Other Group

Mexican American Legislative Caucus (Texas)

Website:

www.malc.org

Formation:

1973

Type:

Hispanic Membership Caucus, Texas State Legislature

The Mexican American Legislative Caucus (MALC) is a membership organization of Texas State Representatives of Hispanic origin or who represent majority-Hispanic constituencies. [1] The organization consolidates the advocacy of its members, especially on issues seen to have special implications for Texas Hispanics. It is the oldest and largest Hispanic legislative caucus in the United States.

The membership of the caucus has traditionally consisted of Democratic members of the Texas House of Representatives; in the 86th Texas Legislature, the caucus had 31 Democratic members and one Republican member. [2] The caucus spends much of its time working on immigration-related issues with an emphasis on opposing efforts to crackdown on illegal immigration.

The Mexican American Legislative Policy Council is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit associated with MALC.

History

The Mexican American Legislative Caucus was founded in 1973 with the goal of creating a unified voice to represent Texas’s Hispanic community by creating a stronger voice for Texas’s Hispanic lawmakers. The Texas House of Representatives in that year had seen a surge of Mexican-American lawmakers due to redistricting. In 1975, the group became a formal caucus in the Texas House of Representatives. [3]

In 1981, MALC received a budget and staff. In 1987, the organization that oversees MALC, the Mexican American Legislative Policy Council, was formed. The council prepares research for the legislature on the needs of Hispanic constituents. [4]

In the 1990s, as Texas saw an increase in immigration from Latin American countries beyond Mexico, MALC opened its membership to all Hispanics. [5]

After the 2010 Tea Party wave saw an increase of Republicans in the Texas House, including Hispanic ones, MALC saw its first Republican members join. [6] As of 2019, one of the caucus’s 32 members is a Republican, State Rep. J.M. Lozano (R-Kingsville). [7]

As of 2017, MALC was the second-largest caucus in the Texas House. MALC members serve on all but three committees. [8]

Political Issues

In 2009, MALC played a role in defeating a proposed voter ID law in Texas. In order to prevent the issue from reaching the floor of the Texas House, Democrats and MALC members used a delaying tactic called “chubbing” which used the rules of the Texas House in order to eat up time. [9] However, the state passed a voter ID law in 2011.

In 2018, MALC took Texas’s redistricting maps to the U.S. Supreme Court. Those maps were drawn in 2011 and were based on the 2010 Census. MALC claimed that the maps were illegally gerrymandered in order to reduce the representation of black and Hispanic Texans. [10]

A member of MALC went even further and claimed that the dispute over the voting map was part of a long pattern of discrimination in the state of Texas. “While redistricting is what we are dealing with,” said State Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas), “there is an entire environment of discrimination we are dealing with in Texas.” Among the other issues Anchia cited as discriminatory were the voter ID law, Texas’ voter registration process, and a textbook. [11]

In July 2018, MALC released a set of policy recommendations calling for increased oversight over immigration detention facilities after allegations of abuse surfaced. It also called for pro-bono representation for all illegal immigrants detained. [12]

Leadership

State Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) serves as the chairman. State Rep. Mary Edna Gonzalez (D-El Paso) serves as the vice chairwoman. State Rep. Armando Martinez (D-Weslaco) serves as the secretary. State Rep. Justin Rodriguez served as the treasurer until his appointment to the Bexar County Commissioners Court. State Rep. Ana Hernandez (D-Houston) serves as the legal counsel. State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) serves as the policy chair. [13]

References

  1. “MALC Membership.” Mexican American Legislative Caucus. Accessed June 19, 2019. http://www.malc.org/home/member-pages/. ^
  2. “MALC Membership.” Mexican American Legislative Caucus. Accessed June 19, 2019. http://www.malc.org/home/member-pages/. ^
  3. “Mexican-American Legislative Caucus”. 2019. Texas State Historical Association. Accessed June 17. https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/wem04. ^
  4. “Mexican-American Legislative Caucus”. 2019. Texas State Historical Association. Accessed June 17. https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/wem04. ^
  5. “MALC Membership”. 2019. Mexican American Legislative Caucus. Accessed June 17. http://www.malc.org/home/member-pages/. ^
  6. Aguilar, Julián. 2010. “MALC’s Makeover”. The Texas Tribune. https://www.texastribune.org/2010/11/08/after-losing-12-members-malc-mulls-new-makeup/. ^
  7. “MALC Membership.” Mexican American Legislative Caucus. Accessed June 19, 2019. http://www.malc.org/home/member-pages/. ^
  8. “MALC Membership.” Mexican American Legislative Caucus. Accessed June 19, 2019. http://www.malc.org/home/member-pages/. ^
  9. Shannon, Kelley. 2009. “House Dems Use “Chubbing” To Stall Voter ID Bill”. The Eagle. https://www.theeagle.com/news/texas/house-dems-use-chubbing-to-stall-voter-id-bill/article_6178322b-2fad-5190-93fc-d9de3c7fb482.html. ^
  10. Gamboa, Suzanne. 2018. “NBC News: Supreme Court Hears Texas Case To Keep Voting Districts Seen As Diluting Latino, Black Votes”. Mexican American Legislative Caucus. http://www.malc.org/2018/04/supreme-court-hears-texas-case-to-keep-voting-districts-seen-as-diluting-latino-black-votes/. ^
  11. Gamboa, Suzanne. 2018. “NBC News: Supreme Court Hears Texas Case To Keep Voting Districts Seen As Diluting Latino, Black Votes”. Mexican American Legislative Caucus. http://www.malc.org/2018/04/supreme-court-hears-texas-case-to-keep-voting-districts-seen-as-diluting-latino-black-votes/. ^
  12. Tuma, Mary. 2018. “Texas Dems Want Stronger Immigrant Detention Oversight”. Austin Chronicle. https://www.austinchronicle.com/daily/news/2018-07-31/texas-dems-want-stronger-immigrant-detention-oversight/. ^
  13. “MALC Membership”. 2019. Mexican American Legislative Caucus. Accessed June 17. http://www.malc.org/home/member-pages/. ^
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