The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recently claimed that Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) “has agreed all illegal immigrants should be detained, arrested and deported” in line with Donald Trump’s extremist views on immigration.
This comes as especially surprising since Denham has usually been considered a moderate who has rejected hard-line views and was the first Republican to co-sponsor H.R. 15 allowing immigrants to gain citizenship eventually.
The DCCC made its claim in a March 17 press release titled “The Denham and The Donald Line up Again Against Immigrant Families,” showing a photo of the two Republicans standing next to each other. The only proof of this alliance was identified as an audio from a 2010 Republican primary debate.
The debate asked the candidates if they “believe that anyone who is here (in the United States) right now as an illegal immigrant should be detained, arrested and deported?” Denham subsequently responded with: “The simple answer is: Yes, we’ve got to uphold the laws of our state, the laws of our nation. But as a state senator, one of the calls that I get frequently are those families that came here legally, that are working here legally and somehow lost their immigration status to no fault of their own.”
Although Denham does answer the question in the way extrapolated by the DCCC, it is unfair to call him an extremist on the issue since his most pressing issue with illegal immigration is the unfair deportation of formerly-legal immigrants held up due to bureaucratic failings. What is certain is that it is unfair to equate him with Donald Trump.
The reason for this attack most likely arises from the upcoming debate where Rep. Denham must protect his position from candidate Michael Eggman, who has faced off against Denham previously in 2014 and will do so again in the June primary election and again in November.