Curbelo Submits Formal Request to Join Congressional Hispanic Caucus

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Washington, D.C., November 13, 2017 | Joanna Rodriguez (202-225-2778) | comments

Today, Representative Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), submitted a formal written request to join the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Curbelo, who is Cuban-American, first requested to join the Caucus in January of this year, but a decision on his membership has continued to be delayed. Following a recent report from McClatchy, the Caucus appeared ready to welcome Curbelo, but once again delayed the vote. Earlier this week, Curbelo received a letter from Caucus Chairwoman Michelle Lujan Grisham asking him to submit a formal written request to join.

Unlike the Congressional Black Caucus, which has productive bipartisan dialogue amongst its Members, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has been all Democrats since several Republican Members left following a dispute over Cuba policy. Consistently ranked one of the most bipartisan Members of Congress, Curbelo’s desire to join is fueled by his belief that bipartisanship makes for stronger, longer-lasting policy as well as his shared interests with several Caucus Members on issues ranging from immigration, education, trade and criminal justice reform.

A PDF of Curbelo’s formal request is available here and the text is available below.

November 13, 2017

The Honorable Michelle Lujan Grisham
Chairwoman, The Congressional Hispanic Caucus
214 Cannon House Office Building
Washington DC, 20515

Dear Chairwoman Lujan Grisham,

Per your instructions, I hereby formally and respectfully request to join the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.  As we discussed on January 24, 2017, when I first requested to join the Caucus, I believe I can positively contribute and work with the current Membership to help find solutions to many of the issues on the Caucus’s agenda.

As the son of Cuban immigrants, husband to the daughter of an immigrant family, and father to two little girls who are aware and proud of their Hispanic roots, I share the Caucus’s commitment to advancing the interests of America’s Hispanic community.  Together, I believe we can help shape legislation on a variety of issues like compassionate immigration reform, economic growth and opportunity, and better education.

To help advance these goals, I introduced the first DREAMer adjustment legislation this Congress, the Recognizing America's Children (RAC) Act (HR 1468). This legislation was modeled after, and uses the same structure, of the 2010 DREAM Act (included in HR 5281) that was endorsed by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, with eleven current-Caucus members voting for it, which passed the then-Democratic-controlled House of Representatives but failed in the Senate.  The RAC Act however, provides a pathway to citizenship within 10 years, whereas the 2010 DREAM Act provided a 12 year pathway.  The 2010 DREAM Act capped eligibility to those 30 years of age and younger, whereas the RAC Act has no age cap. The RAC Act provides a third employment pathway for earned legal status, whereas the 2010 DREAM provided just two pathways, and the RAC Act, according to the Migration Policy Institute, covers almost four times the number of immigrant youths as the 2010 legislation, building on the Caucus's hard work and achievements.

I respect that we will sometimes have a difference of opinions on legislative strategies and goals – that is inevitable when working in the world’s greatest deliberative institution.  But I believe a broader discussion, reasonable debate and diversity of thought, will ultimately help the Caucus — and the entire Congress — achieve better, longer-lasting legislation that can actually become law in this divisive political climate.

I appreciate your leadership on the Caucus and your kind attention to this request.  Please let me know if you or the members of the Caucus require any additional information from me as you make your decision.  I am very hopeful that the Congressional Hispanic Caucus will send a strong message to the country that it welcomes all Hispanics and that it rejects the petty politics of exclusion and discrimination. 

Thank you.  I look forward to a fair consideration of my application.

Cordially,

Carlos Curbelo

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