This morning, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) announced that it has rejected Florida congressman Carlos Curbelo’s request to join the group. Curbelo is a Republican representative elected to the House in 2014; he was born in Miami to two Cuban exiles who fled to the U.S. The CHC issued the following statement regarding today’s decision: After due consideration, the CHC determined not to accept Rep. Curbelo’s request. 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. “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. This sends a powerful and harmful message of discrimination, bigotry, and division,” Curbelo said after the CHC announced it decision.

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“Unbelievably, petty partisan interests have led the CHC to formally endorse the segregation of American Hispanics.” Curbelo is exactly right. This decision on the part of the CHC amounts to nothing less than the weaponization of race, a transparent effort to reinterpret race as a set of ideological beliefs rather than an inherent part of one’s identity. In doing so, the CHC has revealed itself to represent not Hispanic Americans as a whole, but only those Hispanic Americans whose opinions conform totally to progressive ideology.

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