Vicente Gonzalez was born on September 4, 1967 in Corpus Christi, Texas. He earned a GED in 1985, an associate’s degree in banking and finance from Del Mar College in 1990, a bachelor’s degree in business aviation from Embry Riddle University in 1992, and a JD from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in 1996. While attending law school, Gonzalez also worked as an intern for then-Democratic Congressman Solomon Ortiz. In 1997 he established a private law firm, V. Gonzalez and Associates, in McAllen, Texas. Licensed to practice law in both Texas and New York, Gonzalez specialized as a plaintiff’s attorney. He once described himself as “a lawyer for the less fortunate.”
Gonzalez launched a political career in 2016 when he ran for the U.S. House seat (representing Texas’s 15th Congressional District) that was soon to be vacated by incumbent Ruben Hinojosa, who had announced that he would not be seeking re-election. Gonzalez won the vote that November and was subsequently sworn into office in January 2017.
As a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Gonzalez has been particularly outspoken on immigration matters. For instance, he is a strong supporter of the DREAM Act, legislation that aims to legalize and eventually naturalize a large number of so-called “Dreamers” — i.e., illegal-alien teens and young adults who first came to the United States as minors. According to Gonzalez, those individuals “add billions to our economy, create jobs, and raise wages for all Americans.”
Advocating “compassionate immigration reform with an earned pathway to citizenship” for illegal aliens, Gonzalez also backs former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative, which began with a 2012 executive action temporarily protecting hundreds of thousands of young illegals from deportation. When President Donald Trump in 2017 issued a call for terminating DACA, Gonzalez “condemned” the Trump proposal. In January 2018 the congressman stated that “more than 70 percent of Dreamers are pursuing a higher education and 75 percent are gainfully employed.” “There is no question,” he added, “that Dreamers are Americans in every way except one — on paper.”
In 2017 Gonzalez voted against HR 3004 (a.k.a. “Kate’s Law”), legislation that: (a) was named after Kate Steinle, a San Francisco woman who had been shot and killed in 2015 by an illegal alien with numerous prior convictions and deportations on his record; and (b) called for more severe penalties for illegal aliens caught re-entering the U.S. after deportation.
Gonzalez supports the right of local government officials in sanctuary cities to refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Thus, in 2017 he voted against HR 3003, the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, which proposed that federal funds be withheld from localities that practiced sanctuary policies.
Gonzalez is a strong opponent of President Trump’s plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. In July 2017, the congressman co-signed a letter to the House Appropriations Committee expressing opposition to a Department of Homeland Security bill funding the creation of such a structure. That same month, he went to the House floor to “speak out against the wasteful spending of 1.6 billion dollars of taxpayer money … to construct unnecessary barriers along our southern border — destroying wildlife habitats and violating private property rights of Americans.” “Building a wall along our southern border will put us on the wrong side of history,” Gonzalez added. “It will also be a shameful act in front of the international community that is watching us.”
In 2018 Gonzalez spoke out against the Trump administration’s deployment of National Guard troops to assist Border Patrol agents in dealing with a surge in illegal migration from Mexico to the United States. In April 2018 he said: “I don’t like the idea that when we’re at a 32-year low crime in our anchor city of McAllen, and we’re at a 42-year low of illegal border crossings, that we have a president who has deployed troops to our southern border.” Gonzalez characterized such an undertaking as “a monumental waste of taxpayer dollars.”
On March 8, 2021, Breitbart News stated that Gonzalez, on the 2017, 2018, and 2019 financial disclosure documents which he had filed with the clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, reported between $100,001 and $250,000 worth of holdings in the Bank of China. Each of the disclosure documents showed that Gonzalez had earned between $2,501 and $5,000 in interest each year from his Bank of China account. Noted Breitbart: “The Bank of China literally openly admits on its website that it is a ‘wholly state-owned commercial bank’ and has been since the mid-1990s. The Bank of China website also … pledges allegiance to Chinese dictator Xi Jinping and his Communist agenda—and says that its goal is to help implement this Chinese Communist Party worldview worldwide and in China.”
On July 19, 2022, NBC News reported:
“A Texas blogger paid by Democratic Rep. Vicente Gonzalez’s campaign is attacking Republican opponent Rep. Mayra Flores as ‘Miss Frijoles’ and a ‘cotton-pickin’ liar,’ prompting a wave of denunciations by fellow Democrats. The language first surfaced three days after Gonzalez’s campaign wrote a $1,200 check to The McHale Report blog [on] June 24 for ‘advertising services,’ according to the Democrat’s Federal Election Commission finance report. But the blog, which has called Flores ‘Miss Frijoles’ 21 times since then, has not published any Gonzalez ads.
“Flores, in a Twitter post [on July 19], accused the Gonzalez campaign of paying ‘a local blogger to run hateful & racist ads against me,’ a charge that the Gonzalez campaign and blogger Jerry McHale deny. They both told NBC News that the timing of the attacks were coincidental, that the congressman didn’t pay for any of the inflammatory posts, know about them or have any control over them.”
The day after Breitbart‘s revelations about the money that Gonzalez had in the Bank of China, the congressman closed the account.
For some highlights of Gonzalez’s voting record on key issues, click here.
Further Reading: “About Vicente Gonzalez” (Gonzalez.house.gov); “Gonzalez on Decision to Keep Government Open” (1-21-2018); “Vicente Gonzalez on Immigration” (OnTheIssues.org); “Gonzalez Speaks on House Floor in Opposition to Border Wall Funding” (7-27-2017); “Gonzalez Disagrees with Decision to Put Troops on the Border” (4-12-2018).