The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is debating whether to allow a Republican to join its ranks after several Democrats objected to his inclusion, according to Politico.
Who is the Republican?
Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) represents a Miami-area district that is 70 percent Latino, Politico reported. Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton won the district last November, and Democrats are targeting the district in the 2018 midterm election.
What did the caucus say?
Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) told Politico that the group is waiting on the House Administration Committee to weigh in about whether they must allow Curbelo to join the historically Democratic Caucus.
“We asked them to be quick, and we’re hoping that we get something by our meeting tomorrow,” Lujan Grisham said Wednesday. “I’d like to be able to have that in front of the members so we can continue to have that discussion.”
According to the Miami Herald, Lujan Grisham said last week she anticipates that the caucus will extend an invite to Curbelo. But some members objected, arguing that his bid to join is just an attempt to safeguard his re-election.
Politico reported that some members objected to Curbelo’s inclusion because he has not signed on to the DREAM Act, bipartisan legislation that would create a pathway to citizenship for those who were brought to the United States illegally as children. Curbelo has introduced his own bill, a more “conservative” version of the legislation.
What did Curbelo say?
Curbelo said his exclusion from the caucus would send the wrong message to Republican and independent Hispanics.
“The Congressional Hispanic Caucus should not discriminate against any American of Hispanic descent,” Curbelo said in a statement provided to Politico. “The CHC should focus on uniting America’s Hispanic community in support of issues like compassionate immigration reform, economic growth and opportunity, and better education.”
He said in the tweet that he thinks it seems that “some Hispanics are just not good enough” for the caucus.
“A truly shameful position,” he added.
— Carlos Curbelo (@carloslcurbelo) November 1, 2017