GOP Senate Candidate Attacks Donald Trump on Immigration 

Rocky Chavez (Rich Pedroncelli / AP)
Rich Pedroncelli / AP

On Monday, California Assemblyman and former Oceanside city councilman Rocky Chavez, 64, who is running for U.S. Senate, criticized his party’s current presidential frontrunner, Donald Trump, for his comments on immigration.

Chavez said that Trump’s comments were “not characteristic of the Republican Party or our nation,” according to The Times of San Diego.

Chavez, who represents the 76th Assembly District, including Camp Pendleton, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Oceanside and Vista, added:

California is a world leader in many categories, and it is crucial that we solidify our state as a leader in comprehensive immigration reform; it is clear to me that the ideologies of Mr. Trump will set our nation and our state back many years and damage our society for many years to come. Immigrants give great value to society and lawmakers need to focus on the importance of keeping families together in order to ensure our nation continues to be the land of opportunity.

Chavez was responding to Trump’s Sunday remarks on Meet The Press about his immigration reform plan, in which he said that he would deport all undocumented immigrants from the United States.

Trump said bluntly, “We’re going to keep the families together, but they have to go. We will work with them. They have to go. Chuck, we either have a country, or we don’t have a country.”

In July, Chavez blasted Trump for his comments about Mexicans, saying, “It saddens me that the narrative being set for Republicans at a national level can be initiated by someone who has never been elected. We owe it to our nation to welcome immigrants with open arms and to reform our current broken immigration system.”

Trump had asserted, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems (to) us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

In 2013, Chavez said, “Republicans are seen (by Latinos) in a very negative light. Every time they start saying ‘secure our borders,’ that sends the message that we don’t want Mexicans here, or dark skins.”

Chavez is running for the Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Barbara Boxer, who is retiring. The current frontrunner in that race is California Attorney General Kamala Harris. Former California Republican Party chair Tom Del Beccaro is also running.