BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (TDB) -- A South Florida congressman who was one of six GOP U.S. House members voting last year against the border fence with Mexico has sent a $1,000 check to Bob Latta's OH-05 congressional campaign. U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart is a Cuban-American who has generally supported President George Bush's immigration reform policies. The House approved the fence by a wide margin in September 2006. Bush's reform proposals have been rejected in Congress because they were seen as offering amnesty to about 12 to 14 million illegal immigrants -- most from Central America and Mexico -- believed to reside in the U.S.
Latta has portrayed himself an immigration hardliner. He has called illegal immigrants "a slap in the face" to resident aliens living in the United States with proper documents allowing entry. Latta says he favors the fence along the Mexican border. It is not clear why he would accept financial support for his campaign from someone who opposes the fence along the Mexican border.
U.S. Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio and the House minority leader, has described the bill that Diaz-Balart voted against last year as critical to securing U.S. borders.
"With more border patrol agents, additional fencing and border infrastructure, and more state-of-the-art surveillance, this bill will make a real difference in securing America's borders."