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U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla has been named chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Immigration Subcommittee.

Padilla made the announcement Sunday, noting that his priority is to restore humanity, dignity and respect to the immigration process. He said this includes everything from reunifying families, fixing the asylum system, streamlining the process for legal immigration and creating a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.

Padilla said.

“As the proud son of immigrants from Mexico, I’m honored to be the first Latino to serve as Chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Safety.”

The senator added:

“While no state has more at stake in immigration policy than California, the entire nation stands to benefit from thoughtful immigration reform.”

The subcommittee has jurisdiction over citizenship, border safety, refugee laws and oversight of immigration functions in various departments, including the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The California Secretary of State until a month ago, Padilla became a U.S. senator after Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed him to the seat that became available when former Sen. Kamala Harris resigned to become vice president.

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