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Congressional Hispanic Caucus Selects Joaquin Castro As Next Chairman

Gallego, Barragán, Espaillat and Rep.-elect Escobar round out CHC leadership team

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, will chair the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in the 116th Congress. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, will chair the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in the 116th Congress. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro was elected Friday as the next chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which will begin the next Congress with its largest membership since the group’s founding. 

The CHC had 31 members this Congress and will grow to 39 members next year — two senators and 37 House members.

The caucus picked its new leadership team Friday, with several current leaders moving to higher positions. 

Castro will be moving from first vice chair to chairman. Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego, the current second vice chair, will take over as first vice chair. New York Rep. Adriano Espaillat will ascend from freshman representative to whip.

California Rep. Nanette Barragán will serve as a new member of CHC leadership as second vice chair. Texas Rep.-elect Veronica Escobar will also join the CHC leadership as the freshman representative. 

Castro said in a statement that a comprehensive immigration overhaul is a top priority for the caucus but that it also plans to work on issues such as removing barriers to education, raising the minimum wage, increasing diversity, lowering health care costs and fighting climate change.

“We will also continue holding the administration accountable for their failed handling of Hurricane Maria, and dishonest efforts to add a citizenship question to the census,” he added. “From separating families at the border, tear gassing women and children seeking asylum, and proposing to gut the Flores Settlement Agreement to indefinitely detain immigrant families, it is critical we continue shedding light on Trump’s inhumane immigration policies.”

The current chairwoman, Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, is leaving after this year to become governor of New Mexico. 

Watch: Veronica Escobar Wants the Firsts Out of the Way and to Get Busy Crafting Humane Immigration Bills

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