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Rep. Joe Heck

BY MARIE ANDRUSEWICZ -- Rep. Joe Heck is no fan of lengthy legislation. He thinks comprehensive immigration reform can be accomplished by six or seven smaller bills, rather than the mammoth proposal currently before Congress – “Nothing good comes out of a 1,198-page bill,” says Heck.

Despite its heft, Heck did read the entire bill during a flight home. Heck has said that among the provisions he would add to the current bill is new fencing as well as additional agents at the border.

“I’ve said, and I’ve always said, that I think a tough but fair pathway to earned citizenship that doesn’t allow anyone to jump to the front of the line, that has certain benchmarks that need to be met, like the ability to show that you can support yourself and your family, that you can speak English, that you have a clean criminal and national security background check, that I would support those,” says Heck.

What Heck thinks about immigration reform matters. He’s one of three House Republicans whose district is heavily comprised of immigrants. In fact, Politico reports that his district, along with those of Reps. Gary Miller (CA) and Mike Coffman (CO), will be targeted by ads sponsored by a Democratic PAC “branding the Republicans as unwilling to embrace reform.”

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Heck acknowledges that immigration reform is a key issue for minority populations in his district. “I think it’s an important issue for them, I also think it’s an important issue for our nation. I think there is economic benefit for immigration reform not only when you look at the demographics, but also the long-term strategic implications to our state and to our nation.”

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