- Elected to the House of Representatives in 2016
- Joined the Congressional Hispanic Caucus
- Supporter of a “pathway to citizenship” for illegal aliens
- Supporter of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
- Opposes construction of a wall along America's southern border
- Praised the Council on American-Islamic Relations for its "protection of civil liberties"
Jose “Lou” Luis Correa was born in East Los Angeles on January 24, 1958, to parents of Mexican heritage. When the boy was not yet two years old, his mother was killed in a car accident in Mexico. Correa and his father subsequently lived in Zacatecas for five years before moving back to California (Anaheim) in 1965. Correa later earned a BA in economics from California State University-Fullerton, as well as an MBA and a JD from UCLA.
Correa worked as an attorney, a teacher, a real estate broker, and an investment banker before launching a career in politics, where he has served variously as a California state assemblyman (1999-2004), an Orange County (California) board of supervisors member (2004-06), a California state senator (2007-14), and a U.S. House of Representatives member (representing California’s 46th Congressional District since January 2017). He is also a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
During his tenure with the Orange County board, Correa was the lone supervisor who wished to prohibit local law-enforcement officers from checking the immigration status of prison inmates. And while serving in the California state senate, he voted in favor of: (a) allowing illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses, and (b) permitting illegal minors to retain state residency following the deportation of their parents, so that they could remain eligible for the discounted college tuition rates normally reserved exclusively for legal residents of California.
Upon winning election to Congress in November 2016, Correa lamented the prospect of having to deal with the incoming presidential administration of Republican Donald Trump, who had run a campaign emphasizing the need for strict enforcement of immigration laws. “People [illegal aliens] are scared to death [of Trump] right now,” said Correa. “My role is one of education. The new immigrants are not here to cheat or steal. They’re here to work hard and be part of the American Dream.”
In contrast to what he has depicted as the Trump administration’s “draconian” calls for adherence to the mandates of immigration law, Correa maintains that the correct course of action – “ethically, morally and financially” – would be to provide a “pathway to citizenship” for illegal aliens. He has long supported former President Barack Obama‘s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive action of 2012, which conferred temporary protection from deportation upon some 800,000+ so-called “Dreamers” – illegal-alien teens and young adults who first came to the United States as minors. When President Trump in September 2017 suggested that DACA should be phased out, Correa said: “Today is a dark day in America. The only crime DACA students are guilty of is aspiring for the American Dream.”
Correa introduced his first bill as a member of Congress – the “DREAMers, Immigrants, and Refugees Legal Aid Act” – in February 2017. By Correa’s telling, this legislation would “authorize the Department of Justice to allocate up to $5 million … to grant programs for nonprofits that provide immigration legal services to immigrants, refugees, and DACA recipients.” “It is un-American to turn our backs on those that need our help,” Correa said.
When President Trump in June 2017 rescinded the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program – by which President Obama in 2014 had protected several million illegal aliens beyond those covered by DACA – Correa chided Trump for needlessly “going after honest, hard working taxpaying moms and dads.”
In September 2017, Correa signed a petition seeking to force a House vote on the DREAM Act, legislation that aimed to legalize and eventually naturalize aliens who had been brought to the U.S. illegally before the age of 16.
In October 2017, Correa was one of 29 House Democrats to sign a letter exhorting the Trump administration to abandon its efforts to obtain congressional funding for the construction of a physical barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border. The letter claimed that the administration’s “politically charged rhetoric” regarding illegal migration was replete with “unsubstantiated claims, exaggerations, and fearmongering.”
In a November 2017 letter addressed to President Trump’s chief of staff and Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Correa and 79 fellow Democrats called for the renewal of temporary protected status (TPS) not only for refugees and asylum-seekers from Syria and Haiti, but also for the tens of thousands of unaccompanied Central American minors who had illegally flooded northward across the U.S.-Mexican border during 2014-15. The letter stated, in part: “TPS recipients are hardworking contributors to the American economy and do not represent a risk to public safety…. Extending TPS for Honduras, Nicaragua, Haiti, El Salvador, and Syria is a compassionate and pragmatic choice.”
In March 2018, Correa publicly condemned President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions for having recently authorized a series of “indiscriminate and aggressive” immigration raids resulting in the apprehension of 232 illegal aliens – many of whom had long histories of criminality and deportation – in a number of California’s “sanctuary cities.” In Correa’s estimation, Trump and Sessions had “shown a complete lack of respect for California,” where “we have passed sanctuary laws to ensure everyone, regardless of status, feels safe to report crimes and work with our local law enforcement.”
On May 1, 2018, Correa and 125 fellow House Democrats signed a letter to President Trump “demanding answers for the … pitiful rate of [Iraqi and Syrian] refugee resettlement.” Asserting that “the U.S. has a national security and moral imperative to welcome refugees,” Correa and his co-signatories complained that “your administration has slowed the resettlement process through executive orders, administrative roadblocks, and lack of proper funding.”
In the immediate aftermath of an August 12, 2017 incident in Charlottesville, Virginia, where KKK/neo-Nazi demonstrators had clashed violently with counter-protesters led by the Marxist/anarchist forces of Antifa. Correa called on the House Homeland Security Committee to investigate the problem of “homegrown … terrorism inflicted by white supremacy extremists” intent on “destroying our country.”
In October 2017, Correa praised the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations for being “an essential part of our community” and “a strong advocate for the protection of civil liberties of all Americans and the empowerment of Muslim Americans.”
For additional information on Jose Luis Correa, click here.
Further Reading: “Orange County’s New ‘Homegrown’ Congressman” (L.A. Times, 12-2-2016); “Lou Correa’s Biography” (Votesmart.org); “Provide DREAMers a Pathway to Citizenship” (by Lou Correa, 10-14-2017); “Rep. Correa On The End Of DACA” (9-5-2017); “Rep. Correa Introduces Bill to Fund Legal Services for Immigrants, Refugees, and Dreamers” (2-2-2017); “Rep. Correa Signed Petition To Force Vote On DREAM Act” (9-25-2017); “Pascrell Leads 126 House Members Demanding Answers …” (5-1-2018); “Rep. Correa Demands Hearings on White Supremacy Terrorism” (LiberalOC.com, 8-14-2017).