Congressional Hispanic Caucus members were blocked from meeting with ICE—and they’re furious

Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus were reportedly told they could not attend a meeting about deportations and raids with Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Thomas Homan Thursday.

The snub came after ICE reportedly canceled another planned meeting with the caucus earlier this week. ICE said the meeting was canceled because it had grown too large and wasn’t bipartisan. Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) called the cancellation of Tuesday’s meeting “bullshit.”

Ten Democrats were allowed to attend Thursday’s meeting, including Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), the current chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Politico reported.

Among the members kept out were Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL), who has a long history of criticizing deportation policies and advocating on behalf of the undocumented, and Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D-NV), who was born in Mexico and has said he lived in the U.S. with an expired visa for a period of time before becoming a citizen.

Speaking to reporters, Gutierrez expressed anger about what had happened.

“I’ve been here 25 years and I’ve never been told by the Speaker of the House that I can’t attend a meeting I’ve requested,” he fumed.

“The speaker’s office organized a small bipartisan briefing that was, at the request of DHS, limited to members with jurisdictional interests in immigration enforcement,” a spokesperson for Speaker of the House Paul Ryan told the Huffington Post. “Members of the CHC expressed interest in attending, and to accommodate the request, we welcomed the chair of the CHC to join on behalf of the other members.”

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