Jimmy Gomez was born in Southern California on November 25, 1974, after his parents and four siblings had immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico. He attended Riverside Community College and then earned a BA in political science at UCLA, followed by an MA in public policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. …
Jimmy Gomez was born in Southern California on November 25, 1974, after his parents and four siblings had immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico. He attended Riverside Community College and then earned a BA in political science at UCLA, followed by an MA in public policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. After completing his formal education, Gomez worked variously as: an office staffer for Los Angeles city councilman Michael Feuer and U.S. Congresswoman Hilda Solis; an employee of the AFSCME; a political director for the United Nurses Associations of California; and editor-in-chief of the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy.
Gomez, a Democrat, became involved in politics in 2012 as a member (and majority whip) of the California State Assembly, where he advocated on behalf of policies like paid family leave, LGBT rights, “environmental justice,” and anti-climate change legislation (founded on the premise that the greenhouse gases associated with human industrial activity are likely to have catastrophic effects on the earth’s environment). In 2017, Gomez won a special election to represent California’s 34th Congressional District in the U.S. House, replacing Congressman Xavier Becerra when the latter was appointed state attorney general by Governor Jerry Brown. As a member of both the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Gomez professes a commitment to “fight for progressive legislation to elevate and promote environmental justice, education access, healthcare access, reproductive rights, and worker’s rights.”
From his earliest days in Congress, Gomez pledged to fight for the passage of “comprehensive immigration reform,” the creation of a “path to citizenship” for “undocumented persons,” and the continuance of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program by which former President Barack Obama had granted temporary protection from deportation to hundreds of thousands of so-called “Dreamers” — i.e., illegal-alien teens and young adults who first came to the United States as minors. In August 2017, Gomez joined nearly 160 fellow congressional Democrats in signing a letter that urged President Donald Trump not to terminate the DACA program. “Ending DACA,” said the letter, “would increase the nation’s undocumented population, profoundly and negatively impact our nation’s economy, [and] contrac[t] the nation’s GDP by $ 460.3 billion.”
In November 2017, Gomez and 23 other House Democrats published an op-ed in The Hill urging their Republican counterparts to call a vote on the DREAM Act, legislation that aimed to legalize and eventually naturalize the aforementioned “Dreamers.”
In October 2017, Gomez joined 120 fellow Democrats in Congress in signing a letter expressing their “deep disappointment” over President Trump’s announcement that he planned to admit no more than 45,000 foreign refugees to the U.S. in 2018. The signatories asserted that this number was “woefully insufficient when compared to the millions of people who have been forced to flee their home countries,” and that 110,000 would have been a more appropriate figure. “As a nation of immigrants,” added Gomez and his allies, “our country has a long history of welcoming newcomers of all different backgrounds. Any efforts to require refugees [to] meet an assimilation standard misunderstands the purpose of our resettlement program which is to assist the most vulnerable.”
In 2017 as well, Gomez was a co-sponsor of the American Promise Act, a bill that sought to allow nationals of El Salvador, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Liberia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen to apply for Lawful Permanent Resident status in the United States. He also condemned the Trump administration for announcing that within 18 months, the Temporary Protected Status of El Salvadoran illegals — many of whom were among the massive influx of unaccompanied minors who had flooded across America’s southern border during 2014-15 — would soon come to an end. “Ending Temporary Protected Status for 200,000 Salvadorans, while tragic, is no surprise from a President that continually sides with hate and xenophobia.”
Gomez has defended California’s “sanctuary” policies, whereby illegal aliens in that state are protected by local governments that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities seeking to apprehend them. The congressman was angered by an October 2017 statement in which the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency threatened — in response to the passage of a new California law restricting local police collaboration with federal immigration officials — to step up the frequency of its immigration raids in various California neighborhoods and worksites. Condemning what he described as ICE’s “callous threat,” Gomez said: “This policy will do nothing to make our communities safer and instead will terrorize law-abiding communities, disrupt family life, and harm the economy. Targeting families while they shop for groceries, drop kids off at school, or head to work is fiscally and morally bankrupt.”
Aside from his work as a congressman, Gomez is also an adjunct faculty member at Los Angeles Community College.
Further Reading: Gomez biographies at Jimmy Gomez for Congress, Gomez.house.gov, Votesmart.org, and Keywiki.org; “We Will Fight for Our DREAMers” (by Jimmy Gomez et al, 11-8-2017); “Rep. Jimmy Gomez on Trump Administration Decision to End Temporary Protected Status for Salvadorans” (1-8-2018); “ICE Says The Gloves Are Off As California Becomes A Sanctuary State” (10-6-2017).