- U.S. Congressman (D- New York)
- Member of the radical Progressive Caucus
- Admires Communist dictator Fidel Castro
- Praised President Clinton’s clemency offer to FALN Puerto Rican terrorists
See also: Congressional
of Iraq Congressional Caucus
in Puerto Rico in 1943 and raised in the South Bronx, Jose Serrano
a New York vocational high school and then Lehman College before joining the Army Medical Corps, where he served for three years during
the Vietnam War. After leaving the Army in 1966, Serrano became
active in Democratic Party politics in the Bronx. He worked for the New York City board of education for five years, and then in 1974 he won
election to a seat in the New York state assembly. In 1985 he ran
unsuccessfully for the office of Bronx borough president, but retained his assembly seat.
In January 1990
Democrat Robert Garcia, as
a result of his involvement in the infamous Wedtech
resigned from his post as the representative for a New York City
congressional district centered on the mostly-Hispanic South Bronx.
With vocal support
from key Democratic
leaders – including New York mayor David Dinkins, Bronx borough
president Fernando Ferrer, and Rev. Jesse
Jackson – Serrano won
Garcia's vacated seat in a special March 1990 election and has
held it ever since.
his own political ideology as “to the left of the left,”
Serrano is a member
of the Congressional
Hispanic Caucus, and the Congressional Urban Caucus. In 2005 he also
demonstrated his opposition to the Iraq War by joining
of Iraq Congressional Caucus. Click
here for an overview of Serrano's voting record on key pieces of
legislation during his years in the House of Representatives.
An admitted fan of Fidel
Castro, Serrano has praised
Cuba's former dictator as
great leader for his people” and
long advocated the normalization
of American diplomatic relations with Havana. Serrano also favors increasing U.S. federal aid to his native Puerto Rico, which
he describes as an American “colony.” And he has repeatedly
proposed legislation that would call
for a referendum allowing Puerto Rico to declare either its
independence from the U.S. or its wish to become America's 51st
1997 Serrano was one of 33
of the Job Creation and Infrastructure Restoration Act which was
introduced into Congress by California Rep. Matthew Martinez. This
emergency federal jobs legislation, supported
by the New York State Communist Party, was designed to create jobs at
union wages in financially foundering cities by putting the
unemployed to work on infrastructure projects such as rebuilding
schools, housing, hospitals, libraries, public transportation,
highways, and parks. Rep. Martinez had already introduced an earlier
version of this bill in the previous Congress at the request of the
Los Angeles Labor Coalition for Public Works Jobs, whose leaders were
of the Communist
Also in 1997, Serrano introduced a bill in Congress calling for the repeal of the 22nd Amendment, which places term limits on the U.S. presidency. He has reintroduced this proposal every two years since then.
1999 Serrano applauded President Bill
clemency offer to 16 members of the FALN,
a Marxist-Leninist terror group that had been active in the U.S. from the mid-1970s through
the early 1980s, and whose overriding mission was to secure Puerto
Rico's political independence from the United States.
Depicting the inmates in question as “political prisoners,” Serrano—along with such notables as Coretta Scott King, Jesse Jackson, Desmond Tutu, Rigoberta Menchu, Luis Gutierrez,
and Nydia Velazquez—actively supported the the
Rights Committee of Puerto Rico's campaign calling for the prisoners' release.
a deal in which the state-run oil company of Hugo Chavez's
Venezuela agreed to provide, through its U.S. subsidiary Citgo, some eight million
gallons of home heating oil at a discounted rate to low-income
residents of the Bronx.
In 2007 Serrano was a vocal supporter of then-New York governor Eliot
Spitzer’s plan to permit illegal aliens to acquire driver’s
licenses; the congressman blamed
the measure's defeat on “the hate in this country toward immigrants
numerous occasions, Serrano
has sponsored legislation designed to protect the illegal-alien parents of citizen children from deportation. Moreover, he has
proposals to make English the national language of the United States.
When Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chavez died in March 2013, Serrano eulogized him as a man who "understood the needs of the poor"; "was committed to empowering the powerless"; "used his unique talents and
gifts to try to lift up the people and the communities that
reflected his impoverished roots"; "believed that the government
of the country should be used to empower the masses, not the few"; "understood democracy and basic human desires for a dignified
life"; and sought to ensure "a better
life for the poor and downtrodden."
For additional information on Jose Serrano, click here.