The Service Employees International Union on Tuesday started running digital ads on the immigration issue that target a dozen Republican members of Congress, including Reps. David Valadao of Hanford and Jeff Denham of Turlock.
All the ads are identical, except for the name of the elected official and the state they represent. Valadao and Denham are the only two Californians in the SEIU ad campaign. Their respective ads say “a stand against immigrants is a stand against California families, California jobs and California’s future.”
But Tal Eslick, Valadao’s chief of staff, said it is the SEIU that is part of the problem.
“The SEIU is one of the single biggest opponents of reasonable immigration reform,” Eslick said. “Rather than reaching a compromise, the SEIU is only interested in using the issue to further their liberal political agenda.”
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Other Republicans in the SEIU campaign are both House and Senate members, and are from Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Arizona, Wisconsin, Illinois and Nevada. The ads are slated to run through Sunday.
Targeted officials in the SEIU ads represent states and regions that “are home to sizable numbers of Latino and Asian American/Pacific Islander voters who could impact the 2016 elections,” according to the union.
The timing of the ads are set to coincide with possible House efforts to try and undo President Barack Obama’s executive orders on immigration. Last year, Obama’s directives gave about 4 million immigrants in the country illegally temporary relief from deportation.
There is also the possibility that House Republicans could go even further and work to end protections for immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
But both Valadao and Denham are proponents of comprehensive immigration reform.
Addressing part of proposed legislation aimed at immigrant children, Denham last week told The Washington Post: “Just picking on the children that came here at no fault of their own, I think, is a wrong way to start.”
Eslick added that Valadao “is disappointed the president and a small group of Republicans have chose politics and grandstanding over crafting a long term, comprehensive immigration solution.”