Congresswoman Norma Torres

Representing the 35th District of California
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National Security and Foreign Policy

It is my priority to strengthen the Department of Homeland Security and shape policies that will keep our communities safe. DHS is the third largest federal agency, with more than 240,000 employees and a budget of $64 billion. I'm working to ensure that there is transparency at DHS and that taxpayer dollars are used efficiently and responsibly, and that our borders are secure and our ports can process people and goods quickly and securely.


Recognizing the significance of our nation’s ports to our local economy and how much ports increasingly rely on information technology, I wrote legislation to help protect the cybersecurity infrastructure of our nation’s 360 ports, which the House of Representatives passed unanimously.  I was also proud that the House of Representatives approved legislation I co-authored to improve and permanently authorize the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the national center that trains our federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.  


Back in the District, I have worked to strengthen the relationship between our local law enforcement, community leaders, and federal homeland security officials by hosting roundtable meetings where we can discuss local threats and build partnerships to keep communities safe and ensure an effective, efficient response to potential dangers.


Finally, as a former 9-1-1 dispatcher, I understand that in order to save lives during emergencies, our first responders must be able to communicate and locate people who need help. As our telecommunications technology becomes more sophisticated and more people rely on cell phones as their primary phone, I believe it is critical that our first responders have a 21st Century 9-1-1 infrastructure. Unfortunately, the federal government has not moved quickly enough to help states fund these critical infrastructure upgrades, so I have called on the Government Accountability Office to assess how these delays negatively impact first responders’ ability to help our communities during times of crisis. This is critical to showing Congress and state governments that we must act now to protect our communities and bring our emergency communications technology into the 21st Century.

More on National Security and Foreign Policy

January 15, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — La representante estadounidense Norma J. Torres (D-CA) emitió la siguiente declaración luego de ser nombrada por la líder Nancy Pelosi y confirmada por sus colegas del Caucus Demócrata para servir en el Comité de Asignaciones de la Cámara de Representantes, que es responsable de apropiar todos los gastos federales, nacionales y en el extranjero:


January 7, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, U.S. Representative Norma J. Torres (D-CA) released the following statement on the Guatemalan government’s unilateral termination of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) agreement:


December 21, 2018 Press Release

The bill follows the recent deaths of 7-year-old Jakelin Caal, who died while in U.S. Customs and Border Protection custody, and toddler Mariee Juarez, who died shortly after being released from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody  


December 20, 2018 Press Release

Today’s announcement that asylum seekers would be forced to wait in Mexico for the duration of their U.S. immigration proceedings raises additional concerns about the safety of migrants in Mexican border towns


December 18, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, U.S. Representative Norma J. Torres (D-CA) released the following statement in response to the U.S. State Department’s Strategy for Central America and Southern Mexico:   


“Today’s agreement with Mexico does not make sense. Is President Trump’s master plan to get Mexico to build the wall with U.S. taxpayer dollars?


December 14, 2018 Press Release

ONTARIO, CA — Today, U.S. Representative Norma J. Torres (D-CA) released the following statement in response to the death of Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquina, a 7-year-old girl who migrated with her father from Guatemala to the U.S. and died of dehydration and shock while in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Torres, who was born in Guatemala, immigrated to the U.S. as a child, and is currently the only member of Congress of Central American descent.


December 13, 2018 Press Release

El proyecto de ley da seguimiento a la legislación de Torres requiriendo que el Departamento de Estado proporcione al Congreso una lista de funcionarios corruptos en el Triángulo del Norte, la cual se convirtió en ley en agosto del año corriente


December 13, 2018 Press Release

The Guatemala Rule of Law Accountability Act builds on Torres legislation to require the State Department to provide Congress with a list of corrupt officials in the Northern Triangle that was signed into law in August


December 7, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Representatives Norma J. Torres (D-CA) and Juan Vargas (D-CA) have led a group of 19 members of Congress in a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Acting Inspector General John Kelly to urge an investigation into the Custom and Border Protection (CBP) agents’ use of tear gas against migrants at the San Ysidro Border Crossing in California on November 25, 2018. In addition, the federal lawmakers express concerns that the action may have been in violation of CBP’s use of force policy and note its impact on Mexican citizens.


October 5, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, U.S. Representative Norma J. Torres (D-CA) announced that the U.S. Senate passed a provision based on her Strengthening Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Coordination in Our Ports Act as part of the five-year reauthorization for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The legislation is expected to be signed into law by the President this week. Torres introduced the provision following the June 2017 NotPetya worldwide cyberattack that shut down the largest terminal at the Port of Los Angeles.