OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

On Immigration Reform and Don Wagner’s Run for State Senate 37th District

Posted by Walter Myers III on November 25, 2014

120213 Don WagnerAs expected, Don Wagner announced his run for the 37th District State Senate vacated by Mimi Walters, who will be headed to Congress representing the 45th Congressional District. For the record, I do support Wagner. Wagner is a principled, stand up conservative, and he has always made himself readily available to myself and others who have wanted to learn about what he’s up to in the California State Assembly and discuss issues that concern us here in Irvine and surrounding areas. Certainly, I don’t expect this to be a coronation, and do expect that there will be a quality candidate to run against Wagner, but out of the gate there are already rumblings about a letter he signed along with other California state Republican legislators urging U.S. Congressmen from California to support “comprehensive” federal immigration reform. Personally, I was a bit stung by the letter, as it appears to me to play right into the hands of Democrats.

In the letter, Wagner et al. called for “thoughtful and strong border security, employer sanctions, and opportunity for undocumented residents to earn their full way to citizenship, but only behind those who have applied to become citizens through the current citizenship process.” I do believe this is somewhat reasonable, in theory, with the key exception that undocumented residents earn their full way to citizenship. There should be a price to pay for coming to this country illegally even if grace is applied, and if a bill were to pass with that clause implemented, it would be tantamount to declaring to all future illegal immigrants that if you get here and hang out long enough, you too can expect eventual citizenship. It may take a long time, but if you can avoid deportation, which has become easier and easier, it will have been worth it to go the illegal route instead of going the legal route and waiting your turn. Effectively, it would make legal immigration less attractive for those who felt they simply couldn’t afford to wait, and would be the proverbial slap in the face to those waiting to enter the country legally.

I can’t say I know Wagner’s intentions directly, but from some correspondence with him on immigration in general, I know that Wagner understands how hobbled the Republican Party has been, particularly here in California, by not actively pursuing and passing immigration reform legislation. There is little the Republicans can do here in California as they don’t have the governorship and are a distinct minority in both state houses, but there did appear to be a chance at bipartisan legislation in the U.S. Senate and House and perhaps Wagner et al. saw this as an opportunity to take illegal immigration off the table that focuses first on border security, then on employer sanctions, and finally on handling the illegal immigrants currently here (and hopefully in that order!). I think a key mistake Wagner makes is actually believing that comprehensive immigration reform is workable. There were supposed to be border protections in the 1986 amnesty bill signed by Reagan, but we all know that didn’t happen and now we have north of 12 million illegal immigrants in this country. So passing a comprehensive bill and expecting that it will be ordered in the manner as stated above, I think, is being highly unrealistic (okay, naive, with Obama, Pelosi, and Reid running things on the Democratic side).

For one, I am tired of huge, thousand page bills, and think we need to get away from “comprehensive” anything. What we need are smaller, simpler bills that can be read and understood by the average American. For an issue as huge as immigration reform, what we need is a broad framework that consists of border security, a functioning guest worker program that makes it foolish to immigrate here illegally in the first place, a way to legalize current illegal immigrants without providing for citizenship, and finally employer enforcement. Of course, this is the Orange County Lincoln Club position that I have been advocating for years. I believe this can be accomplished in a series of small bills that must be executed in a particular sequence that ensures we’re not back in the same situation we’re in now ten years later. My hope is that Wagner will further consider this and address it sooner than later, but I don’t think the letter should necessarily disqualify him in anyone’s mind who is considering reserving their vote for a single (though important) discretion. I wish Wagner well in his run, but I think he could be vulnerable on this issue if another candidate as excellent as him comes forward with a view more in line with the conservative base that sees Wagner as an amnesty supporter.

8 Responses to “On Immigration Reform and Don Wagner’s Run for State Senate 37th District”

  1. Sick of Politics said

    I agree entirely. A good read.

  2. lie detector said

    Wagner avoids any public discussion on illegal immigration like the plague. Read his emails. Nothing. By refusing to address the topic he tells us everything that we need to know. For that reason, I refuse to give him my vote. By signing that letter to the Congressional Delegation his position is crystal clear. He’s complicit. Consequently, he does not deserve a senate seat.

  3. OCInsider#33 said

    uhhhh……this is a State Senate seat. The winner of this seat will have nothing to do with immigration, and with Mimi Walters just starting out in this area’s congressional seat there won’t be a anyplace for Wagner to go that will ever vote on an immigration bill.

  4. Sam Han said


    Assemblyman Wagner does not avoid public discussion on illegal immigration. Actually, it is quite the contrary. He has invited numerous meetings in his district office to discuss with constituents his position on illegal immigration. He is against it. He does not support blanket amnesty and voted against the use of taxpayer funds in that manner (health care, grants, etc.).

    His office is open to discuss the issue. There is nothing to hide. If you want to have a serious discussion on it, send me an email at samuelhan.email@gmail.com and I would be happy to discuss with you or to even arrange a meeting with him.

    Thank you for allowing us to clarify.

    Samuel Han
    Campaign Manager
    Wagner for Senate

  5. lie detector said

    @ Sam Han

    If what you claim is true simply link one Don Wagner newsletter in the last 3 years that mentions anything about illegal immigration and the damage it has caused to California and to his own district. I contend that Wagner has failed to address the matter whatsoever. Just one link, pal. And please, no excuses. Either cough it up or take a hike.

    The fact that Wagner signed that Congressional Delegation letter that specifically called for a Congressional vote on Comprehensive immigration reform to “REUNITE FAMILIES” (that’s what it said verbatim) tells us everything we need to know about Wagner’s opinion.

    That’s the reason I would vote for a democrat before I would vote for Wagner. At least what we see is what we get with a democrat. RINOS, on the other hand, are merely wolves in sheep’s clothing – who claim to be conservative republicans in word – while their behavior reflects something quite the opposite. You might be able to fool some of them. You don’t fool me.

  6. lie detector said

    Btw, I am going to print that letter to the Congressional Delegation that Wagner signed and distribute a copy to all the senior centers and senior social groups in the area to let them know how well their senatorial candidate represented them as an assemblyman. Some people assume that since he markets himself as a conservative Republican that he acts like one. Time to pull back the political curtains to expose who’s really pulling levers for District 37.

  7. lie detector said

    Many people don’t realize this ……. but Wagner’s call for the House Republicans to vote on Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) would have allowed the Senate Democrats to sneak Senate Bill 744 – your basic blanket amnesty legislation – into the legislative process and pass it into law. Wagner had to know that when he signed the Congressional Delegation letter. He’s both a legislator and a lawyer, afterall. I noticed that Sam Han never responded to my simple request of linking one of Wagner’s newsletters in the last 3 years that addressed the illegal immigration problem that has caused so much damage to California – in terms of both social and economic damage. And, yes, the California legislature does, in fact, impact illegal immigration. Haven’t you ever heard of the ‘Trust Act’ or the driver’s licenses for illegals law? Those laws are drawing more illegals into California like a magnet. It’s not enough to vote against them either. Wagner needed to PUBLICLY address the problem in his newletters or in a public forum – which he has not done. Instead, he signed the Congressional Delegation letter that called for CIR (amnesty). Wagners knew perfectly well that giving legal residence to those illegals would move them to the front of the line before MILLIONS of skilled immigrants overseas who have submitted their applications, taken their tests, paid their fees and are FORCED to wait in line for a work visa for 10 years or longer. Some are never allowed to come to America. And to think all they have to do is fly to Mexico and unlawfully sneak across the border to get their legal status is repulsive and flies in the face to fairness and rule of law, which are supposed to be basic core Republican values. Wagner really let us down. Where are you, Sam Han???

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