Rep. Adriano Espaillat wants to join the Congressional Black Caucus. The question for the group’s members is whether he qualifies as African-American.
So far, the answer is no.
Espaillat, who in November became the first Dominican-American elected to Congress, identifies himself as a “Latino of African descent.” The CBC has a long-standing policy of limiting its caucus to African-American members, denying membership to white lawmakers in the past who have tried to join, even if they represent majority-minority districts.
The New York Democrat hasn’t formally asked to join but has been in discussions with CBC leadership. Espaillat has already joined the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
“We have discussed, yes, the pros and cons, the bylaws,” Espaillat said of the CBC. “I’m in discussions with some of the members from my state and with the leadership. We’ll make that decision later on as we move forward.” (Politico)