California Rep. LaMalfa makes ‘pivot’ on
January 09, 2014
Tim Hearden/Capital Press U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa (left), R-Calif.,
talks with Vina, Calif., rancher Darrell Wood during a
cattlemen’s dinner and auction Jan. 4 in Red Bluff, Calif.
LaMalfa said he believes there’s enough political will in
Congress to pass immigration reform this year. Buy this photo
Conservative Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif., said he has made a
"pivot" with regard to immigration reform and now thinks it
should be done soon. He said there may finally be political will
in Congress to pass a series of bills.
RED BLUFF, Calif. — A conservative California congressman says
he has made a “pivot” with regard to immigration reform and now
believes it should be done soon.
Rep. Doug LaMalfa, a rice farmer and member of the House of
Representatives’ agriculture committee, adds he believes there
may finally be enough political will in Congress to pass a
series of targeted reforms.
LaMalfa said he has been swayed by conversations with farmers –
particularly in the nursery industry – who have suffered through
labor shortages in recent years.
“Certainly we’ve had some very spirited conversations about how
tough it is on them,” the freshman congressman said while
appearing at a recent cattlemen’s dinner here. “It’s been those
conversations that have made me kind of pivot and say we’ve got
to get something done.”
LaMalfa noted that while there’s been “a lot of noise about”
immigration reform, polls still show it low on a list of
priorities for American voters. However, he believes there’s a
pressing need to control the borders while also providing a
stable source of workers for farms.
The lawmaker’s comments add to a sense that there’s growing
momentum for immigration reform, which will be one of President
Barack Obama’s priorities in the coming weeks. A comprehensive
bill passed the Senate last year but was rejected in the House,
as conservative Republicans resisted an approach they considered
amnesty for illegal immigrants.
The House is expected to pursue a piecemeal approach that the
chamber’s Democrats hope will adequately address workforce and
human-rights issues affected by long-term congressional inaction
on the issue.
Farm groups including the California Farm Bureau Federation and
California Strawberry Commission have been loud advocates for
reforms. Strawberry growers took part in a rally with Obama in
November, arguing a lack of reforms put their farms and
surrounding communities at risk.
On other issues, LaMalfa:
• Said he strongly disagreed with a California Supreme Court
ruling allowing an illegal immigrant to practice law in the
state. An immigrant from Mexico, Sergio Garcia has been living
in the country for nearly two decades, according to CNN.
• Said he hopes the current drought in California will “wake up”
city dwellers to the needs of farmers. He said he would be in
favor of a water bond that focuses on storage “rather than
Rep. Doug LaMalfa: http://lamalfa.house.gov
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