Hispanic Americans in Congress, 1822-1995
Xavier Becerra was born in Sacramento, California on January 26, 1958. In 1980 he graduated from Stanford University and four years later received a J.D. degree from Stanford University School of Law. In 1985 he was admitted to the bar and began to practice law. The following year he worked as the Los Angeles administrative assistant for State Senator Art Torres. From 1987 to 1990 he served as deputy attorney general in the Office of the Attorney General of California. In 1989 he was elected to the California State Assembly, where he served until 1992.
Xavier Becerra won the 1992 election to the U.S. House of Representatives with the support of Edward Roybal, who had represented part of Becerra's recently redrawn district for thirty years. After a nine-candidate primary, he won the election with fifty-eight percent of the vote, and in 1994 he was reelected with sixty-six percent of the vote.
Becerra represents California's 30th District in the city of Los Angeles. He supports social welfare legislation, particularly those laws that deal with health-care issues. As a defender with civil rights, in the 103rd Congress he introduced a bill to create an independent civil commission to investigate civil rights violations on the U.S. border with Mexico.
Becerra has been a strong advocate for educational reform, and favors legislation targeted at lowering high school dropout rates. In the 103rd Congress he served on the Education and Labor Committee; the Judiciary Committee; and the Science, Space and Technology Committee. Becerra supports campaign spending caps; he has a strong interest in immigration issues, and in 1994 he was part of a delegation that went to observe the elections in El Salvador. Currently he serves on the Judiciary Committee, and the Educational and Economic Opportunities Committee.