According to Greg Sargent at the Washington Post, Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) has just officially become the third House Republican to support HR 15 — the House immigration bill that contains a path to citizenship.
In a statement sent to Sargent, Rep. Valadao wrote:
I have been working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find common ground on the issue of immigration reform. Recently, I have focused my efforts on joining with likeminded Republicans in organizing and demonstrating to Republican Leadership broad support within the Party to address immigration reform in the House by the end of the year.
By supporting H.R. 15 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.
Valadao’s announcement follows that of Rep. Jeff Denham, a fellow Californian, and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican from Florida; both came out in support of HR 15 this week. As of today, 187 Democrats and 3 Republicans are supporting the House bill.
In his analysis of Valadao’s move, Sargent noted:
Valadao’s move is not wholly unexpected, given that he inhabits a moderate district with a lot of Latinos. But his insistence that addressing immigration reform “cannot wait” is helpful. It seems like an implicit message to the GOP leadership: We must act this year, and on this bill, if necessary…
The movement among Republicans towards the Dem bill — even if it is only a trickle for now — is interesting, as a reminder that immigration reform can happen if House GOP leaders actually want it to.