When El Paso voters elected Robert “Beto” O’Rourke to Congress last year, his supporters said they chose a fresh and progressive voice to champion issues critical to the border community.
But what they lost was a seat on an influential caucus whose members have recently met with President Obama on issues like immigration reform, border security and health care.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus, a 26-member group established in 1976 and currently chaired by U.S. Rep. Rubén Hinojosa, D-Edinburg, includes as its goals “voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands,” according to the organization’s mission statement. It also includes task forces on civil rights, education and labor, and diversity and inclusion.
I think that task force on diversity and inclusion should take a look at the Caucus’s bylaws.
Not every congressional caucus is as stringent, however. The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus allows members who are not of Asian or Pacific Islander descent, including U.S. Rep. Al Green, D-Houston.
“Our caucus is not based on a certain racial background,” said an aide to a Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus member who asked not to be named. “We’ve always welcomed allies in Congress. I can’t speak to the politics of other caucuses.”
Read the rest here: El Paso Congressman Ineligible to Join Hispanic Caucus
The link in this tweet takes you to a video of Beto O’Rourke being interviewed about immigration reform (in Spanish):
— Ione Molinares (@imolinarescnn) July 23, 2013