An immigrant lawmaker’s role in Trump time | The Riverdale Press

By Anthony Capote

Adriano Espaillat

Adriano Espaillat has had a big year.

In June, the outgoing state senator won a nine-person primary race to replace 46-year incumbent Rep. Charles Rangel in the House, narrowly defeating Assemblyman Keith Wright by 849 votes.

Then in July, he appeared on the national stage to speak at the Democratic national convention in Philadelphia, along with a slew of other New York Democrats, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Rep. Eliot Engel and Sen. Charles Schumer.

Finally, in November, though it was all but certain in a district containing parts of Harlem, Washington Heights and the Bronx, the representative-elect officially beat Republican Tony Evans in the general election.

The historic win signifies the first time this seat has changed hands since Mr. Rangel replaced Adam Clayton Powell in 1971. However, Mr. Espaillat is also the first Dominican-American elected to Congress and will become the first federal lawmaker to have formerly been an undocumented immigrant.

“I’ve already made my request to [Democratic Minority] Leader [Nancy] Pelosi for committee assignments and I’m also preparing for my swearing in ceremony on Jan. 3,” Mr. Espaillat said of his transition process. “So this is a very exciting time.”

However, the federal government he is walking into is not the one he expected; Republicans control both chambers of Congress and President-elect Donald Trump will take office just over two weeks after Mr. Espaillat, leaving the rookie representative to find his place in an administration that has repeatedly spoken out against illegal immigration and promotes border strength over amnesty for undocumented immigrants.

Read more: An immigrant lawmaker’s role in Trump time | The Riverdale Press

Related:

From Undocumented to Congress: Adriano Espaillat Needles Trump at DNC | Observer

Adriano Espaillat Tests the Role of Kingmaker After His Historic Primary Win | NY Times

Adriano Espaillat Is in Position to Replace Rangel and Become First Dominican in Congress | NY Times

Adriano Espaillat Prevails in Democratic Primary | WSJ

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