Top Latino congressional group snubs Trump, breaking decades-long tradition

Top Latino congressional group snubs Trump, breaking decades-long tradition
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A top congressional Latino group is snubbing President Trump by not inviting him to its annual convention, breaking a nearly 40-year-long tradition of inviting sitting presidents to the event.

"The president was not invited this year based on his slanderous comments and strongly disagreeable actions for the Latino community in the United States," Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, told the Associated Press on Tuesday.

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The group, which helps spur the development of young Latino leaders, is set to have its annual event this week just before Hispanic Heritage Month starts on Friday, AP reported.

Jimmy Carter was the first sitting president to attend the event in 1979, and every president since then has followed suit by attending CHCI's annual event at least once — with the exception of George H.W. Bush.

CHCI, though nonpartisan, has just two Republican lawmakers out of a 25-member Advisory Council, according to the report.

The White House did not reply to a request for comment about the snub.

The president already stood on shaky ground with Latinos when he called Mexican immigrants "criminals" during the 2016 election and repeatedly pledged to build his wall, but his recent decisions to pardon former Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio and phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program have further broken down Latino support of the Trump administration.

Trump pardoned the controversial sheriff after he was convicted for criminal contempt of court after ignoring a court order to stop largely targeting immigrants in traffic patrols.

The Obama-era DACA program has protected about 800,000 immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as minors from deportation. Many have work permits or are attending school.