Cuban American Bar Association “Highly Recommends” Curbelo for Congressional Hispanic Caucus

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Washington, D.C., November 14, 2017 | Joanna Rodriguez (202-225-2778) | comments

The Cuban American Bar Association (CABA) has recommended Representative Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

“Members of CABA were concerned to read that the Congressional Hispanic Caucus requested guidance from the House Administration Committee on whether the Caucus was even required to let a Republican join the Caucus,” wrote CABA President Javier A. Lopez in a letter to Caucus Chairwoman Michelle Lujan Grisham. “This should not be a political event; if the Caucus is to carry out its function as a forum for Hispanic Members of Congress, then it should welcome ALL Hispanic Members of Congress that wish to join and contribute in a collaborative effort.

“The Hispanic community is not monolithic and does not prescribe to a single ideology or world-view,” Lopez added. “It is a dynamic and diverse community and all voices should be welcome if the Congressional Hispanic Caucus is to live up to its ideals.  We look forward to seeing the outcome of your deliberations regarding Mr. Curbelo’s application... We hope you do the right thing for our entire community and accept him as a member of the 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. Last week, Curbelo received a letter from Caucus Chairwoman Michelle Lujan Grisham asking him to submit a formal written request to join. Curbelo submitted his formal written request to join the Caucus yesterday.

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 the Cuban American Bar Association’s letter is available here and the text is available below.

November 13, 2017

Dear Congresswoman Lujan Grisham,

On behalf of the Cuban American Bar Association (CABA), the largest voluntary bar organization in the State of Florida.  CABA is a non-partisan and non-political association. We highly recommend Representative Carlos Curbelo for membership to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

As an introduction, CABA’s members include judges, lawyers, and law students of all backgrounds.  Our mission is to promote equality of our members; increase diversity in the judiciary and legal community; serve the public interest by increasing awareness to the study of jurisprudence; foster respect for the law; preserve high standards of integrity, honor, and professional courtesy among our peers; provide equal access to and adequate representation of all minorities before the courts; facilitate the administration of justice; build close relationships among our members; provide mentoring and scholarship to law students nationally; and support the indigent community through the funding and administration of an effective pro bono legal assistance project and other community programs.

Mr. Curbelo has a strong record of working across the aisle.  According to the Lugar Center and Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy Bipartisan Index, a non-partisan ranking of how often each Member of Congress works across party lines, Mr. Curbelo was ranked 11 out of 427 Members of Congress.  Indeed, every piece of legislation Mr. Curbelo has introduced in the 115th Congress has had a Democratic cosponsor. 

He’s introduced the Recognizing America’s Children Act to help provide permanent legal status to undocumented immigrant youths, the ESPERER Act to provide permanent legal status to long-term TPS recipients, and his legislative language was included in the Every Student Succeeds Act last Congress, which created a fairer accountability system for all students, specifically English language learners. 

According to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s website, the function of the Caucus is to serve as a forum for the Hispanic Members of Congress to coalesce around a collective legislative agenda.  The Caucus is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States.  Mr. Curbelo, as a Cuban-American member of Congress, is in position to help advance these goals, offering his own perspectives and ideas, to achieve tangible results.

Members of CABA were concerned to read that the Congressional Hispanic Caucus requested guidance from the House Administration Committee on whether the Caucus was even required to let a Republican join the Caucus.  This should not be a political event; if the Caucus is to carry out its function as a forum for Hispanic Members of Congress, then it should welcome ALL Hispanic Members of Congress that wish to join and contribute in a collaborative effort.

The Hispanic community is not monolithic and does not prescribe to a single ideology or world-view.  It is a dynamic and diverse community and all voices should be welcome if the Congressional Hispanic Caucus is to live up to its ideals.  We look forward to seeing the outcome of your deliberations regarding Mr. Curbelo’s application. 

Thank you.  We hope you do the right thing for our entire community and accept him as a member of the Caucus.

Sincerely,

Javier A. Lopez
President

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