State Sen. Ricardo Lara
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A point man in the push for immigrant rights

State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), left, laughs with his nephew, Ernesto Lara, center front, his father, Venustiano Lara, center back, and his sister, Jackie Lara, right, during a cookout at his parents’ home in East Los Angeles. (Katie Falkenberg, Los Angeles Times)
Ricardo Lara, right, is pictured at 8 years old with members of his family, including his father, Venustiano Lara (with mustahce), who had struggled to swim a deep, frigid canal on the moonless night when he came to America. (Lara family photo, Lara family photo)
State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) rests on his chair during a break in a Senate Rules Committee meeting in Sacramento. In recent years, he has emerged as a key figure in the push for immigrant rights — the point man on the Latino Caucus’ often controversial agenda. (Katie Falkenberg, Los Angeles Times)
State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), right, chats with Sen. Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) during a break in a Senate Rules Committee meeting in Sacramento. He has helped pass college scholarships for undocumented students, more on-the-job protection for California farmworkers and a law preventing police from seizing undocumented drivers’ cars, among other policy changes. (Katie Falkenberg, Los Angeles Times)
State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) works in his Capitol office. His out-front role in the immigration debate frequently puts him at odds with those who oppose the use of taxpayer resources to benefit people in the country illegally.  (Katie Falkenberg, Los Angeles Times)
State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), center, attends a Senate Rules Committee meeting at the Capitol in Sacramento. Lara’s parents immigrated to the United States from Mexico, and their struggle has influenced how he legislates. (Katie Falkenberg, Los Angeles Times)
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