In The News

April 12, 2024

San Diego region to receive $39M in funding for migrant aid

More than $39 million in Shelter and Services Program funding is headed to San Diego as part of federal monies authorized by Congress to support communities that are providing services to migrants. "The San Diego area has a long tradition of welcoming individuals seeking asylum and refuge with open arms. I'm proud to have worked alongside my San Diego delegation colleagues to secure this critical funding for communities and organizations aiding migrants," said Rep. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego. … Continue Reading

April 04, 2024

Work Permits for Immigrants Extended After Plea by 70 Legislators, Including 2 from San Diego

Just two days after 70 legislators signed a letter urging the White House to prevent a work-permit lapse for immigrants, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on Thursday responded. The agency tripled the automatic extension period after San Diego-area Reps. Juan Vargas and Sara Jacobs joined 68 of their Democratic congressional colleagues in submitting a letter to President Biden, the Department of Homeland Security and the USCIS. The missive imploring BIden’s administration to lengthen … Continue Reading

April 03, 2024

Reps. Vargas, Jacobs Join Letter Urging Immigrant Work Permit Extension

by Debbie L. Sklar

San Diego-area Reps. Juan Vargas and Sara Jacobs Tuesday joined 68 of their Democratic congressional colleagues in a letter to President Joe Biden and a pair of federal agencies, urging the administration to prevent a work-permit lapse for immigrants later this month. The letter, signed by 60 representatives and 10 senators in all, was addressed to Biden, the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. It urges them lengthen the current automatic … Continue Reading

March 27, 2024

Vargas, Other House Reps Ask DHS to Fix CBP One Mobile App for Asylum Seekers

by Elizabeth Ireland

U.S. Rep. Juan Vargas and 29 of his Democratic House colleagues are asking the Department of Homeland Security to improve a Customs and Border Protection mobile app used to manage asylum interview requests, his office said Tuesday. In a March 21 letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, lawmakers wrote that “while DHS has made some changes, urgent issues remain unresolved.” Lawmakers contend the app has a limited number of languages, which “effectively restricts access to … Continue Reading

April 13, 2023

Biden announces Medicaid, ObamaCare access for DACA recipients


The Biden administration on Thursday rolled out a plan to expand health care access for beneficiaries of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Under the plan, DACA recipients will become eligible to apply for Medicaid and to enroll in Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance exchanges. DACA beneficiaries are not currently eligible for those benefits because their immigration status does not meet the current definition of “lawful presence” required to enroll in … Continue Reading

March 17, 2023

Democrats call out Biden administration, condemn border wall being built in Friendship Park


Shameful. Embarrassing. A potentially impeachable offense. The trio of San Diego politicians speaking next to the border wall in San Ysidro on Friday used those words to characterize the decision by fellow Democrats in the federal government to build 30-foot border walls in the area around Friendship Park. With their sharply critical comments, Congressman Juan Vargas, State Sen. Steve Padilla and Assemblyman David Alvarez added their voices to the chorus of activists who are fighting for … Continue Reading

January 25, 2023

Vargas, Casten Launch Sustainable Investment Caucus

Washington, D.C. (January 25, 2023) - Today, Congressman Juan Vargas (CA-52) and Congressman Sean Casten (IL-06) announced the launch of the Congressional Sustainable Investment Caucus (CSIC). A video from the press conference announcing the launch can be found here.   CSIC will bring together Members of Congress with experts to better understand sustainable investing and inform policy making that provides investor protections and transparency of information to market … Continue Reading

October 07, 2022

CBS 8 talks to Congressman Juan Vargas about his childhood in National City and the cultural changes he's seen in recent decades.

by Carlo Cecchetto

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. — Growing up in National City, with parents who came to the United States as part of the Bracero Program, to his education at Harvard Law School, and his decision to enter politics, Congressman Juan Vargas knows San Diego County like few people do.  In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, CBS 8's Carlo Cecchetto sat down with the former San Diego City Councilmember turned U.S. Congressmember to discuss growing up in San Diego and the … Continue Reading

July 08, 2022

San Diego lawmakers free up border pollution funding


Persistent pollution on the San Diego County coast may be a step closer to cleanup, after two San Diego lawmakers fixed language to allow the U.S. Protection Agency to transfer $300 million to the International Boundary and Water Commission for wastewater treatment. Reps. Sara Jacobs and Juan Vargas included provisions in the House State and Foreign Operations bill to authorize the funding transfer, which has been stalled since 2019. The money was authorized as part of the United … Continue Reading

June 15, 2022

Democrats pressure Jan. 6 panel to pursue criminal referrals of Trump


The committee investigating last year’s attack on the U.S. Capitol says it is undecided on the question of whether to issue a criminal referral of former President Trump for his role in the rampage. For a growing number of Democrats watching from the sidelines, however, the answer is already clear.  “I think they should do criminal referrals,” said Rep. Juan Vargas (D-Calif.). “Obviously, with what they’ve uncovered, there’s criminal … Continue Reading

March 29, 2022

ESG lobbying surges with Democratic control of Washington

by Laura Weiss

More lobbyists reported raising environmental, social and governance issues with U.S. officials and lawmakers this year, with Democrats now controlling Washington, than ever before. “ESG” has been steadily appearing in more federal quarterly lobbying reports in recent years, according to a review of filings by CQ Roll Call. After the first mention of ESG came in mid-2018, references to the topic climbed during the final years of the Trump administration, which … Continue Reading

April 02, 2021

Opinion: Rep. Vargas: I asked the girls at the convention center what they wanted most. Here’s what they said.

by Juan Vargas

America has always been a sanctuary for people fleeing persecution, violence and famine. President Joe Biden was following this noble tradition of refuge in overturning the Trump administration’s policy of summarily rejecting unaccompanied children when they presented themselves for asylum at our southern border. Many of these children are fleeing for their lives and have a right under both U.S. and international law to seek asylum and have their cases adjudicated. As we work on the … Continue Reading

January 26, 2021

Salton Sea: Congressmen Ruiz and Vargas reintroduce bill to address New River pollution

by Mark Olalde

U.S. Reps. Raul Ruiz, D-Palm Desert, and Juan Vargas, D-San Diego reintroduced a bill this week that is aimed at cleaning up the New River, a highly polluted waterway originating near Mexicali, Mexico that flows north, emptying into the Salton Sea. The bill, HR491, would direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to create an organization to be called the California New River Restoration Program, which would coordinate funding and cleanup projects. The … Continue Reading

September 03, 2020

Members of Congress ask Trump to stop deporting Nicaraguan dissidents

by Kevin Sieff

Seven members of Congress on Thursday wrote a letter to President Trump asking that the United States stop deporting Nicaraguan political dissidents who come to the country to seek asylum. The letter was a response to a Washington Post article published on Aug. 28 that detailed the expulsion of several such asylum seekers, who were not permitted to make asylum claims before being flown back to Nicaragua. “Your deportations of politically persecuted Nicaraguans run … Continue Reading

January 31, 2020

Elected Officials To Discuss USMCA And Tijuana River Pollution

by City News Service

Local elected representatives will gather Friday morning to discuss the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) agreement and how funding for the pact will impact pollution in the Tijuana River Valley. U.S. Reps. Mike Levin, D-Oceanside, Susan Davis, D-San Diego, Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, Scott Peters, D-San Diego, Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina and San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer will discuss the $300 million in the international agreement to fund the Border Water Infrastructure Project (BWIP) to … Continue Reading

September 24, 2019

San Diego delegation, candidates, break along party lines about impeachment inquiry

Members of the San Diego delegation began to embrace or reject the plan for a presidential impeachment inquiry along party lines. Democratic Reps. Juan Vargas and Mike Levin quickly issued statements following Pelosi’s announcement to express support for the inquiry, saying the probe is necessary to uphold the rule of law. “I called for an impeachment inquiry months ago, and now I believe more than ever that the House must formally launch impeachment proceedings against the President,” … Continue Reading

February 04, 2016

Bipartisan, for a moment: When prayer prevails over politics

Rep. Juan Vargas will be on the dais at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday morning as President Obama addresses what has become a must-attend event for many politicians. For the San Diego Democrat, though, it's so much more. The former Jesuit missionary has barely missed the weekly prayer meetings held by members of Congress since he was elected, and Vargas says he's excited to bring so many people together in prayer as co-chairman of the event. Occurring yearly since 1953, the … Continue Reading

September 18, 2015

Op-Ed: Here's How We Can Help Religious Minorities Persecuted by ISIS

Last year, for the first time in more than 2,000 years, there was no church service in Mosul after a radical Sunni Islamist terrorist group known as the Islamic State expanded its control into northwest Iraq. Christians living in their historic homeland in the Nineveh Plains were warned to either convert to Islam, pay a cumbersome tax or be executed. I watched in horror as more than 10,000 Iraqi Christians, Yezidis and other religious minorities packed their belongings and fled to … Continue Reading

September 14, 2015

Jesuit Ties to Pope Francis Provide Rep. Vargas With Insight

When Rep. Juan C. Vargas attends Pope Francis’ address to Congress next week, it won’t be his first time in the pontiff’s presence. The California Democrat arranged to meet briefly with the pope in August 2014 in Rome and a photo from their encounter serves as the background on Vargas' cell phone. The two men also share a deep bond: Vargas is a former member of the Society of Jesus, a Catholic order whose members include Francis. Five years in the order and decades of devotion to Jesuit … Continue Reading

August 04, 2015

House Confederate Flag Battle Not Over

After a long day fighting over the Confederate battle flag, it is unclear where the issue might flare up next for the House of Representatives. For the second time in less than a month, House Democrats on Thursday sought a floor vote for a resolution to ban Confederate flag imagery on House grounds. Like before, Republicans made sure it was sent to the House Administration Committee to go through “regular order,” rather than an up-or-down vote right then and there. It might stay there, … Continue Reading

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