AG Becerra to Give Spanish-Language Response to Trump's State of the Union

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. (Anne Wernikoff/KQED)

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra — who has sued the Trump administration 45 times over a wide range of issues — will deliver the Spanish-language response to President Trump's State of the Union (SOTU) address next week.

Becerra was tapped by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“Attorney General Becerra is a towering champion of equal justice and a tireless fighter for every American’s right to quality, affordable health care, and we all look forward to his strong message of progress for all American families and communities," said Pelosi, who served with Becerra during his 24 years in Congress.

In a statement Becerra said, “I’m looking forward to addressing my fellow Americans on a day when truth, candor and unity should be the order of the day. There is enough good going on in this country that we don’t need to hide behind misrepresentations to describe the State of our Union. "

Becerra became California's first Latino attorney general when he was nominated by former Gov. Jerry Brown to fill out the term of Kamala Harris, after she was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016.


Since taking office in January 2017, Becerra on his own or in concert with other attorneys general has sued the Trump administration over many issues, including the travel ban, threats to sanctuary jurisdictions, clean air standards, women's access to reproductive health services and offshore oil drilling.

In doing so he has helped cement California's image as leader of  "the resistance" to the Trump administration.

He is not the first person to deliver a Spanish-language response to the SOTU.

Last year Elizabeth Guzman, a Peruvian-American member of the Virginia House of Delegates, gave the official response in Spanish. The year before it was Astrid Silva, an immigration rights activist and "dreamer" from Nevada.

Also chosen by Schumer and Pelosi was former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, who will give her SOTU response in English.

Abrams narrowly lost her bid to become Georgia's first African-American governor last year, a campaign that garnered national attention over charges of voter suppression by the Republican candidate, Brian Kemp, who was also the state's top election official.

President Trump will deliver his State of the Union address Feb. 5, after a one-week delay initiated by Speaker Pelosi withdrawing her invitation to have the president speak during the partial government shutdown.