Republican Valadao joins Democrats in immigration bill

FRESNO, California

Congressman David Valadao became only the third Republican member of Congress to co-sponsor the Democrats bill. H.R. 15.

Valadao told Action News he's endorsed the immigration bill because it's the right thing to do.

"Our current laws are broken, they have to be fixed. As long as I can be part of fixing the system and insuring that we have a working guest worker program a working visa system I think it's a good move."

Some local Republican leaders, like Lincoln Club President Tal Cloud support Valadao, and his decision to join Republican Congressman Jeff Denham in supporting the measure.

"They are showing the Republican Party wants to make a difference on immigration and they need to do something."

Both Denham and Valadao joined Democrats at the same time polls show most Valley Republicans support immigration reform.

Political Science Professor Tom Holyoke believes the two Republicans may need to support immigration reform if they want to stay in office.

"Both Valadao and Denham are going to be in difficult fights in 2014 and the reason for that both Denham and Valadao have districts with a substantial Latino population and it looks like there's a good chance they are going to be facing Latino opponents in fact in Valadao's case that's already guaranteed."

Democrat Amanda Renteria is expected to be a strong contender for Valadao's congressional seat. Holyoke says both Valadao and Denham are seen as vulnerable because Democrats have a majority in voter registrations in both districts.

"So Democrats are going to put enormous resources into those two districts next year they are going to make a huge effort to take those districts back as part of their effort to recapture the majority from the Republicans."

But, both men defeated Latino Democrats in the last election. Valadao has even won praise from the United Farm Workers Union. President Arturo Rodriguez commended Valadao for "doing the right thing and supporting H.R. 15, the immigration reform bill."

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