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Eastern Washington Congressional Candidates: Your stance on illegal immigration?

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There are a dozen candidates for Washington State’s 4th District Congressional Representative left vacant by retiring congressman Doc Hastings.

Two of the better-funded conservative candidates, Clint Didier and Dan Newhouse, tout their farming roots.

Eastern Washington is truly a farming oasis with thousands of acres of fertile ground harnessed for agricultural purposes.

Eastern Washington is an oasis for agriculture but much of it is no longer an oasis to live and raise a family in. Part of the decay of the standard of living in Eastern Washington can be attributed to illegal immigration; partially a result of the desire for low-wage agricultural workers.

I grew up on the family farm. I cut asparagus, picked cherries, and bailed hops as a youth. It seemed like a large percentage of the students going to school in the Yakima Valley had equivalent stories. Schools accommodated by starting late during the spring so students could be out cutting asparagus.

Sadly, those days are long gone. A significant percentage of farm labor is now performed by illegal immigrants. Farmers seem to ignore this fact and thus ignore some of the negative consequences including:

  • Eastern Washington is now a hub for narcotic distribution, labeled by the federal government as a HIDTA area—a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.
  • The gang violence and prevalence in Eastern Washington is often national news noteworthy with drive-by shootings, drug and gang related violence, and even murders being somewhat commonplace.
  • Most of the drug influx is brought in from Mexico. A large percentage of the drug traffickers are immigrants.
  • A large percentage of the gang membership is formed by immigrants or the offspring of immigrants.

As an agent under the Immigration umbrella for many years of my career, I was assigned to Eastern Washington offices for more than a dozen years. The Tri Cities office received numerous complaints that our efforts were hindering the farmers’ ability to harvest their crops; that our presence in Southeastern Washington had a negative influence even though the bulk of our efforts revolved around criminal aliens and criminal organizations!

The vast majority of illegal immigrants come here to better their lives yet their act of illegally crossing the border is a crime, thus they are criminals. The willful employment of illegal immigrants by businesses and farms is also in violation of U.S. law.

Will our refusal to enforce the immigration laws within the United States, eventually create a much larger problem much as it has on the Mexican border recently with the influx of thousands of Central American immigrants?

Mr. Didier, Mr. Newhouse, and the rest of the candidates: What is your stance on illegal immigration? How will you address the continued influx of illegal immigrants who have successfully navigated past the border and continue to arrive here in Eastern Washington?

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