Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the House panel that appropriates funds for the Department of Homeland Security and a champion of liberal immigration policies, on Monday evening announced that she will retire from Congress at the end of her current term.
Roybal-Allard, who in 1992 became the first Mexican-American to be elected to Congress and in 2019 became the first Latina to chair a House Appropriations Subcommittee, said on Twitter that “the time has come for me to spend more time with my family.” She is 80 years old.
An advocate for immigrant’s rights, Roybal-Allard co-authored The Dream Act, which would give undocumented immigrants an earned path to U.S. citizenship. The bill has never passed Congress.
She also is a strong advocate for humane treatment of immigrants that are detained in the U.S.
In addition to her support for immigrants, as chairwoman of the House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee, Roybal-Allard has also been a strong supporter of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the Coast Guard, border security technology, and science and technology.
In June, the subcommittee marked up its version of the fiscal year 2022 appropriations bill for DHS, providing $52.8 billion for the department, nearly 2 percent more than the FY ’21 funding level.
Earlier on Monday, Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, announced that she would not seek re-election at the end of her term. The announcements by Murphy and Roybal-Allard mark the 22nd and 23rd Democrats who have said they will leave the House at the end of the current congressional term.
Roybal-Allard’s 40th congressional district in California is majority Latino although the district is being merged with a portion of the 47th, which is represented by Alan Lowenthal (D), who announced last week that he will be retiring.