Rep. Davis address issues

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 13, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Since his first year in office, five years ago, Rep. Artur Davis, D-Birmingham, has annually visited the counties in his Seventh Congressional District to hold a town hall meeting. This year Davis fielded questions from his constituents in Marengo County on a gamut of issues, from a standardized language for the nation to the effects of required background checks for employment.

The questions from the audience were leadoff by Demopolis City Councilman Jack Cooley, who noted that studies have postulated that China will overtake the United Sates as the largest English speaking country:

Davis said the immigration issue in the United States is one that is highly contested. He said there are over 12 million illegal aliens in the county that aren&8217;t leaving.

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Davis said assimilation of those here and the means to enforcing laws to keep new illegal aliens out of the country are pressing issues. He said he supports a path to citizenship for aliens in the country for over seven years, who have put down roots by raising families and holding jobs. He said finding the means to solve the problem, while remaining fair and human, is of vital importance.

When asked about minimum wage increases and poverty levels of the area, Davis said he supports minimum wage increases, and said he has seen improvements in the poverty level and would like to see more.

Davis said, in his five years in office, the Black Belt region has seen the creation of more jobs than it has seen in any five-year period since his birth, in 1967. He said the unemployment rate of the region is half of what it was on 1998, but said he still isn&8217;t satisfied with the economic status of the region.

Davis was also confronted with a question regarding background checks for jobs and the limiting factor they present for those who have been in trouble in the past.