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In New Congress, More Latinos Than Ever


The new U.S. Congress has more Latinos than ever before.

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U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego (D-Texas) walks with his mother and his son to the swearing-in ceremony of the 113th U.S. Congress on Thursday.

The 113th U.S. Congress sworn in today includes nine new Latino members, making it the largest Latino class in history.

Latinos now hold 28 House seats and three Senate seats in the new Congress. Just five Latino House representatives are Republican while two of the three Latino senators are Republican.

Rep. Juan Vargas from San Diego is among the new Latino leaders sworn in on Thursday. Vargas, a Democrat, represents the 51st District of California, which stretches along the state’s entire border with Mexico and includes the Imperial Valley. The former state senator is filling new San Diego Mayor Bob Filner’s seat.

Other new Latino members representing border states include Democrats Joaquin Castro and Pete Gallego from Texas, and Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico.

The bolstered Latino caucus will likely be vocal in anticipated debates this year on reforming immigration laws. President Barack Obama has promised to make immigration reform a priority in his second term.

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