Congressional Hispanic Caucus

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, policies affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the US Territories.

Apr 17


Congressional Hispanic Caucus
The Honorable Rubén Hinojosa, Chair

-For Immediate Release-

April 17, 2013
Lesley Lopez
CHC Communications Director



Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Chairman Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15): "We are closer than we have ever been to a solution that fixes our dysfunctional immigration system once and for all.

"From the beginning, the CHC has urged the Gang of Eight to develop a solution that provides an earned path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country.  We are pleased this principle is a core tenet of their bill, and that our other priorities of keeping families together, providing a workable solution for the business community and preserving our values as Americans are included. We are especially pleased the legislation includes the strongest proposal that has ever been presented to Dreamers, in that these bright minds will finally have the expedient path to citizenship that they deserve.

"There’s no doubt that the issues at hand are complex, but the Senate bill proves that common ground exists. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to proceed in the same spirit of bipartisanship that allowed this legislation to be developed.  The American public expects us to pass comprehensive immigration reform, and our economy needs us to act as soon as possible. The CHC will remain vigilant throughout this process, so that Congress delivers the kind of reform our country and our community deserves.”

Rep. Gutierrez (IL-04), Chair of the CHC Immigration Task Force: "We have an extraordinary opportunity to resolve a tough set of public policy, border, and immigration issues and for Republicans and Democrats to work together like adults to do it.  It is very encouraging and exciting and we as a nation cannot let this important opportunity to make progress and improve things for everyone slip away.  In my community, there is an urgent need for reform and I am confident the Congress will pass a bill that will be signed into law this year.” (Press contact

First Vice Chair Ben Ray Luján (NM-03): “I commend the bipartisan Gang of 8 for their months of hard work to craft a comprehensive immigration bill that includes a pathway to citizenship.  A growing coalition has formed and momentum is building toward a comprehensive solution.  Congress must seize this opportunity.  I look forward to carefully reviewing all of the details of this important legislation that I hope takes us a significant step closer to passing reform that is fair, tough, and practical in order to strengthen our economy, keep our country safe, and reflect the contributions immigrants make to our communities every day.” (Press contact

Second Vice Chair Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38): “I congratulate this bipartisan group of Senators for taking this first step to fix our broken immigration system. There are 11 million aspiring citizens who want to come out of the shadows and be a part of the country they know and love, and this is a very positive step in this direction. I am pleased that this legislation includes a pathway to citizenship for these 11 million people and that it allows family members who were deported because of status to reunite with their spouses, parents and children.  I am also pleased that this legislation is a serious attempt to reduce the immigration backlog and that it recognizes DREAM Act eligible students need a faster path to citizenship in the only country they have ever known. I look forward to reviewing the entire bill, and I hope that House Republicans will join us and work to make comprehensive immigration reform a reality.” (Press contact

Whip Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01): "The Senate immigration reform package is a promising start to a Comprehensive Immigration Reform. I am particularly pleased with the clear path to citizenship for DREAMers and the efforts to reunite families. As this bill moves forward, I look forward to working with my colleagues to address some lingering issues so that families can come out of the shadows and we can finally pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform." (Press contact

Congressman José E. Serrano (NY-16): “I applaud the Senate group for finding common ground on a bill that will extend citizenship to so undocumented immigrants,” said Congressman José E. Serrano. “These people have waited far too long for the opportunity to become American citizens and they should not have to wait longer. The bill must pass the Senate quickly and the House should follow suit. The time is now for this comprehensive immigration reform package.” (Press contact

Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY):“Fixing our broken immigration system is a moral imperative.” (Press contact

Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40): “The legislation being introduced in the Senate is a good first step toward comprehensive immigration reform. I am thrilled to see that this bill includes a strong DREAM Act provision, which would allow those who were brought to the U.S. as children to be eligible for citizenship after five years. I have been fighting for DREAMers for many years and today marks a great step forward for these young people.” (Press contact

Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32): “I applaud my colleagues in the Senate for taking this critical step and doing what is right. This has been long time coming, but we are not there yet. We must continue to come together in the Senate and the House to pass true, comprehensive immigration reform this year.” (Press contact

Congressman Tony Cárdenas (CA-29): “This bill is a historic first step toward allowing more than 11 million human beings to come out of the shadows and become recognized, productive members of our society. I am pleased that my colleagues in the Senate understand the essential need for any legislation to include a pathway to citizenship for the hundreds of thousands of men and women who are responsible for the food we place on our tables each day. As legislation moves forward and amendments are offered, I will remain vigilant against any effort to legalize farm worker mistreatment. I will fight, until the final vote, making certain that any legislation ensures these workers, who work in some of the most difficult conditions, are treated with dignity and respect.” (Press contact

Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20):“I am encouraged to witness the spirit of bipartisanship in Congress. The American people have demanded action and this Senate bill makes clear that this Congress is willing to deal with immigration reform in good-faith and with a reasonable plan. I applaud the Senators’ efforts in outlining an earned path to citizenship to the millions of families and young DREAMers in our country, revamping our current legal immigration system and addressing concerns about border security. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass comprehensive immigration reform in 2013.” (Press contact

Congressman Pete Gallego (TX-23). “I’m currently reviewing the legislation, but I’m encouraged that after more than two decades, we finally have a framework to a common sense immigration process. Our values teach us that families should stick together and that hard work not circumstance should shape our future. We can agree that our nation becomes stronger as more people learn English, pledge allegiance to our flag, and can commit fully to this nation. I’m hopeful that the trigger mechanisms are created in good-faith and that they are not an attempt to further move the goal post. I asked the Gang of Eight to give special consideration to members of the armed forces who risk their lives for our country and families. The immigration process should ensure special consideration for these men and women.” (Press contact

Rep. Juan Vargas (CA-51): “I am pleased to see that the Senate has released a comprehensive immigration reform package, which includes a path to citizenship. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House to ensure that the aspiring citizens of our country are treated with dignity and respect.”   (Press contact



The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), founded in December 1976, is organized as a Congressional Member organization, governed under the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives. The CHC is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto
Rico and U.S. Territories.


Mar 29


Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Chairman Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15), released the following statement regarding Rep. Don Young’s use of the term "wetback" in a interview with KRBD local radio in Alaska:

"Shame on Rep. Don Young. It is deeply disheartening that in 2013 we are forced to have a discussion about a member of Congress using such hateful words and racial slurs.

 "I agree that now, more than ever, we must resolve the many issues of our broken immigration system, but as we move forward, it’s important that our Republican colleagues are mindful of how words have consequences. When elected officials use racial slurs, it sets back our nation and sets back legislators who are seriously working toward real, bipartisan solutions.

"Rep. Young says that he was just using the language he was accustomed to as he grew up, but there is no excuse for ignorance. He has served alongside Hispanics in Congress since 1973, so he should know terms like "wetback" have never been acceptable.

 "As the Republican minority outreach efforts develop, I’d advise their strategists to list "don’t say racial slurs like ‘wetback’ " as a bedrock for their messaging.

 “Our country needs reform that can only be achieved with a bipartisan effort. I am urging Republican leaders, including Speaker Boehner, to condemn this behavior and ask members in their party to act responsibly.”

Mar 19


Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Chairman Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15), who is part of the U.S. delegation attending Pope Francis I’s inaugural Mass at the Vatican, led by Vice President Joe Biden and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, released the following statement:

"I was quite honored, being a Roman Catholic, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and representing a Congressional district which is predominately Catholic, to have been invited by Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to attend the investiture of Pope Francis I at the Vatican in Italy. The pride and the joy that many of us who are Hispanic feel, is due to the fact that for the first time we have a Pope who was chosen from a Latin American country!  To many of us Latinos, our new Pope is a sign that the Catholic Church has come to recognize the growing number of faithful followers from around the world who are Latino.” 

Mar 18

CHC on Obama’s Nomination of Tom Perez to Labor Secretary

Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Chairman Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15): "President Obama is making a great choice in his nomination of Thomas Perez as Secretary of Labor. Tom has been a constant and vigilant advocate for civil rights and brings to the President’s cabinet years of experience building consensus. The CHC met with Tom many times to discuss the importance of the Voting Rights Act for communities of color and we were consistently impressed with his dedication to preserving the rights of every voter. His experience overseeing a number of important investigations into worker discrimination will certainly carry over to his cabinet position and will serve the president and the American public well.

"There is no doubt that under Tom’s watch, every American worker’s civil and constitutional rights will be protected- no matter their race, sex, disability, religion, familial status or national origin."


Congressman Xavier Becerra (CA-34), Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus: “President Obama has made an exceptional choice in nominating Thomas Perez to be the next Secretary of Labor. Mr. Perez has built a distinguished career in public service ensuring that Americans’ most basic rights are respected and defended. As Labor Secretary, he will be an intelligent, passionate and determined fighter for American workers and their families.”


First Vice Chair Ben Ray Luján (NM-03): “Thomas Perez has a wide range of experience that, combined with the strong commitment he has shown to working families, will make him a powerful voice as Secretary of Labor.  He has devoted his career to public service, and I look forward to the confirmation process so that he can share with the American people his dedication to building a strong middle class that provides opportunities for all people.”


CHC Whip Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01): "Thomas E. Perez will be a strong advocate and a powerful voice for working families as the next Secretary of Labor. His leadership and track record is well known among labor advocates and the private sector. He has a remarkable knowledge of the law and how to apply it to benefit workers and their employers in a fair, even-handed manner. His track record at the Department of Justice is impeccable and I look forward to him bring that same passion to the Department of Labor."


Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07): “Tom Perez has a distinguished record of standing up for working families and fighting discrimination.  I’m confident he will continue making valuable contributions as Secretary of Labor and commend the President on this selection.” 

Feb 28


Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Chairman Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15):
"Arbitrary cuts in sequestration threaten thousands of jobs and the economic security of the middle class and the Hispanic community.


"If these cuts go through, our ability to teach children the skills they’ll need for the future will be at risk. 70,000 young children would be kicked off Head Start, including 25,000 young Latino children. With 37% of Hispanic students attending a high-poverty public school, these arbitrary cuts would eliminate extra help in reading and math for 1.2 million children.


"There is no question that we need to cut the deficit. But we cannot simply cut our way to prosperity. Today, Latinos face a 10% unemployment rate. For the sake of our recovering economy, deficit reduction should occur when unemployment is low. Any further deficit reduction should come from closing tax loopholes that benefit the top 2% and wealthy corporations and not by cutting federal programs that invest in Latino children and working families."


First Vice Chair Ben Ray Luján (NM-03): "It’s time to put partisan politics and ideology aside and work together toward a balanced approach that prevents the sequester’s arbitrary cuts.  The full impact of these across-the-board cuts will weaken our economy and lead to job losses.  Across the country, working families, including many of those in Hispanic communities, will feel the impact of deep cuts to education, public safety, health care, and more.  House Democrats have offered a balanced plan that reduces spending, closes tax loopholes, and doesn’t place the burden of deficit reduction on the backs of middle-class families.”


Second Vice Chair Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38): “The number one priority of this Congress should be creating jobs. Instead, we are wasting time with another manufactured crisis. We should be doing all that we can to prevent indiscriminate, draconian cuts from devastating our economy. American families, small businesses and the markets deserve economic security right now. It’s time for Republicans to join with Democrats and avoid these across-the-board spending cuts that will harm our economy and undermine job creation.  It’s time for Congress to do the right thing.”


CHC Whip Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01): “It is time to stop the games. March 1 is right around the corner and now is the time for the Republican Leadership to bring forward a balanced plan to replace the damaging sequester. The uncertainty these draconian cuts are bringing to our economy will stunt our recovery and put more than 750,000 Americans out of a job this year. One of our largest employers, Sandia Laboratories has implemented a hiring freeze due to sequestration. More than 7,000 civilian military personnel in New Mexico are facing furloughs – resulting in more than $42 million in income loss. Nearly 10,000 New Mexicans will not be able to get the help and skills they need to find a job. For states like New Mexico that are struggling and already experiencing negative job growth, these cuts are devastating. We must do everything we can to prevent them.”


Rep. José E. Serrano (NY-15): “The dire consequences of the sequester were enacted to bring about a reasonable deficit reduction compromise. Time and again Democrats — led by President Obama — have offered balanced, reasonable plans to avoid these harmful cuts only to see Republicans refuse to compromise. It is time to come to a sensible compromise solution on behalf of the working families who will be harmed by these senseless sequester cuts.”


Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40): “Allowing the sequester to go into effect means devastating cuts in California. Instead of creating jobs, we’re being led down a path that puts approximately 1,200 teacher and aide jobs at risk and furloughs 64,000 Department of Defense employees in California. Instead of helping people get back to work, we are set to lose $3.3 million in funding for job search assistance, meaning 129,000 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment. This is simply unacceptable.”


Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07): “Sequestration is a failure.  It represents the failure of House Republicans to care for 70,000 children who will lose Head Start services.  It shows Congressional Republican have failed the four million seniors who will be denied access to vital food programs.   For Latino working families who disproportionately rely on these services, sequestration represents Washington Republicans’ failure to compromise, lead or find solutions.  Latino voters will not forget who failed them.” 


Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32): “Hardworking people from my district have lost their jobs, and we need to ensure critical services that support them and their families will not be cut. We must reduce spending, but forcing the middle class to bear the burden is not the solution. Ending tax breaks for millionaires and corporations will ensure that they also pay their fair share. The Republicans’ unwillingness to bend on raising these additional revenues is putting the jobs of thousands and the mental and physical well-being of our youngsters, seniors, servicemen and women, and minorities at risk. It is well past time to come together on a balanced plan to avoid these harmful spending cuts.”


Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva  (AZ-03): “Last year’s election showed us why the Voting Rights Act is as important as ever. A lot of people have tried to convince us that civil rights are old news, that we’re past all that, that it’s no big deal and we’ve evolved. Well, we haven’t – certainly not all the way. As I was so proud to say this morning on the steps of the Supreme Court, we need to protect the very basic right to vote for everyone no matter who thinks it’s unnecessary.”

 Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX-28): “Since coming to Congress in 2005, I have worked to reform government spending in order to reduce the national deficit and debt, but making these arbitrary cuts because Congress will not act will only harm our improving economy and stall job creation. In Texas alone, benefits to small businesses, such as loan guarantees, would be reduced by $900 million, hindering economic growth for small business owners.  If Congress does not come up with a solution by Friday, these additional cuts will result in over 5,000 Border Patrol agents and 2,750 CBP officers being reduced from the workforce. These jobs are critical to my district, the national economy, and our national security. We must act now to avert the sequester, protect American jobs, and get back to work.” 

Rep. Albio Sires (NJ-08): “Sequestration threatens the jobs of hundreds of thousands of middle class Americans, as well as vital services for children, seniors, and our troops. Congress must not wait any longer to come to an agreement.”


Rep. Tony Cardenas (CA-29): “Cutting funds in this irresponsible manner will hurt thousands of businesses and families in my district. Cuts will cripple Head Start programs that educate children across the Valley, the FAA personnel who man the towers and ramps at Van Nuys Airport and the hundreds of police, firefighters and paramedics who face an already decimated budget. I hope my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will negotiate in good faith before these cuts harm the people of the San Fernando Valley. I also look forward to the Speaker finally allowing members of our House to vote on a responsible solution to these cuts.”


Rep. Pete Gallego (TX-23): “In small town West Texas, when there is a fire, everyone works together to put the fire out.  No one focuses on how the fire started or who started the fire until after the fire is out. Here and now in Washington, many folks are more focused on who is to blame for the sequester than in trying to do anything about it - or worse, they use inflammatory rhetoric to add fuel to the fire. Not having a vote this week is a decision by some in Congress for decreased border security, job loss, and furloughs. It devastates local communities- and the State of Texas.  Let’s put politics aside and lets work together to avert the sequestration.”


Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod (CA-35): “There is no question that we need to cut the deficit, but we should do so without harming seniors, our military, small business owners, students, or our children. In California, it is estimated that with Sequestration, more than 15,000 children will not receive vaccines for diseases such as the measles, whooping cough and influenza and 8,200 will be kicked out of federally funded early childhood education programs. This is unacceptable. Congress must work in a bipartisan fashion toward solutions, not sequesters, to create jobs and responsibly bring down the deficit. We must do it for our nation’s future.”


Rep. Juan Vargas (CA-51): “I am outraged that Republicans would stand idly by and allow these disastrous, self-inflicted cuts to go into effect. It is clear that House Republicans do not care about the irreversible harm sequestration will inflict on our working families, our seniors, and our military.  We need to focus on a fair and balanced plan that will create jobs and strengthen our economy, not on devastating draconian cuts that will destroy our nation.”

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