Born on January 26, 1958 in Sacramento, California, Xavier Becerra earned a BA in economics from Stanford University in 1980 and a JD from Stanford Law School in 1984. During his time at Stanford, he was a member of the radical Chicano organization MEChA. After completing his education, Becerra served as a staff attorney for the Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Massachusetts (1984-85); a staffer for California state senator Art Torres (1986); deputy attorney general for the State of California (1987-90); and a Democratic member of the California State Assembly (1990-92). Becerra was first voted into the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992, representing California's 30th Congressional District. He was re-elected every two years thereafter—up to, and including, 2016, though his district was renumbered as the 31st in 2003 and the 34th in 2013. His 1996 campaign was endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America.
In October 2002 Becerra supported the Chicano Coalition for Peace and Social Justice, a group that had been infiltrated by the Communist Party USA. In 2005 he joined Raul Grijalva and Luis Gutierrez in backing the efforts of Latinos for Peace, an anti-Iraq War front group for the Communist Party USA. That same year, Becerra co-sponsored Rep. John Conyers's HR 676, a bill calling for the creation of a government-run, “single-payer” healthcare system.
In August 2008 Becerra was named as a member of the Barack Obama presidential campaign's National Latino Advisory Council, along with such notables as Raul Grijalva, Luis Gutierrez, Eliseo Medina, Linda Sanchez, Hilda Solis, and Nydia Velazquez.
When the House of Representatives voted by a 345-75 margin to defund the notoriously corrupt community organization ACORN in September 2009, Becerra was one of the 75—all Democrats—who voted to continue funding the group. For a list of other legislators who voted as Becerra did, click here.
In Febrary 2010, Rep. Becerra dispatched one of his staffers, Henry Truong, to conduct a three-day “fact-finding trip in Venzuela and other Latin American countries with the mission of fostering dialogue and improving U.S. policy and bilateral relations.” The trip's $2,219.70 price tag was covered by a grant from the Center for Democracy in the Americas, an organization with ties to the Institute for Policy Studies.
In June 2010 Becerra spoke at “America's Future Now!”—an annual conference hosted by the Campaign for America's Future and the the Institute for Policy Studies.
In August 2010 Becerra met with a delegation from the the Muslim Public Affairs Council, including the organization's executive director, Salam Al-Marayati. Becerra began the meeting by professing his keen interest in Muslim concerns vis-à-vis the recent controversy related to the proposed construction of “Cordoba House” (a.k.a. “Park 51”)—a 13-story, $100 million mosque/Islamic Center just 600 feet from Ground Zero in lower Manhattan.
Becerra was one of 15 congressional co-sponsors of the America Votes Act of 2012, which sought—on the twin premises that Voter ID laws are racist and voter fraud is exceedingly rare—to allow voters to sign an affidavit attesting to their identity if they lacked the identification documents required at their polling place. Among the other sponsors of this bill were Reps. Mike Honda, Emanuel Cleaver, Gwen Moore, G.K. Butterfield, James Moran, Gregory Meeks, Donna Edwards, Bob Filner, Elijah Cummings, John Lewis, and Sam Farr.
In early 2013, Becerra was one of a number of prominent leftists who urged President Obama to award, posthumously, the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the late Fred Ross Sr., a Saul Alinsky-trained radical who mentored both Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta. To view a list of others who also exhorted Obama to honor Ross, click here.
In July 2015 Becerra condemned House Republican legislation proposing to cut off federal funds to so-called “sanctuary cities” that refused to help federal authorities enforce U.S. immigration laws. He asserted that the Republican bill “simply denies the cities and towns their dollars to hire police officers while attacking immigrant communities.”
Regarding a horrific July 1, 2015 incident where a 32-year-old San Francisco woman was murdered by an illegal alien who had been previously deported five times, Becerra denied that the city's sanctuary policies had contributed in any way to the victim's death. “I don’t believe having a sanctuary designation stops us from following the due course of the law to arrest or detain or deport an individual who doesn’t have the right to be in the country,” he said. “So I don’t believe we should be trying to ascribe blame based on a designation as a sanctuary city. Congress has a huge role to play. The first and foremost thing we can do is finally fix these broken imagination laws so we can get past this kind of stuff.”
During his years in the House of Representatives, Becerra was a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
On military-related matters, Rep. Becerra voted against denying President Barack Obama the funds that were necessary to wage the war that ultimately helped Al Qaeda and affiliated jihadists overthrow President Moammar Gaddafi in Libya in 2011; against asking Obama to "detail U.S. security interests and objectives" in Libya; and against the issuance of a commendation acknowleding the outstanding service of U.S. troops in Iraq.
For details about Becerra's overall voting record during his tenure as a legislator, click here.
After California Attorney General Kamala Harris was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2016, Governor Jerry Brown chose Becerra to replace Harris as the state's A.G.