Earlier this week, the Democrat-led Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) blocked U.S. Rep. Mayra Flores (R-TX) from joining, citing her “extreme MAGA values.”

Flores requested membership this month and was subsequently denied for being a Republican, even though she was born in Mexico and represents part of Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, a historically Hispanic region.

In response to the rejection, Flores expressed disappointment with the CHC’s denial and called out the group for snubbing Hispanic members of Congress who are not allied with the Democrat Party.

“As the first Mexican-born American Congresswoman, I thought the Hispanic Caucus would be open in working together,” said Flores. “This denial once again proves a bias towards conservative Latinas that don’t fit their narrative or ideology.”

Following Flores’ criticism, the CHC released a statement to Townhall, blaming the denial on bylaws reserving caucus membership for Democrats. The group also pointed to a 2003 dispute between Republican and Democrat Hispanic members of Congress, which resulted in GOP lawmakers forming the Congressional Hispanic Conference. However, the CHC does not explicitly advertise its partisan leanings and instead promises to create legislation advancing the priorities of Hispanics across the country.

“The CHC addresses national and international issues and crafts policies that impact the Hispanic community. 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, Puerto Rico, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.”

The CHC’s communications director told Townhall that the caucus did not reject Flores based on party affiliation alone and described her “extreme” beliefs: “Rep. Flores’ Extreme MAGA values and their attacks on Latinos and our nation’s democracy on January 6 do not align with CHC values.”

Earlier this year, Mayra Flores became the Rio Grande Valley’s first Republican representative in 150 years after she defeated Democrat Dan Sanchez in a special election for Texas’ 34th Congressional District. Flores’ husband is a Border Patrol agent, and she campaigned on securing the southern border and championing traditional family values.

In the upcoming November election, Flores faces incumbent U.S. Rep Vicente Gonzales (D-TX), who currently represents Texas’ 15th Congressional District after redistricting efforts placed him in Flores’ district. Although the area is traditionally Democrat, current polling shows Republicans are gaining ground with Hispanic voters in the Rio Grande Valley as President Joe Biden’s open border policies fail to alleviate the humanitarian crisis at the border.

Referencing First Lady Jill Biden’s comments earlier this year comparing Hispanic Texans to breakfast tacos, Flores criticized the CHC in a social media post, saying, “Maybe I’m not the right type of taco.”

With early voting underway until November 4 and Election Day set for November 8, Rio Grande Valley voters will soon have a chance to decide if Flores or Gonzales best represents their values.

Katy Marshall

Katy graduated from Tarleton State University in 2021 after majoring in history and minoring in political science.