BRAWLEY – California Congressman Juan Vargas visited Brawley business owners Friday morning at the Brawley Chamber of Commerce.
Robert Rodriguez, owner of Brawley Auto Plaza and Car Wash, invited Vargas to a meeting of Brawley small business owners to discuss issues of concern. About 20 business owners were in attendance.
“As business owners, we’re overrun with rules and regulations,” said Rodriguez. “This is an issue of small businesses working with government so we can realize our potential and create more jobs and hire more people. Instead, we are being oppressed with so many rules, regulations, fees, and fines that it is hampering us. We are hoping that Congressman Vargas can help us.”
Vargas agreed that California rules and regulations were excessive, but that he now deals with federal issues.
Some of the issues brought up besides California regulations were unemployment and immigration.
Many small business owners were complaining that it’s hard to get people to go to work because they don’t want to give up their unemployment benefits, often denying that they could have gotten a job and continuing their benefits.
Vargas said that benefits should continue because we are a compassionate country.
Vargas said that they were trying to change the laws to make it easier to hire illegal immigrants.
“This is a federal issue and it needs changing,” said Vargas. “We want to give everyone who is here a chance to be here legally. You have to wait 7 years for citizenship and that’s not fair any longer. There has to be an easier way to become legal. The law as it stands now doesn’t make sense. It has to be changed.”
The Joint Strike Fighter F-35C project being considered for NAF El Centro was brought up.
Vargas supports the project and has sent a letter to the Secretary of the Navy offering his endorsement.
“We want to stimulate the economy, create jobs, and put people back to work,” said Rodriguez, “instead of people being on unemployment for years, extension after extension. There are too many rules and regulations, period. The fees behind all of these rules and regulations are overwhelming. Businesses are closing down or relocating to other states. It doesn’t help anyone. There are people out of work all over the country. I’d like to see a coalition of small businesses get together and bring these issues to the government. They could listen to us or we could challenge them in the courts. We need to do something. It’s choking the system. It’s beyond belief what the government is doing.”