Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Hispanic Caucus wants civil rights answers

Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus are raising questions about the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s treatment of Latino farmers and ranchers. Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Linda Sanchez of California and fellow Democrats Michelle Lujan-Grisham and Ben Ray Luján, representatives of Albuquerque and Santa Fe districts, respectively, sent a letter to the agency last week and requested a meeting with Secretary Tom Vilsack. They say many caucus members have received reports from constituents indicating significant civil rights violations and discrimination by the agency. They also pointed to a 2013 review that found noncompliance with civil rights requirements and regulations by U.S. Forest Service offices in New Mexico and Colorado. David Sanchez, a New Mexico rancher and vice president of the Northern New Mexico Stockmen’s Association, said he was pleased that the caucus weighed in. He said he hoped the congressional attention would spur more accountability...more

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