Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones announced today he is running for Congress. He says immigration policy and national security will be his priorities.
He's critical of the Obama administration.
"I wouldn't release five terrorists like they did from Guantanomo Bay last night. I wouldn't release 6,000 inmates from federal prison just because they're overcrowded or the federal government has deemed them safe to be released. I wouldn't just not honor ICE detainers and allow people to go unchecked over and over and over again and victimize others because they don't have the political will or courage to hold people accountable for being in this country illegally."
A year ago, Jones entered the national debate on immigration policy after Sacramento County and Placer County deputies were shot by an undocumented immigrant. Jones posted a youtube video calling on President Obama to enact immigration reform.
He received national attention for the video, but he says he could accomplish more as a congressman.
"We need to secure our borders for very real reasons as we saw in Paris last Friday in Paris. And then, you have to deal with the folks who are here -most of whom are very hard-working and contribute greatly to this community. So, I would be in favor, frankly, of giving a pathway to citizenship to an undocumented person if they are willing to be identified and demonstrate a pathway to citizenship."
Jones says undocumented immigrants would have to meet identification requirements and prove they do not have criminal records.
Jones will face Seventh Congressional District incumbent Ami Bera in the June 2016 primary.
The district is 40-percent Democrat and 39-percent Republican.
Bera won very expensive and close races in 2012 and 2014 against Dan Lungren and Doug Ose respectively.
According to the Center For Responsive Politics, Bera and Lungren spent $6.3 million combined in 2012.
Bera and Ose spent $9.5 million combined in 2014.