YAKIMA -- Immigration reform? Not in a year when so many national politicians have stiff competition at the ballot box, U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings said.
"In an election year, I don't see it getting done," Hastings, R-Pasco, said Wednesday in Yakima.
Hastings was in town to tour the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 379 downtown and later answered questions about immigration reform. Hastings supports reforming the nation's foreign agricultural worker programs to ease growers' concerns over available and affordable labor.
Hastings said there is more recognition of the need for reform in the House than in the Senate, but stopped shy of saying what potential that may hold.
"Is that going to translate (to the Senate)?" Hastings said. "I don't know."
Hastings criticized President Obama for having "stood on the sidelines" in his first term.
"The last president who took a strong stance on immigration was (George W.) Bush," he said. AgJobs, a comprehensive approach, died in Congress in 2009 despite Bush's support.
Hastings is running unopposed as the representative of the state's 4th Congressional District, a position he has held since 1995. Central Washington Democrats have yet to endorse a candidate to replace Jay Clough of Kennewick, who pulled out of the race against Hastings on Feb. 1 to run for the Legislature.