New Leadership in Congressional Hispanic Conference Represents More Than Republican Rhetoric – RedState

New Leadership in Congressional Hispanic Conference Represents More Than Republican Rhetoric – RedState

On Tuesday, the Congressional Hispanic Conference (CHC) announced Congressman Tony Gonzales (TX-23) will join founding member Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-26) to co-chair the 118th Congressional Session. While both groups are technically “nonpartisan,” the Hispanic Conference is considered the GOP version of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which is composed of all Democrat members.

In 2020, Gonzales won election by upsetting the Democrat candidate favored in the district. He won re-election in November 2022. Gonzales served in the US Navy from 1999 to 2019 and holds a master’s degree in international relations and conflict resolution. As previously reported, Gonzales opposed Rep. Chip Roy’s (TX-21) border bill that gives discretionary powers to the Secretary of Homeland Security, and spells an end to asylum. Gonzales called for conservative leadership over harsh rhetoric. Gonzales has introduced border security legislation.

On January 18, Roy tweeted that border security requires adjudication or turning “folks” away, while criticizing opponents who support Title 42, an executive order used to eject migrants based on the COVID-19 public health emergency. Roy wrote:

Securing the border requires detaining folks for adjudication of any claim (eg asylum) or turning away. Critics of such a policy should not be championing Title 42 (a health policy) which… turns away. #EndBorderCrisis

Tony Gonzales for Congress


In the new CHC statement, Gonzales emphasizes his role in the conference–giving representation to Hispanic Americans and shared values:

“As the nation’s largest minority, Hispanics deserve a strong vote and voice in Congress. Hispanics play a vital role in our democracy and must be actively engaged in critical issues facing our nation. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Conference to promote the interests of Hispanic communities across the country and fighting for values like small government, economic opportunity, and individual liberty.”

In an interview with The Washington Post, Gonzales says:

“What I tell every other member of Congress is that you can be hawkish on the border, completely for border security, and all in for ensuring that terrorists, drugs and bad actors don’t enter our country. In the same breath, the Republican Party can be all in on legal immigration, on welcoming those who want to come and live the American Dream.”

In 2003, the Congressional Hispanic Conference was founded after Diaz-Balart organized Republicans who had exited the Congressional Hispanic Caucus over policy disagreements including regarding Cuba. Last week, Diaz-Balart, along with Senator Marco Rubio (FL) condemned the Biden Administration’s talks with the Cuban government.

A major part of the current migrant crisis is fueled by record numbers of Cubans fleeing economic and political strife, while the Biden Administration implemented an asylum parole program for specific nationalities (Cuban, Venezuelan, Nicaraguan, and Haitian) in January and continues to use policies like Title 42 to prevent asylum application, even for those who would likely qualify. This week, Congressional Democrat members have called upon the Biden Administration to end the use of Title 42. In December, Gonzales joined 48 Republican colleagues urging DHS to extend the use of the controversial pandemic order.

Rep. Maria Salazar (FL-27) has also joined the Congressional Hispanic Conference. She proposed immigration policy dubbed ‘The Dignity Act’ in the 117th Congressional session.

As the Republican party continues to attract and elect Hispanic Americans, the Congressional Hispanic Conference adds a needed perspective and nuance to the issues, including the hot-button migrant crisis and immigration reform policies.

Congressional Hispanic Conference members include Representatives:

  • Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-26)
  • Tony Gonzales (TX-23)
  • David Valadao (CA-21)
  • Carlos Giménez (FL-28)
  • Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11)
  • Maria Elvira Salazar (FL-27)
  • Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR-05)
  • Juan Ciscomani (AZ-06)
  • Monica De La Cruz (TX-15)
  • Anthony D’Esposito (NY-04)
  • John Duarte (CA-13)
  • Alex Mooney (WV-02)
  • Brian Mast (FL-18)
  • Mike Garcia (CA-25)
  • Anna Paulina Luna (FL-13)
  • George Santos (NY-03)
  • Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon (PR-AL)
  • James Moylan (R-Guam-00)

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