Meet Juan Ciscomani, Arizona’s 1st naturalized American from Mexico elected to Congress
PHOENIX — Arizona Congressman Juan Ciscomani has only been in office for two months but already is seen as a rising star in the Republican Party.
At 40 years old, he’s the first naturalized American from Mexico to represent Arizona in the U.S. House of Representatives. Just a few weeks after he was sworn in, he delivered the Spanish-language response to the State of the Union.
He credits a lot of his success to his upbringing and the value of hard work he learned from his parents. His father worked as a bus driver, and his mother took care of the responsibilities at home while instilling the importance of prayer.
Ciscomani often shares a conversation he had with his father right after announcing his run for Congress.
“He said, ‘Juan, where else could we have our story?’” Ciscomani recalled in an exclusive interview with KTAR News 92.3 FM. “We come to the country, we immerse in the culture, we learn English, we become U.S. citizens. I drive a bus my whole life, and now my son has a shot at becoming a member of the United States Congress? Where else in the world could we have our story?’”
“And the answer is nowhere else,” he continued. “This is the American dream.”
Ciscomani was born in Hermosillo, Sonora. He was a young boy when his parents brought him and his two younger sisters to pursue a better life in Tucson.
The Republican congressman said he and his family came to the United States through a port of entry. They processed their paperwork to become lawful permanent residents once they were already here with the help from their church.
He didn’t give specifics of his immigration filings but added they required an attorney, which was costly.
Ciscomani worked his way through college as a maintenance and fast-food worker. After becoming the first in his family to earn a college degree, he worked for the University of Arizona and the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
He joined former Gov. Doug Ducey’s administration as a senior advisor and vice-chair of the Arizona-Mexico Commission.
Now in Congress, Ciscomani said it’s an honor to serve his community but finds it difficult to be away from his wife, Laura, and their six children when he’s in Washington, D.C.
“That’s the most challenging for me and for them as well,” he said. “I’ve always been very involved, like coaching them in sports, dropping them off at school and being there for the plays and the rehearsals. And now I’m missing some of that, and it’s hard.”
Ciscomani tries to be very intentional about the time he spends with his family when he is home.
His strong family values are part of the reason why he’s drawn to the Republican Party, and he sees Latinos playing a huge role in the GOP’s future.
“The Hispanic community is predominately Democrat – that’s not a secret,” Ciscomani said. “But we’re waking up to the fact that it’s not about parties at this point. It’s really about opportunity.”
Ciscomani said he believes Republicans give Latinos a better chance to advance in their career, in their business or whatever area of life.
“I think that [Latinos] are finding a good, welcoming home here in the Republican Party, at least from what I represent in that party,” he said.
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