Growing up in Las Cruces, Xochitl Torres Small learned the New Mexico values of hard work, grit, and a commitment to make Southern New Mexico a better home for all of us.
As a child, Xochitl heard stories about her grandmother, who immigrated here from Mexico, working in the fields to build her American dream. Xochitl watched her mom, who goes to school early and stays long after the last bell has rung to help her students succeed. Xochitl saw her father consistently go the extra mile as a social worker to help those who are too often pushed aside. She learned the importance of having your neighbor's back – something Congress doesn’t seem to care about anymore.
While her family never had a lot of money, Xochitl learned that through hard work and a good education she could not only succeed, but also give back to the community that made her success possible. Like so many New Mexicans, Xochitl and her family took out loans to pay for college. To limit that debt, Xochitl took jobs tutoring, serving as a Residential Assistant at her university, and working to support women’s health. She graduated Cum Laude from Georgetown University in just three years.
Armed with a college degree, Xochitl returned home to Las Cruces to help the place that has given her so much. As a Field Representative for Senator Udall, Xochitl worked to increase cell phone service, broadband, and other communication lines in rural New Mexico. She worked with teachers, college instructors, and business leaders to create better job opportunities for local graduates. She also helped bring farmers, conservationists, and communities together to protect New Mexico’s water.
As a judicial law clerk for a federal judge, the Honorable Robert C. Brack, Xochitl worked on one of the heaviest criminal dockets in the country. Xochitl saw firsthand the personal costs and financial burden our nation bears because of its broken immigration system.
Growing up in the desert, Xochitl knows that our jobs and our future depend on protecting our water. Now, as an attorney, Xochitl works with local governments, farmers, developers, and conservationists to best use this shared resource. Xochitl also volunteers at a homeless shelter, where she gives free counsel to the homeless.
Through all her work, she’s learned a common lesson: tackling our biggest problems requires bringing New Mexicans of all backgrounds together around shared values and commonsense solutions. She’s eager to share that lesson with Washington.
Xochitl's story is New Mexico. She understands what Southern New Mexico needs, and knows what it takes to solve our most pressing problems.