The near silence of the Republican Party on the question of family separation at the southern border has been deafening.  Where is the Republican party’s backbone in standing up to Donald Trump?  As importantly, where is its humanity?  This family separation is nothing more than cruelty intended to appeal to the basest instincts of Donald Trump’s political base.

Where is Representative David Valadao on this issue?  Rep. Valadao’s dairy business depends on agricultural workers, as does much of the economic base of California’s 21st Congressional District.  He says he’s been working on immigration, and he has issued a ‘statement’ that mildly opposes the family separation policy. But where, specifically, is the effort?  Where are his votes against Trump’s anti-immigration policies?  Where is his television appearance strongly condemning that nightmarish policy?  Where is his willingness to work across the aisle to address a real problem for his constituents?  If he is trying, he’s clearly failing, which is not surprising, given his party’s irrationality on the issue.

There are very few Californians and almost no one in the Central Valley whose daily lives are not positively affected by immigrants.  From agricultural workers, restaurant staff, day laborers, and child and elder-care providers, immigrants have traditionally taken on some of the more difficult jobs – often at below-market wages, keeping prices lower for consumers and helping the small business owners.

Rep. Valadao knows this and should be leading the way on immigration policy reform.  He’s not.  It’s time for a Democrat in California’s 21st Congressional District. 

Cathleen Jorgensen