California’s First Latino Senator, Alex Padilla, Wants an Immigration Overhaul Now

Which Republicans reached out to you beyond just pleasantries? Roy Blunt [of Missouri, the No. 4 Republican] was one of the first. Part ...


Which Republicans reached out to you beyond just pleasantries?

Roy Blunt [of Missouri, the No. 4 Republican] was one of the first. Part of our commonality is he’s also a former state secretary of state. There’s actually three of us: Blunt, Sherrod Brown [Democrat of Ohio] and myself.

I had pleasant conversation with Senator [Shelley Moore] Capito [of West Virginia] and [John] Cornyn from Texas. We may not agree on a whole lot, but he’s also from a border state.

You’ve been put on some important committees: Budget, Rules and Administration, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Environment and Public Works, and Judiciary. You’ve also been named the chairman of the Judiciary’s subcommittee on immigration. What do you hope to achieve in that role?

The stars are aligned to make progress on immigration. If it was up to me, I’d take the Biden package and say, “Let’s go.” But the reality is, what can be done that will get 60 votes? What can be done through reconciliation? Now that the Covid bill is done, we turn our attention to this.

Do you think immigration reform can be done through reconciliation, a budgetary procedure that requires only 51 votes to pass?

I think there’s elements of it that can be done, absolutely. But there are other pieces that can’t. What’s the strategy for getting as much done as we can as soon as we can? Having studied prior years, I’d be wary of taking too long, because the closer we get to the next election, that becomes an excuse.

This is how my journey influences my work now. The very reason I left a career in engineering and got involved in government was Proposition 187 in 1994. I was relatively fresh home from college. I came home to a political environment that had ads running on television saying that immigrants and children of immigrants should no longer be eligible for public services, that the economy’s tanking, and it’s the fault of people like my parents and families like mine. It was beyond insulting. It was enraging. I had no choice but to get involved.

I was talking with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York the other day, and she said she wants Democrats to go bold on immigration reform. She doesn’t see some of the proposals as “cutting edge” and is worried Democrats are allowing conservatives to weaken the agenda. How bold does immigration reform need to be?

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Newsrust - US Top News: California’s First Latino Senator, Alex Padilla, Wants an Immigration Overhaul Now
California’s First Latino Senator, Alex Padilla, Wants an Immigration Overhaul Now
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