Totally not political.
The all Democrat Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CBC) rejected Rep. Carlos Curbelo’s membership bid. The CBC actually thinks HIS motives were political, even though he is a Cuban American and “represents a Latino-heavy district in Miami.”
So why wouldn’t they want him? Well, according to Politico, the Democrats have eyed his seat for the 2018 midterms.
“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.
CHC Chairwoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) said the group’s decision wasn’t just based on the Dream Act but also Curbelo’s support for Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare and the GOP tax bill.
“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 meeting.
Lujan Grisham described his presentation during his pitch was “good.” She actually voted in favor of his membership. Word leaked out that Curbelo and Lujan Grisham had a heated argument in private, “in which he accused her and the caucus of discriminating against him, soured their feelings.”
Curbelo lashed out at the decision. From The Miami Herald:
“It is truly shameful the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has decided to build a wall around the organization to exclude Hispanic-Americans who aren’t registered in the Democratic Party,” Curbelo said in a statement afterward. “This sends a powerful and harmful message of discrimination, bigotry, and division. Unbelievably, petty partisan interests have led the CHC to formally endorse the segregation of American Hispanics. It is a dark day on Capitol Hill. However, this only strengthens my commitment to working with my colleagues on both sides to urgently seek a solution for young immigrants in the DACA Program.”
Group spokesman Carlos Patz brushed off the notion that Curbelo should receive membership because he is Hispanic. Patz said that Curbelo’s voting record doesn’t match up with the CBC’s values despite him being a moderate. From USA Today:
“After due consideration, the CHC determined not to accept Rep. Curbelo’s request to join the Caucus,” CHC spokesperson Carlos Paz, Jr. said in a statement. “The CHC isn’t just an organization for Hispanics; it is a Caucus that represents certain values. This vote reflects the position of many of our members that Rep. Curbelo and his record are not consistent with those values.”
Curbelo is a Miami-Dade lawmaker who is one of Congress’ most moderate Republicans. Earlier this year, his office issued a news release showing that Curbelo has co-sponsored 74 bills in the 115th Congress (2017-18) and 327 bills in the 114th Congress (2015-16) that had a Democratic sponsor or co-sponsor.
The Miami Herald‘s Fabiola Santiago penned an op-ed showered with disgust over the CBC’s decision and even said this behavior “is the kind of crap that keeps Hispanics down in this country.” She noted that she spend time on a call during the vote where Curbelo and another GOP representative were “praised by immigration advocates for their efforts on behalf of Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status recipients.” She wrote:
As Natalia Jaramillo, communications strategist of the group We Belong Together, succinctly put it: “The time is now.”
Time to close ranks on behalf of families who are hurting and terrified of being split apart by deportation. The Hispanic caucus couldn’t have picked a worse time to engage in unnecessary partisan divisions.
There’s no good excuse — unless the group plans to change its name to Democratic Congressional Hispanic Caucus — to deny a member of Congress who wants to work with you.
You would think they would accept someone who represents a large Hispanic community in Miami. Now they may have hurt their chances in his district. Santiago continued:
Let me tell you one thing, Democrats: Work it out. If I wanted to live in a one-party system, I’d repatriate to my native Cuba. As much as I detest most Republican policies, their existence keeps Democrats in check. It goes without saying that no party is exempt from wrongdoing and criticism. The Democratic Party has made tremendous gains recently among Cuban-Americans in South Florida. Don’t blow it.
But most importantly, this only-Democrats attitude hurts the good cause of sheltering the undocumented who are our neighbors, our school and workmates, our friends — people who’ve contributed positively to the economy for decades now.
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