URBANA — U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis said Thursday that he didn't like that members of the Service Employees International Union went to his Taylorville home and gave a letter to his 13-year-old son on the same afternoon he was meeting with SEIU representatives in Hillsboro.
In both cases, the topic was immigration reform legislation, he said.
"I don't think it's a coincidence that they came to my door when they knew I wasn't home. It's very frustrating as a dad to have to get a phone call from your family to say, 'Hey, folks came up to the door to deliver you a letter,'" Davis said Thursday in Urbana.
"If it's an intimidation tactic, it doesn't intimidate me, but I don't know many fathers who would appreciate when your kids are out of school because of the heat and they're home, many times alone, to have somebody come up to the door to deliver a message that could have been delivered in another method very, very easily."
Davis said the letter delivered to his home came from SEIU Healthcare in Chicago. Attempts to get a response from a representative in the group's Chicago office were unsuccessful.
"If this is the way that politics is going with tactics like this to try to intimidate elected officials, that doesn't say much for the political process here in this country any more. Just because I'm a target (in the 2014 congressional election) doesn't mean that our families don't deserve a little bit of respect and privacy too."
Davis said the letter delivered to his home "is the same letter we've received numerous times."
At his meeting in Hillsboro, Davis said, SEIU representatives gave him a number of postcards requesting his support for a comprehensive immigration reform law.
A rally is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at West Side Park in Champaign where U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and representatives of local and national groups will make a similar demand of the congressman.
Davis acknowledged that he is "getting a lot of contact" on the immigration issue.
"I agree that our immigration system is broken, but we also have to understand that we have to actually look at future generations, and how is it going to effect us 27 years from now? Are we really going to be able to prevent the same thing from happening again? When I was a sophomore in high school in 1986, this problem was supposed to be fixed. Twenty-seven years later, we have that problem again. I view my job in Congress as looking long term. How do we ensure that my children don't come up to me later in life and say, 'Hey Dad, I thought you fixed that problem? Why do we have it again?'"
Davis said he does not support adopting the Senate immigration bill and has concerns about border security, immigrants who overstay their visas and the effect of immigrants on federal benefit programs.
"We know that both Medicare and Social Security are actuarially unsound, and that has not been part of the debate, and that needs to be discussed," he said.