Rep. Valadao adds voice to chorus of criticism over Trump’s executive order

Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, in an undated picture.
Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, in an undated picture. Courtesy of David Valadao

Another San Joaquin Valley Republican congressman on Monday joined the chorus of skepticism about President Donald Trump’s controversial executive order restricting refugees.

In a statement issued Monday afternoon, Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, said he supports stronger screening measures, but he took exception to those imposed by the president’s executive order issued last Friday.

“These issues are complex and should not be addressed through hasty, unclear executive actions,” Valadao said. “Instead, the president and Congress should work together towards a thoughtful, constructive solution to strengthen our national security while upholding our American values.”

Valadao, who represents a heavily Hispanic district, pulled his previous support for Trump’s presidential candidacy last summer, saying in a statement at the time that he could not support a candidate whose divisive rhetoric “denigrates people based on their ethnicity, religion or disabilities.” More than 200,000 of Valadao’s constituents were born outside of the United States.

Two of Valadao’s Valley colleagues, Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, and Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, have raised their own concerns about the Trump executive order that’s now the target of extensive legal challenge.

“The safety and security of our communities always come first, but the way this is playing out has created a lot of uncertainty and unintended consequences,” Denham said in a statement Sunday. “As we have seen with previous administrations, executive orders are not the way to resolve ongoing problems.”

Both of California’s senators, Democrats Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, have been even more direct in their criticism.

The chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, and Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, whose district sweeps through a number of Sierra Nevada counties, have supported Trump’s order.

“This is a temporary stopgap to give the administration time to put a new vetting system in place that can adequately assess a refugee’s veracity and intentions,” McClintock said Sunday.

Nunes, who advised Trump as part of the president’s transition executive committee, called the order a “common-sense security measure.”

Michael Doyle: 202-383-6153, @MichaelDoyle10