February 1, 2017: A local congressman said he believes that President Donald Trump will do the right thing when it comes to supporting undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children.
Rep. David Valadao (R-Tulare) was a guest on “The Richard Beene Show” on Wednesday, and said that he believed that Trump would not change the law that could help an estimated 50,000 people in the Central Valley earn U.S. residency.
“We all know that President Trump has been pretty strong on immigration,” Valadao told Richard Beene. “He’s been very vocal on this issue. I have not seen anything specific that says he will pull back on (the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). I’m actually hoping that he will be supportive of this and that we have an opportunity to move forward.
Valadao, who represents the 21st Congressional District, is lending his support to a bill authored by Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colorado) that provide greater protections to those individuals.
“I think legislation is warranted here,” said Valadao, adding that a presidential executive order could wipe out residency pathways to thousands of Central Valley residents who have followed the rules to obtain permanent U.S. residency.
“I haven’t seen any specifics from this president or the administration on DACA,” Valadao said. “I haven’t seen anything hard that says he’s going to pull this back. In fact, I kind of believe the opposite. I think he may be a little bit more understanding than people give him credit for.”
The legislation, entitled the Bridge Act, was originally introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) would provide protected status and a three-year work authorization for children and veterans who were brought here illegally.
During the interview, Valadao also touched on the first days of Trump’s presidency, including the president’s first immigration-related executive order.
“Obviously, I’m not thrilled with how it was rolled out, but I’ve always been concerned, especially with the refugee stuff going on and with who was coming in, and I’ve always believed we need to strengthen that,” said Valadao, adding that seven countries selected for the immigration ban were selected by President Obama’s administration. “I guess the rollout wasn’t what I preferred and we have to be very careful.”
Valadao said the number of people impacted by the legislation covers Kings, Tulare, Fresno and Kern counties.
To listen to the interview please click here