A Third Republican To Back Immigration Bill?

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Two Republican lawmakers have broken with leadership and signed onto a broad immigration overhaul backed by Democrats. A third could soon follow.

Rep. David Valadao, who represents a heavily Hispanic swing district in California, said he may endorse the measure.

“If my signing on to it helps move the [process] forward, I’m happy to do that,” Valadao told reporters, according to the Hanford Sentinel, a California news outlet.


This weekend, Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) became the first to back the bill. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who represents the Miami area, joined him on Monday.

Valadao is a natural fit to sign onto the bill. His Central Valley district is 72 percent Latino and he already backs legislation that would allow undocumented youth to earn citizenship if they serve in the military.

“There are a bunch of us getting nervous,” Valadao said, according to the Sentinel. “We do want to see something move forward.”

Valadao’s potential support won’t necessarily improve the bill’s chances of passage. The measure is more of a “message” bill designed to put political pressure on Republicans to back reform, rather than one that has a real shot of becoming law.


But the more Republicans who back the bill, the more heat GOP leadership could feel to take up and pass an immigration reform package.

Updated, 4:45PM: Valadao has officially endorsed the bill, his office told the Washington Post's Greg Sargent.


Jordan Fabian is Fusion's politics editor, writing about campaigns, Congress, immigration, and more. When he's not working, you can find him at the ice rink or at home with his wife, Melissa.

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