Local politicians weigh in on immigration reform issue

Local politicians weigh in on immigration reform issue »Play Video

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - Local politicians are weighing in on immigration reform, amid reports that Congress won't pass any comprehensive bills on the issue this year.

There are also reports that President Barack Obama is seeking legal options for potential executive actions in regards to the longtime issue, prompting some valley politicians to speak out.
"This is a scary point, because the problem with our immigration system today is that we don't have laws that work," said Rep. David Valadao of Hanford. "Someone legislating from one desk with one pen is not a good solution to this.
"One person in a closed-door room is not how you pass good law," he added.
Valadao's current opponent in the 21st district congressional race, Democrat Amanda Renteria, said although the freshman congressman became the third House Republican last year to favor comprehensive immigration reform, he has not done enough to push the issue forward.
"I think he's said to a lot of folks he's doing everything he can for immigration reform," Renteria said. "It's a little bit disappointing for me to see where immigration reform is now and what Congressman Valadao could have done on a bill that is supported all around by farmers, families, faith leaders, everyone here in the Central Valley."
Last week, new House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy spoke with Eyewitness News on the issue.
"You first have to secure the border," McCarthy said. "There's laws in place right now that if you enact them, or uphold them, it can secure the border."
Local immigration reform activists spoke out on Wednesday at a protest outside of McCarthy's office.
"They don't have the political courage. They don't have what it takes," said Arvin City Councilman Jose Gurrola Jr. "Even a high school student know you can't lock your doors on your constituents. Even a 20-year-old council member knows not to turn your backs on your constituents.
"The votes are there. They're just scared for some reason," he added.