Rep. Larsen participates in bilingual radio interview

May 9, 2017 Issues: Health Care, Immigration Reform, Veterans

Rep. Larsen participates in bilingual radio interview

  • Skagit Valley Herald
  • Brandon Stone
  • 5/9/2017
MOUNT VERNON — U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., participated in a bilingual interview on KSVR that radio host Manuel Reta said would help make government more accessible to Skagit County’s Latino population.
 
The hour-long interview was conducted in English and interpreted into Spanish for Reta’s weekly show Mi Punto de Vista.
 
The interview will air at 11 a.m. today and will be available on the Mi Punto de Vista archive page on the KSVR website.
 
Larsen, a 16-year congressman and a Democrat, touched on immigration policy, reiterating his opposition to President Donald Trump’s proposal to build a border wall between Mexico and the United States.
 
While countries have the right to protect their borders and manage immigration, he said Trump’s method of attempting to enforce these rights does not take into account the interests of Mexico.
 
“That’s no way to work with a country you need as a partner,” Larsen said.
 
He said he has always opposed a border wall, citing his opposition to a similar piece of legislation, the Secure Fence Act of 2006.
 
Larsen and Reta tied immigration to the local economy, which with its reliance on agriculture is bolstered by immigrant labor. Larsen said the process of bringing temporary laborers into the county should be streamlined.
 
“Our farmers are screaming for workers,” Reta said.
 
Larsen also took the opportunity to call for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the country.
 
Reta, a Vietnam veteran, asked about veterans services in the county, giving Larsen the opportunity to highlight Mount Vernon’s veterans clinic, which Larsen worked to open with Sen. Patty Murray.
 
Larsen also mentioned Growing Veterans, a local program he visited that helps veterans adjust and reintegrate into society through farming.
 
With the interview coming one day after the passage of the American Health Care Act by the House of Representatives, Reta asked Larsen what he thought of replacement plans for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also called Obamacare.
 
Larsen said the Obamacare replacement fails in the three most important categories of evaluating health care: coverage, cost and quality of care.
 
He called on Republicans to work with Democrats to fix problems in the ACA rather than scrap it.