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Heck asks for votes for Senate race

by Aurora Sain
asain@recordcourier.com
Republican senate candidate Dr. Joe Heck is seeking Harry Reid's seat in 2016.
Brad Coman |

A race to replace a Senate seat held by the same person for the last 30 years has brought one candidate to the Carson Valley asking for the vote.

“So after eight years of Barack Obama and 30 years of Harry Reid, how many people are ready for a change come November,” said Rep. Joe Heck. “That’s the reason I’m running for the U.S. Senate.”

The Republican politician out of Clark County has served in the House of Representatives for the last six years.

He spoke on Wednesday at the Sierra Nevada Republican Women’s Luncheon, and talked about some of the committees he was a part of including armed services, intelligence and education and the workforce.

“There are a lot of things that Donald Trump says that make me cringe. But there are a lot of things that Hillary Clinton has done that terrify me to death.”Republican senate candidate Dr. Joe Heck

“We’ve heard for a long time that the Nevada Republican Party has been kind of disorganized, we’re trying to change that,” said Heck.

Heck said that no one ever wants to be a part of the education and workforce committee, and that’s the problem Republicans have they don’t get involved.

“We have to be engaged in educational issues otherwise we leave education to the other side,” said Heck.

Heck also took the opportunity to talk about the importance of electing a Republican to the Senate in order to keep the majority and reclaim a seat held by Democrat Harry Reid for so long.

“We have to make a change, we have to get our country back on track,” said Heck.

He also took questions from the audience, the first one regarding Heck’s thoughts on sanctuary cities.

“I think sanctuary cities should be defunded from federal funds,” said Heck.

The problem with sanctuary cities is that there is no legal or standard definition of the term.

Drama surrounded the self-proclaimed cities after a 2015 killing in San Francisco was found to be committed by a five-time deported, seven-time convicted felon who was released and shortly after killed Kate Steinle.

There has been speculation as to whether Washoe County or Reno was a sanctuary city, but in a release last year, a Reno spokesperson said that while they don’t technically consider themselves a sanctuary city, they won’t arrest someone solely based on immigration status and will defer to Immigration and Customs Enforcement to see if they request a warrant for the person.

A grandson of Italian immigrants, Heck said that he recognizes that immigration is supposed to work for this country but it needs a little change.

“We need to fix our immigration system, immigration laws currently on the books aren’t adequate,” said Heck.

He said that the waiting period for those who want to come to the U.S. is so long that most people end up coming illegally.

“There are a lot of people who want to come to the U.S. legally but the process is so convoluted and so long that it takes 10-15 years,” said Heck.

He said that better border security more border patrol agents on the Northern and Southern border would be a step in the right direction.

Another way to help the problem, according to Heck would be to engage in better internal security and a viable guest worker program.

Heck said that about 40 percent of immigrants come to the country on a visa but overstayed the visa limits and continued to live in the country.

A guest worker program would be for seasonal or part-time workers that would allow them to come to the country for a specified period of time to fill a specific job.

Heck said that guest workers are important because we do have unmet needs for various occupations throughout the country.

With the guest worker program the immigrants would be able to work and then return to their country and then come back again when the job needed it.

“This way they are out of the shadows and they are participating,” said Heck.

In 2015, ICE deported 235,413 people from 181 different countries, but when one audience member asked if Heck would support deporting all illegal immigrants, Heck said that would be impossible.

“If you think what the logistics and cost would be of trying to round up 12 million people and deport them, we could not execute it and we could not afford it,” said Heck.

Heck was also able to give a lesson in politics to one audience member who was confused as to what was actually in the constitution.

“My pet peeve since eighth-grade U.S. history is that our voting is in several languages. I thought out constitution said that to become an American citizen you learn English, you speak English, you write English. Did they change that?”

“No they didn’t change that, but it’s not part of the constitution,” said Heck. “The voting rights act has said that if you have an immigrant population of a certain percentage, ballots need to be provided in whatever language that represents the constituency.”

Congress amended the Voting Rights Act in 1975 by adding Section 203 stating that citizens of language minorities have been effectively excluded from participation in the electoral process. In order to enforce the guarantees of the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments it is necessary to eliminate such discrimination by prohibiting these practices.

The law covers those localities where there are more than 10,000 people or over 5 percent of the total voting age citizens that belong to a single minority language group.

Heck said that in Southern Nevada they have ballots in both Spanish and Tagalog for the Filipino and Mexican population.

Douglas County doesn’t have a large immigrant population so the ballots are primarily in English.

With the current presidential election, many Republicans are coming forward to say that they will not be voting for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, in November.

Heck said that Republicans publicly denouncing Donald Trump only comes back to look bad on the party as a whole.

“You’re entitled to vote for whoever you want, but you don’t have to add gasoline to the fire,” said Heck.

Heck said that the important thing would be for the party to come together in November to defeat the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

“There are a lot of things that Donald Trump says that make me cringe,” said Heck. “But there are a lot of things that Hillary Clinton has done that terrify me to death.”

Heck said that they will be having a Douglas County Republican women call night 5:30 p.m. Aug. 23 at the Republican party headquarters at 1507 Highway 395 in Gardnerville.

“I’m not going to be able to do this without your help,” said Heck.

For more information on how to get involved call the Douglas County Central Committee at 782-4467.