Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Alex Padilla Replaced Kamala Harris in the Senate, Now He’s Pushing for an Immigration Reform

When Kamala Harris resigned from the Senate to become the first woman Vice President, California Governor Gavin Newsom’s voted for Alex Padilla, the California Secretary of State, to replace Harris. When he was sworn in, Padilla became the first Latino senator from the Golden State.

His appointment was met with both excitement and criticism because without Harris, there are no Black women in the U.S. Senate. Padilla expressed, “I say, I hear you. I agree with you. Personally, I’ll do my best to be the best senator I can for all Californians. But how can I do my part to also uplift the voices of the Black community, Black women especially.”

Padilla’s first three months in the Senate included an insurrection, impeachment, an inauguration, voting on COVID-19 relief, and Democrats pushing to get rid of the filibuster, which forced a 60- vote threshold. Padilla stated, “We’ve got to walk and chew gum at the same time. Look, you want to work on a bipartisan basis. I’m not against that. That’s the ideal scenario. Those of us who already agree we need to get rid of the filibuster continue to be vocal about it, keep it a public priority.”

One of Padilla’s focus is immigration reform. California has the highest concentration of immigrants of any state in the U.S. and he is the son of Mexican immigrants. Despite the lack of movement on comprehensive immigration reform for decades, Padilla remains optimistic.

“[There’s] probably different ways to achieve the reforms. For starters, we have a president in the White House who’s willing” he said.