Carper was born in West Virginia and raised in Virginia. He attended The Ohio State University on a Navy R.O.T.C. scholarship, graduating in 1968 with a B.A. in economics. He served five years as a naval flight officer and served in the Naval Reserve until retiring from military service in 1991 with the rank of captain.
He served as a naval flight officer in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War and later as a P-3 aircraft mission commander until he returned to Delaware in 1973. He then earned his MBA from the University of Delaware.
In 1976 he was elected to the first of three terms as Delaware's state treasurer. In 1982, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Delaware for five terms.
He was then elected the 78th governor of Delaware in 1993, serving two terms. During his second term as governor, Carper was selected to serve as vice-chairman, then as chairman of the National Governors' Association (NGA).
Supported by Council for a Livable World
The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported Thomas Carper in his successful Senate run as candidate for Delaware.
IAPAC Kickoff event
The newly created Iranian American Political Action Committee held a kickoff reception July 22 2003, at the Phoenix Park Hotel in Washington, DC. The reception was a huge success, attracting well over one hundred attendees. The crowd was so large that the room in which the reception was held was filled to overflowing. The reception was attended by three United States Senators-Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, Charles E. Schumer of New York, and Tom Carper of Delaware, as well as by distinguished Iranian Americans from many sectors of American society.
The program began with introductory remarks by Hassan Nemazee, the founder of IAPAC. Mr. Nemazee, who is also the Chairman and CEO of Nemazee Capital Corporation, emphasized the accomplishments of Iranian Americans in most areas of American life. He noted, however, that in politics, Iranian Americans have yet to assume a prominent role. Mr. Nemazee stated that IAPAC's foremost purpose is to ensure that Americans of Iranian descent have an influential voice and presence in the American electoral process by promoting and supporting the election of candidates for federal, state and local office, regardless of their party affiliation who are attuned to the domestic needs of the Iranian American community. Mr. Nemazee also emphasized that "IAPAC is a political action committee focused on the needs of our community in the United States and is not focused on U.S. policy towards Iran, establishing ties with or legitimizing the government of Iran."
Also representing IAPAC was Morad Ghorban, who serves as the political director of IAPAC. Mr. Ghorban, who immigrated to the United States from Shiraz as a child, emphasized his American patriotism, while noting that"...there will always be a little piece of Shiraz in my heart." In discussing IAPAC, Mr. Ghorban noted the importance of PACs in the American electoral system. He also emphasized that IAPAC will work to promote the interests of Iranian Americans in a non-partisan manner by making financial contributions to both Republican and Democratic candidates running for political office. Among the chief issues of concern to IAPAC, Mr. Ghorban said, are immigration reform and civil liberties.
Senator Kennedy spoke of his strong efforts to combat hate crimes against Iranian and other Americans. The Senator also emphasized his personal ties to the Middle East, noting the Lebanese heritage of his wife, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, and the ascent of his wife's family to prosperity. Senator Carper spoke warmly of his associations with Iranian Americans and his commitment to work with the Iranian American community. Senator Schumer noted that with the formal inauguration of IAPAC, Iranian Americans are following a pattern of entry into American political life that is common for most immigrant groups. Senator Schumer also spoke of his commitment to work with and engage Iranian Americans in the political process and the need to combat racism in American society.
Help on Iranian visas
In October of 2002 Iranian American Political Action Committee met with Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the then Chairmen of the Senate Judiciary Sub-committee on Immigration, to discuss the immediate impact of the implementation of the Section 306 of the Enhanced Border Security & Visa Enter Reform Act. Section 306 of the law contemplates a ban on the issuance of all non-immigrant visas to residents or nationals of the seven countries that appear on the Department of State's list of state sponsors of international terrorism - including Iran...IAPAC spoke to Senator Schumer about the unfairness and short sightedness of the legislation and presented to him specific recommendations drafted by the Iranian American Bar Association on how Section 306 should be interpreted. Senator Schumer agreed to hold and chair a meeting with the Department of Justice, the Department of State and the Central Intelligence Agency to discuss the regulations that will be applied regarding the implementation of Section 306.
IAPAC also requested the following Senators to attend the meeting - Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), Sen. John Edwards (D-NC), Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE), Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE), Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN). All sent representatives to the meeting and were in agreement with our proposals. The first meeting was held in November of 2002 and the second meeting was held in March of 2003.
In addition, IAPAC asked for and received a press release from Senator Schumer regarding visa policy for non-immigrants. Senator Schumer summed up his concerns by stating that "we do not want our non-immigrant visa policy to impose an undue hardship on American citizens, including Iranian Americans, many of whom have made and continue to make outstanding contributions to the economic and social life of our country."
Senate New Democrat Coalition members
- Dianne Feinstein (CA, by 2001)
- Thomas Carper (DE, by 2001; co-chair from 2003)
- Bill Nelson (FL, by 2001)
- Debbie Stabenow (MI, by 2001)
- Maria Cantwell (WA, by 2001)
Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2015
By May 20, it had accumulated 33 co-sponsors, including 26 Democrats - Sheldon Whitehouse, Tom Udall, Dick Durbin, Thomas Carper, Amy Klobuchar, Barbara Boxer, Jack Reed, Debbie Stabenow, Jeff Merkley, Chris Murphy, Benjamin Cardin, Chris Coons, Dianne Feinstein, Jeanne Shaheen, Sherrod Brown, Mazie Hirono, Brian Schatz, Tammy Baldwin, Ed Markey, Heidi Heitkamp, Jon Tester, Claire McCaskill, Ron Wyden, Tim Kaine, Al Franken, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bennet, Martin Heinrich . 
January 29, 2017, members of Delaware's congressional delegation joined a protest against an executive order barring refugees from coming into the United States.
In a tweet Carper said he would "speak with officials and demand that refugees are not detained or denied entry."
"Our country was really built on the ideals of folks coming here to make a better life, especially if they were persecuted, and this really doesn't represent us," said Blunt Rochester. "Instead of us having a process that is orderly and makes sense--we instead of have confusion and fear--and that's the last thing we need right now."
CAIR support for Bill
Senator Kamala Harris, D-Calif., introduced her first bill February 2017 that would provide legal counsel to those held or detained while trying to enter the U.S.
The Access to Counsel Act would allow lawyers to provide legal counsel by phone or video if they cannot physically be present. It would also invalidate any documents abandoning legal resident status or applications for admission if detainees have signed them after being denied legal services.
Harris’s Access to Counsel Act is not without congressional support; there are five co-sponsors in the Senate, including Tom Carper, and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., introduced the House companion measure, which has 10 co-sponsors. The measures introduced by Indian American congresswomen Harris and Jayapal have also received support from multiple organizations, including the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, and the National Immigrant Justice Center.
“As the Trump administration is attempting to close it borders to refugees and asylum seekers, prompt access to lawyers for people who come fleeing persecution is a critical safeguard to ensure they receive the protections guaranteed under U.S. and international law,” said Mary Meg McCarthy, executive director of the National Immigrant Justice Center.
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
- Chairman of the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services and International Security
Committee on Environment and Public Works
- Chairman of the Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety
- Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure
- Subcommittee on Green Jobs and the New Ecomony
Committee on Finance
- Subcommittee on Health Care
- Subcommittee on Taxation, IRS Oversight and Long-Term Growth
- Subcommittee on Energy, National Resources and Infrastructure
- About Carper
- CLW website: Who We've Helped Elect
- Iran News, 7/25/03 Iranian American Political Action Committee Holds Kick-Off Reception in Washington DC By Lee Howard Hodges, Staff Writer www.iranianamericanpac.org
- [IAPAC http://www.iranianamericanpac.org/iapac-discusses-visa-regulations-with-senator-schumer.aspxIAPAC Discusses Visa Regulations with Senator SchumerThursday, July 3, 2003]
- NDN: Senate New Democrat Coalition Members (August 2000)
- NDN: Senate New Democrat Coalition Members (July 2001)
- NDN: Senate New Democrat Coalition Members (August 2002)
- [ http://peoplesworld.org/cuba-travel-bill-advances-in-the-senate/PW, Cuba travel bill advances in the Senate by: Emile Schepers May 20 2015]
- [%22S+299%22}, Congress.Gov. S.299 - Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2015114th Congress (2015-2016) | G]
- News, Feb 10, 2017 Ξ Comments are off Sen. Harris Introduces Bill for Legal Counsel for Refugees posted by Brittney Le