Attorney General Becerra Delivers Spanish-Language Response to State of the Union Address

Press Release

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SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, the first Latino elected Attorney General in California, Tuesday delivered the Spanish-language response to the State of the Union Address at his alma mater, C.K. McClatchy High School. Joined by students and their families, today’s response was delivered live. Attorney General Becerra, the son of immigrants, grew up in Sacramento, the capital of California.

“My parents began their life together in the United States for the same reason that many other families come to this country: to work hard and give their children a better life,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Upon leaving Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, they brought with them their faith and not much else. They trusted in the promise of this country that all those who work hard and play by the rules, have earned the opportunity to get ahead.”

Highlighting the enduring strength of the American Dream, today’s response to the State of the Union Address touched on key themes for charting a brighter, more inclusive path forward for the nation. Among them was a reaffirmation of the notion that if you work hard and play by the rules, you should have a fair chance to get ahead in this country. Attorney General Becerra also spoke to the threat of walls being built, not just at the border, but between Americans and access to critical programs like affordable health care. The Attorney General is committed to protecting the rights of Californians and, by extension, people across the country to break down these divisions, wherever they may arise.

Attorney General Becerra is the 33rd Attorney General of the State of California, and is the first Latino to hold the office. As attorney general, he has led the legal fight against the Trump Administration’s attacks on families and children, filing more than 100 legal actions — including 45 lawsuits — more than any other state attorney general. His efforts to defend the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and clean air and water have helped protect millions of children and families across the nation. Attorney General Becerra is the son of working-class parents; married to Dr. Carolina Reyes, and they are the proud parents of three daughters: Clarisa, Olivia, and Natalia.

English translation of remarks as delivered (Spanish remarks below):

Good evening.

It is an honor to be here with you from C.K. McClatchy High School in the City of Sacramento, the capital of the State of California. I am here with future leaders of our country — McClatchy students — where I also studied, but about four decades ago!

I am the son of working immigrants and the first in my family to walk through the doors of a university, and through the doors of opportunity.

My parents began their life together in the United States for the same reason that many other families come to this country: to work hard and give their children a better life. Upon leaving Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, they brought with them their faith and not much else. They trusted in the promise of this country that all those who work hard and play by the rules, have earned the opportunity to get ahead.

I know I am the product of those who fought to open the doors of opportunity. The optimism – that characterizes the waves of immigrants who have come here – runs through my blood. And if the state of our nation can be characterized as “strong,” it is because people like my parents and yours — citizens or immigrants — built this country.

During 24 years of service as a member of Congress, I learned much about our great country and I worked with three different presidents. And, now, as Attorney General, I defend and advocate for the rights of millions of Americans here in California and, by extension, throughout the United States.

Allow me an obvious observation:

There is no other country like the United States.

The world needs us strong and ready. The world looks to us as a leader and partner.

If America falls, everyone gets hurt.

The state of our union decides destinies.

How can it be, then, that our young, rich, and strong nation finds itself in a state of disorder, stress, hostility?

How can it be that what defines the state of our country in 2019 is the shutdown of the government at the hands President Trump? And not only once, but perhaps a second time in the coming weeks.

Who would believe that the state of our union would be propelled by President Trump’s extravagant obsession to build a wall on the border that not even the experts want? The President no longer even repeats his promise that Mexico will pay for the thousands of millions of dollars that the wall would cost.

And if all that were not enough to worry us, how can it be explained that our nation lives under an intense investigation about Russian interference in our 2016 presidential elections and the involvement of President Trump?

Criminality, conspiracy, obstruction of justice — all of these dark shadows follow Donald Trump and his Administration.

It shouldn’t surprise us that the majority of people here in the United States think that the country is moving in the wrong direction. And that four out of 10 Americans believe that this is the worst government that they have seen in their life.

Tonight was about convincing us that, from here on out, the deceit and dysfunction would stop and that cooperation would begin. What we heard was the same tired refrain of building walls.

If President Trump wanted to seriously advance comprehensive immigration reform, including border security, Democrats are and have been ready. But closing our government — and leaving hundreds of thousands of workers without work or pay — is not that way to do it.

And the idea of declaring a state of emergency on the border when one doesn’t exist, in order to justify robbing funds that belong to the victims of fires, floods, and hurricanes, to pay for the wall is not only immoral, it is illegal.

We are ready to reject this foolish proposal, in court, the moment it touches the ground.

The wall on the border is not the only wall that we are seeing that this Administration is trying to build:

  1. They are also putting a wall between you and your doctor, dictating what services you can receive. That is why my fellow Attorneys General and I defend, in court, people like Elizabeth from Florida. Having healthcare coverage allowed her to complete university and ensured that her husband had coverage to defeat cancer. And now, Elizabeth is an attorney.
  2. Also the Trump Administration — they are putting a wall between you and the voting booth. But I have news for you here: They failed! During the November elections, Latinos, especially young people, came out to vote in historic numbers! Thank you!
  3. What else? They are also putting a wall between our veterans and their medical services. They are ready to waste millions of dollars on a border wall instead of helping our veterans who deal with long delays in hospitals.
  4. And they’re also building a wall between parents and their children, by putting children in cages that separate them from their families.

Friends, believe me, we can bring down walls with our hands. More than that, we have already done it!

You don’t believe me?

With your votes last November, you changed the composition of Congress. The votes of congress members the President relied on, he no longer has them. Now, he has to learn to govern in a democracy.

He can no longer ignore the Democrats. That is why he doesn’t have his wall.

Your vote in November changed the votes in Congress. And that has changed the politics of our nation.

Now that you see your power, are you ready to open new doors?

Don’t you think that it is already the time that we in our government build schools, not walls? Then, get those hands ready to vote in the next election!

Our system of government rewards the participation of everyone. And with 66,000 Latino citizens reaching 18 years of age, the voting age, every month, we have many hands to reward.

Imagine if we had the power to decide this nation’s political agenda.

Better schools: Check!

Medical care for your family that politicians can’t take away from you: Check!

Salaries with benefits and protection on the job: Check!

Better laws to protect our families and our police from the violent use of firearms: Check!

Permanent protection for the Dreamers: Check!

Laws to protect the water we drink and the air we breathe: Check!

And comprehensive immigration reform to fix our broken system: Check! Check! Check!

This was not the agenda presented by the President. But these are the solutions that open the doors of opportunity.

In the courts and in Congress, or at the polls, we have to fight for our agenda. That is why I have fought as Attorney General in court against the President’s Administration and we are winning!

  1. In protecting the DACA program, we fought and won for 700,000 young people.
  2. In protecting the Affordable Care Act, we are the protagonists. More than four million Latinos depend on the ACA for their health insurance.
  3. In protecting college students against fraudulent loans, we fought and won for thousands of them.

Two weeks ago, my parents celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary. They began their life together with just their faith. They still remember the days when they couldn’t even cross through the doors of restaurants because of signs that said: “No dogs or Mexicans allowed.”

Over the years, they have reaped the fruits of their labor and dedication to their family. There is no doubt that the ‘State of the Union’ of Maria Teresa and Manuel Becerra is strong and resilient.

If you asked my parents what is the state of our Nation, I am sure they would paint an image more real than what President Trump presented tonight. They know what it means to work hard and to respect the rules.

And they know well that to stay strong as a united people, we have to work together and push those heavy doors open so that all our children – like the students from CK McClatchy – can walk through them, and have an opportunity.

Whether it’s with marches on the streets or marches to the polling booths, with fights in the court or through Congress, we will do what’s needed to ensure a strong and vibrant national Union.

Friends, with faith and the strength of our labor, and respecting the diverse contributions of the American people, the United States will continue to be the home of the American Dream.

Thank you. Good night and may God bless you.

Remarks as delivered in Spanish:

Buenas noches.

Es un honor estar con ustedes desde la escuela secundaria C.K. McClatchy High School en la ciudad de Sacramento, la capital del estado de California. Me encuentro aquí con futuros líderes de nuestro país — estudiantes de la McClatchy — donde yo también estudié, ¡pero hace como cuatro décadas!

Yo soy hijo de inmigrantes trabajadores y el primero en mi familia que pudo caminar por las puertas de la universidad, y por las puertas de la oportunidad.

Mis padres empezaron su vida aquí por la misma razón que viene mucha gente a este país: para trabajar duro y darles a sus hijos una vida mejor. Al salir de Guadalajara, Jalisco, México, trajeron con ellos su fe y no mucho más. Confiaban en la promesa de este país de que todos aquellos que se esfuerzan y cumplen con las reglas, se han ganado la oportunidad de salir adelante.

Sé que soy producto de los que lucharon por abrir esas puertas de oportunidad. El optimismo – que caracteriza las olas de inmigrantes que han llegado aquí – corre en mi sangre. Y si el estado de nuestra nación se puede caracterizar como “fuerte”, es porque gente como mis padres y los suyos — ciudadanos o migrantes — construyeron este país.

Durante 24 años de servicio como congresista en Washington, yo conocí mucho de nuestro gran país y trabajé con tres presidentes diferentes. Y, ahora, como fiscal general, defiendo y abogo por los derechos de millones de americanos aquí en California y, por extensión, en todo los Estados Unidos.

Permítanme una observación obvia:

No hay otro país como los Estados Unidos.

El mundo nos necesita fuerte y listo. El mundo nos busca como líder y socio.

Si se cae América, todo mundo se lastima.

El estado de nuestro país decide destinos.

¿Cómo puede ser, entonces, que el estado de nuestra joven, rica, y fuerte Nación ahora es desorden, tensión, hostilidad?

¿Cómo puede ser que lo que defina el estado de nuestro país en el año 2019 es el cierre del gobierno a manos de presidente Trump? Y no sólo una vez, pero quizás una segunda vez en las próximas semanas.

¿Quién pudiera creer que el estado de nuestra Unión sea impulsado por una obsesión extravagante del presidente Trump de construir un muro en la frontera que ni los expertos quieren? El presidente ya ni repite su promesa de que México pagaría los miles de millones dólares que cuesta este muro.

Y sí todo eso no fuera suficiente para preocuparnos, ¿cómo se explica que nuestra Nación vive bajo una intensa investigación sobre la interferencia rusa en nuestras elecciones presidenciales del 2016 y sobre el papel que jugó el presidente Trump?

Criminalidad, conspiración, obstrucción de justicia — todas esas sombras oscuras siguen a Donald Trump y a su Administración.

No es sorpresa que la mayoría del pueblo aquí en los Estados Unidos piense que el país camina en la dirección equivocada. Y que cuatro de cada 10 americanos creen que este es el peor gobierno que han visto en su vida.

Esta noche era para convencernos que, de ahora en adelante, paraba el engaño y la disfunción y que empezaba la cooperación. Lo que escuchamos fue el cansado refrán de “construir muros”.

Si el presidente Trump quisiera avanzar en serio una reforma migratoria integral, incluyendo la seguridad fronteriza, los Demócratas estamos y hemos estado listos. Pero cerrar nuestro gobierno — y dejar sin empleo o pago a cientos de miles de trabajadores — no es la manera de hacerlo.

Y la idea de declarar un estado de emergencia en la frontera cuando uno no existe, para justificar robar fondos que le pertenecen a los desamparados de los incendios, inundaciones, y huracanes, para pagar por el muro no solo es inmoral, es ilegal.

Estamos listos para rechazar esta propuesta insensata, en la corte, en el momento que toque la tierra.

El muro en la frontera no es la única barrera que estamos viendo de esta Administración que trata de construir:

  1. Ellos también ponen un muro entre usted y su médico, dictando cuales servicios puede recibir. Por eso mis colegas y yo defendemos en la corte a personas como Elizabeth del estado de la Florida. Teniendo cobertura de salud eso la dejó a ella terminar sus estudios universitarios y aseguró que su marido tuviera cobertura para poder vencer el cáncer. Y ahora, Elizabeth es abogada.
  2. También la administración de presidente Trump — ellos Construyen un muro entre usted y las urnas de votación. Pero aquí tengo noticias: ¡Fracasaron! En las elecciones de noviembre, Latinos, especialmente los jóvenes, ¡salieron a votar en números históricos! ¡Gracias!
  3. ¿Que mas? Ellos ponen un muro entre nuestros veteranos y sus servicios médicos. Ellos Están listos de malgastar millones de dólares para un muro fronterizo en vez de ayudarles a nuestros veteranos que se enfrentan demasiadas demoras en los hospitales.
  4. Y ellos también construyen también un muro entre padres e hijos, al meter a niños en jaulas que los separan de sus padres.

Amigos, créanmelo, podemos tumbar muros y abrir puertas con nuestras manos. Es más, ¡ya lo hicimos!

¿No me lo creen?

Con sus votos el noviembre pasado, ustedes cambiaron la composición del congreso. Los votos de los congresistas con quienes contaba el presidente, ya no los tiene. Ahora él tiene que aprender lo que es gobernar en una democracia.

Ya no puede ignorar a los Demócratas. Y por eso, no tiene su muro.

Su voto en noviembre cambió los votos en el congreso. Y eso ha cambiado la política de nuestra nación.

Ahora que ven su poder, ¿están listos para abrir nuevas puertas?

¿No les parece que ya es la hora de que nosotros en nuestro gobierno construyamos escuelas, no muros? ¡Entonces, prepárense, esas manos pueden cambiar mucho esas manos pueden cambiar con la próxima votación!

Nuestro sistema democrático premia a la participación de todos. Y con 66,000 ciudadanos Latinos cumpliendo 18 años de edad, la edad de votación, cada mes, tenemos muchas manos que premiar.

Imagínense si tuviéramos el poder de decidir la agenda política de esta nación.

Mejores escuelas: ¡Check!

Un cuidado médico para su familia que los políticos no le pueden quitar: ¡Check!

Sueldos con beneficios y protecciones en el empleo: ¡Check!

Mejores leyes para proteger nuestras familias y nuestra policía del violento uso de las armas de fuego: ¡Check!

Protección permanente para los Soñadores, los Dreamers: ¡Check!

Leyes que protegen el agua que tomamos y el aire que respiramos: ¡Check!

Y una reforma migratoria integral para reparar el sistema roto: ¡Check! ¡Check! ¡Check!

Esta no es la agenda que presentó el presidente. Pero estas son las soluciones que abren puertas de la oportunidad.

En las cortes o en el Congreso, o en las urnas de la votación, tenemos que luchar por nuestra agenda. Por eso es que yo he luchado como fiscal general en la corte contra la Administración del presidente Trump, ¡y estamos ganando!

  1. En proteger el programa de DACA, luchamos y ganamos para los 700,000 jóvenes.
  2. En proteger el programa de salud Obamacare, somos los protagonistas. Más de cuatro millones de Latinos dependen en el Obamacare para su seguro médico.
  3. En proteger los estudiantes universitarios contra préstamos fraudulentos, luchamos y ganamos por miles de ellos.

Hace dos semanas mis padres celebraron 66 años de matrimonio. Empezaron su vida juntos con sólo su fe. Todavía recuerdan los días cuando no podían cruzar las puertas de restaurantes debido a los letreros que les decían: “Los perros o mexicanos, no permitidos”.

Con los años, han recibido los premios de su labor y dedicación a su familia. No hay duda de que el “estado de la Unión” de María Teresa y Manuel Becerra es fuerte y solido.

Si les preguntamos a mis padres cuál es el estado de nuestra Nación, estoy seguro que pintarían una imagen mas real que lo que nos presento el presidente Trump esta noche. Ellos saben lo que significa trabajar duro y respetar las reglas.

Y bien que saben que para mantenernos fuertes como pueblo unido hay que trabajar juntos y mantener abiertas esas pesadas puertas para que todos nuestros hijos – como los estudiantes de C.K. McClatchy – puedan cruzar y conocer la oportunidad.

Ya sea con marchas en las calles o marchas a las urnas de votación con luchas en la corte o a través del Congreso, haremos lo que se necesita para asegurar una Unión nacional fuerte y vibrante.

Amigos, con fe y la fuerza de nuestra labor, y respetando las diversas contribuciones del pueblo americano, los Estados Unidos seguirá siendo el dueño del Sueño Americano.

Muchas gracias. Buenas noches y que Dios los bendiga.


6 COMMENTS

  1. Build the wall and through him over it. He is paid by us, the people, and he must serve with respect. And giving Spanish speeches is an insult to the American people.

    • He’s part of the “reconquista” movement! Indeed, after the rest of the wall is extended (most of it is already up), he should be thrown over it. Hasta la vista,baby!! Hasta la siempre!

  2. Why did this bozo not mention that he has wasted California tax payers $ on bringing litigation against the US and Trump 41 times in the last two years?

    Why does this bozo refuse to protect us in California of this onslaught of illegal’s crossing our southern border?

    The Dems got lucky in the last election cycle, it will change in 2020 due to their inaction and obstruction they give Trump.

    Per CBS News last night 73% of Americans polled agreed with Trump and his SOTU speech.

    MAGA!

  3. Senior Beccerra,
    Get the hell out of this country. You are wasting my tax money on frivolous behavior. Obviously you’re no American. The cost of your 41 lawsuits could have taken many homeless off the chilling , feces infected , syringe laden streets of San Francisco.

    • Didn’t he hire Eric Holder — at a huge salary — to help with those lawsuits, thus wasting even more of our tax dollars?

Comments are closed.