Get to know Peru-born Robert Garcia, U.S. Congressman

Photo: AFP

Photo: AFP

17:00 | Washington D.C. (U.S.), Jan. 7.

Robert Garcia was sworn-in as United States Representative for California's 42nd Congressional District on January 7, 2023.

"It is about time. The American people deserve a government that works for them, and now I can finally get to work for the people of California. As the first LGBTQ+ immigrant to serve in Congress, I am committed to building an inclusive, strong, and prosperous community," the new Congressman expressed on the occasion.

"I will work with my colleagues to defend democracy, make meaningful progress on immigration reform, and improve the infrastructure in our cities to ensure that the families of Long Beach and Southeast Los Angeles can thrive for years to come (...)," he added.

Thus, he was added to the rolls of the House upon executing the oath of office.

In November 2022, Robert Garcia was elected to serve as Representative of California's 42nd Congressional District.

Garcia arrived in the North American country from his native Peru at age 5. He is currently 45 years old and has already served as Mayor of Long Beach —the second-largest city in Los Angeles County.

"His story is that of thousands of immigrants searching for the American dream. When he was a 5-year-old boy, he came to Los Angeles from Peru on a temporary visa without being able to speak any English. If he reaches Congress, he will work with determination to promote comprehensive immigration reform," read a story published by Metro Latino USA two months ago.

"I'm running for Congress because every kid –and every family– deserves a real shot at opportunity. Congress should be an institution that actually helps people and improves Americans' lives," Garcia expressed on his campaign website and social media channels.

In an interview with People's World in August 2022, the then-mayor stated that he will fight hard to expand pathways to citizenship for undocumented residents and fight to end legal discrimination against undocumented residents.

"But thanks to a progressive change in immigration law passed by Congress in the 1980s, we were able to apply for permanent legal residency. I became a U.S. citizen at 21. It was the happiest day of my life," he highlighted.

"At the United States Congress, Robert Garcia will work hard to make the much-needed immigration reform a reality," Carmen Stewart, Deputy Chairwoman of the Peruvian-American Coalition (PAC) of California, said as quoted by Metro Latino USA.

"Robert Garcia, our leader for Congress, received the political endorsement from the Peruvian-American Political Organizations (PAPO-USA) and Peruvian businesspeople in California," she added.

After urging constituents to vote for him on the past November elections, Stewart affirmed that this candidate —who has a political history as mayor and Democratic leader, without forgetting his country of origin— promised that, as soon as he takes up duties in Washington D.C., he will work on legislation that favors interaction with Peru.

The ex-mayor —a college and university educatorholds an M.A. in Communication Management from the University of Southern California and an Ed.D. in Higher Education from California State University in Long Beach, where he also earned his B.A. in Communication Studies.

According to his campaign website, Robert Garcia also grew up in Southern California. Upon his election as local authority in Long Beach, he became the first immigrant and LGBTQ mayor in the city's history.


Published: 1/7/2023