by WorldTribune Staff, November 17, 2017
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) remains all Democrats after the group on Nov. 16 denied membership to Florida Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo.
“I think it was pre-cooked,” said Curbelo, who represents a Latino-heavy district in Miami that is a top target for Democrats in 2018.
Some CHC members were said to have been against Curbelo’s membership due to his refusal to back the DREAM Act, a bill that would grant legal status to young undocumented immigrants who could face deportation as soon as March.
Carbelo has indicated he would vote in favor of the DREAM Act if it made it to the floor but has resisted CHC pressure to co-sponsor the bill.
Curbelo told POLITICO he doesn’t expect his feud with the CHC to hamper efforts to get a solution for Dreamers by the end of next year.
“I will not allow their bigotry and discrimination and penchant for segregation to hurt the young people they claim they want to help and I certainly want to help,” Curbelo said.
“I will stand up to bigotry and discrimination no matter whether it comes from the right, the left, the middle.”
CHC Chairwoman Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, New Mexico Democrat, said the group’s decision wasn’t based solely on the Dream Act but also Curbelo’s support for the GOP’s tax bill and Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare.
“Many of those votes in this climate gave members who voted no, and maybe other members, pause about whether or not this was a good time for changing membership,” Lujan Grisham told reporters after the Nov. 16 meeting.