, but I don’t think our farms and our residents can wait that long. Farmers need the labor and people need work. Fruits, nut, and vegetables don’t pick themselves...
Our agricultural industry depends on the great amount of skill and talent that we have plenty of in this great valley of ours. I believe we need to protect this industry. That means protecting and increasing the industry’s access to inexpensive, competitive labor, not weakening it. Jeff Denham, if given his druthers, would so strangle farm access to a fluid labor market that it would make it close to impossible for farmers to compete with other industries vying for limited power (political and otherwise) and finite commodities.
— Armando Mota