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First Mexican-born congresswoman denied membership in Hispanic caucus because she is a Republican
Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

First Mexican-born congresswoman denied membership in Hispanic caucus because she is a Republican

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus denied membership to Rep. Mayra Flores (R-Texas), the first Mexican-born congresswoman, because she is not a Democrat.

What are the details?

Flores reportedly applied for membership in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in early October, months after winning a special election and becoming the first Mexican-born congresswoman. She represents a heavily Hispanic district that borders Mexico.

But those credentials were not enough for membership in the caucus of Hispanic lawmakers.

"As the first Mexican-born American Congresswoman, I thought the Hispanic Caucus would be open in working together," Flores said Wednesday. "This denial once again proves a bias towards conservative Latinas that don’t fit their narrative or ideology."

Sebastian Roa, a caucus spokesperson, confirmed that Flores was denied membership because of her views.

"Rep. Flores’ extreme MAGA values and their attacks on Latinos and our nation’s democracy on January 6 do not align with CHC values," Roa told the Texas Tribune.

The caucus is composed entirely of Democrats, and its bylaws explicitly prohibit Republicans from membership. Decades-old differences between Republicans and Democrats led to the CHC splintering. In 2003, Republicans formed the Congressional Hispanic Conference.

A spokeswoman for Flores told the Texas Tribune that Flores is opening to joining the Congressional Hispanic Conference, but explained she wanted to join the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to work across the aisle with her fellow Hispanic lawmakers.

Anything else?

Democrats have a history of excluding Republican lawmakers from certain caucuses.

For example, the Congressional Black Caucus blocked Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), who is black, from joining the caucus last year.

"The sad reality is although the Congressman and those in the CBC share the same race, the (R) behind his name disqualifies him from membership today," a spokesman for Donalds said at the time.

Moreover, former Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) was blocked from joining the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in 2017, though the caucus allowed Curbelo to make a presentation explaining why he deserved to join. Ultimately, he was denied membership.

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