Sen. Alex Padilla

WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) has announced he will take the gavel as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Immigration Subcommittee in the 117th Congress. 

“As the proud son of immigrants from Mexico, I’m honored to be the first Latino to serve as chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Safety,” Padilla said. “While no state has more at stake in immigration policy than California, the entire nation stands to benefit from thoughtful immigration reform.”

“I commit to bringing the urgency to immigration reform that this moment demands and millions of hard working immigrants have earned. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to restore dignity and humanity to our immigration policies and to respectfully uphold America’s legacy as a nation of immigrants.”

The senator said his priority is to “restore humanity, dignity and respect” to the immigration process, and he has changed the name of the subcommittee formerly known as the “Subcommittee on Border Security and Immigration” to the “Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship and Border Safety” to reflect that commitment.

As the first Latino senator from California and the first Latino to chair the US Senate Judiciary Committee’s immigration subcommittee, Padilla brings a unique perspective to the subcommittee’s work. He plans to address the pressing needs of immigrant communities in California and across the country, particularly the essential workers that have been on the front lines of America’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That includes everything from reunifying families and fixing our asylum system, to streamlining the process for legal immigration and creating a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.

The subcommittee has jurisdiction over a wide array of immigration issues, including: citizenship, border safety, refugee laws, and oversight of immigration functions in various departments.

The departments include: Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Ombudsman Citizenship and Immigration Services (CISOMB), as well as the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Department of State (DOS), the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), and the Department of Labor.