Capitol Hill Attorney Debra Dixon recently joined host Jim O’Brien on “The Political Life” podcast to discuss immigration, politics, and her new job as a principal at Ferox Strategies, a bipartisan government relations firm.
Dixon worked for former Congressman Xavier Becerra of California as his chief of staff. Becerra is now serving as the 25th U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Dixon said she was working under Becerra at a time when there was an opportunity to reform the country’s immigration laws, but then the 9/11 terrorist attacks happened. “People became more afraid of others coming into the country from other parts of the world who may want to do us harm.”
Dixon’s parents – her mother grew up in Illinois and her father in Panama – met in Ecuador. The family, which includes Dixon’s older brother, was living in Panama when they decided to move to the U.S.
She said any meaningful reform needs to be a bipartisan effort. The $3.5 trillion budget recently passed by the U.S. Senate includes a proposal that would provide legal permanent status to immigrants who qualify.
In addition to working with Becerra, Dixon has also worked as Immigration Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice and as Chief of Staff at the Department of Education’s Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development.
Dixon became a principal at Ferox Strategies, a boutique government relations firm in Washington.
Listen to the podcast below: