Rep.-elect Lou Correa, D-California, said despite being a moderate Democrat, he plans to oppose President-elect Donald Trump’s proposed mass deportations.
Correa, who will represent California’s 46th Congressional District, was born in East Los Angeles and lived in Zacatecas, Mexico, for five years as a child before moving to Anaheim. His grandfather immigrated from Mexico early in the 1900s and was deported during the Great Depression.
Correa’s district is two-thirds Latino and he said many of his constituents are nervous.
“My role is one of education,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “The new immigrants are not here to cheat or steal. They’re here to work hard and be part of the American Dream.”
Correa has also criticized President Barack Obama’s record on deportations of undocumented immigrants.
Despite criticisms of Trump, Correa said he plans to take a wait-and-see approach with him.
“I’ll engage him wherever I can, but we’re going to take him on whenever we have to,” he said.
Correa is not the only incoming Democratic member of Congress who has lived in Mexico.
Incoming Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen, who will represent Nevada’s 4th Congressional District, was born in Guadalajara, Mexico.
At this year’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Kihuen joked that Trump “must be terrified of me; a Mexican immigrant running for United States Congress.”