Recently, Rep. Jeff Denham of Turlock became the first Republican to formally endorse a comprehensive immigration bill introduced by House Democrats.
In the meantime, Denham’s Republican colleague, David Valadao, was doing just about everything he could to show support for immigration reform — short of signing on as a co-sponsor of the bill.
On Wednesday, Valadao changed that when he joined Denham and Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen as the third Republican to sign on as a bill co-sponsor.
The 1,137-page House bill includes a pathway to legal status and, potentially, eventual U.S. citizenship for immigrants currently in this country without authorization. It also includes myriad other provisions, including border security measures, an agricultural worker program, employment verification and more.
Supporters of comprehensive immigration reform say at least 28 Republicans have publicly expressed support for a path to citizenship — but only Denham, Ros-Lehtinen and now Valadao have put their name on a bill that would make that a reality.
In a Wednesday news release, Valadao said he has been “working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find common ground on the issue of immigration reform.”
By supporting the legislation, he said, “I am strengthening my message: addressing immigration reform in the House cannot wait. I am serious about making real progress and will remain committed to doing whatever it takes to repair our broken immigration system.”