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Fri, 11 Jul 2014 17:55:41 +0000
(WASHINGTON) -- The Congressional Hispanic Caucus presented a unified front Friday at a press conference as it voiced public support for the Obama administration’s handling of the “humanitarian crisis” on the border and the importance to defend children fleeing from brutal and violent regions.
Chairman Rubén Hinojosa, D-Texas, said that the Obama administration has promised a meeting with the caucus as early as next week and should confirm a date Friday afternoon.
Not in attendance Friday was Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, who has been critical of the administration’s handling in recent days.
Hinojosa was clear: “Cuellar does not represent the Hispanic Caucus.” He called Cuellar a “blue dog,” who rarely comes to the caucus meetings.
Hinojosa repeated, “He does not speak for CHC.”
Criticizing Republican members for holding up funding on the issue, Rep. Luis Gutierrez said that he wants the president to be as bold and generous as Republicans have been petty on this issue. He gave a passionate defense of the children crossing the border -- “we see the faces of our children” in them, “our community” -- and teared up for a moment.
Gutierrez, D-Ill., urged the Republicans to stop using these children as political leverage. He said he wants a clean bill without riders to deal with this humanitarian crisis.
It is not clear if the caucus will support a bill with riders -- the response was “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”
At next week’s meeting, the caucus plans to present a list of recommendations on handling deportations that was sent to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson in April. The list can be read here.
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