El Salvador trip holds family connection for governor’s aide

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom is traveling to El Salvador to learn firsthand what is prompting thousands of people to leave and seek new lives in the United States.

An aide whose father made the same journey to the U.S. nearly 40 years ago is joining him.

Jesse Melgar is the lead press official for Newsom’s first foreign trip since he took office in January.

Melgar’s father fled El Salvador for the United States in 1981 amid a violent civil war.

He arrived in the U.S. illegally and later gained citizenship under President Ronald Reagan’s 1986 amnesty law.

Jesse Melgar says it’s powerful to return to the country his father left behind.

California is home to the largest Salvadoran population in the United States.

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