The McNerney Position

VAGUE SUPPORT FOR COMPREHENSIVE REFORM. According to The Stockton Record, McNerney’s views on immigration have shifted over time. He “toughened his stance on illegal immigration since he began running for office in 2004; he’s the only San Joaquin Valley sponsor of the SAVE Act, a bill with 132 co-sponsors that beefs up border patrol facilities and funds a national database so employers can check the immigration status of their job applicants,” the newspaper said. [The Stockton Record, 1/15/08] However, McNerney continues to tout what he calls a “balanced approach” to immigration reform. The Modesto Bee quoted him as saying, “Border security is certainly a big part of the solution but we need to be able to (supply) workers where needed. We have farmers who have (had cases of) produce rotting on trees, and we need to make sure they have the workers they need.” McNerney has advocated for a legal way to allow migrant workers into the country and a way for the undocumented immigrants already in the country to come out of the shadows. [Modesto Bee, 1/15/08]

Recently, McNerney has reiterated support for a comprehensive and common-sense approach to immigration reform. McNerney’s campaign website states, “It’s clear today that our immigration system is broken. To reform it, we need a comprehensive, common-sense approach that addresses the full range of issues under consideration; beginning with securing our nation’s borders…I support increased funding for our border patrol and investment in surveillance and enforcement technology…As part of this, we must strengthen penalties for employers and contractors who knowingly hire illegal immigrants. We also need a stronger verification system to monitor and crack down on illegal trafficking at our borders.” However, the candidate’s web site does not mention his proposal to deal with the 12 million undocumented immigrants in this country or legal immigration reforms that go beyond enforcement [Jerry McNerney for Congress, accessed 8/12/08]