Gov. Susana Martínez and other GOP state officials are opposing a Hispanic civil rights group's attempt to participate in a trial over congressional redistricting in New Mexico.

The New Mexico League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, has asked a state district court to approve a plan that would create a Hispanic majority congressional district in southern New Mexico. 

The redistricting plan was advocated by Democratic Rep. Joseph Cervantes of Las Cruces during a special legislative session in September.

Lawyers for the governor, Lt. Gov. John Sánchez and Secretary of State Dianna Durán oppose LULAC's motion to intervene in the case. They contend LULAC missed court-established deadlines to become a party in the case and for submitting redistricting plans.

A trial on congressional redistricting starts Monday.

The news comes as Martinez was forced to research and clarify her late grandfather's immigration status.

Marco Rubio, Florida's GOP Senator, is accused of embellishing his family's immigrant story. A Republican congressional candidate in California puts on his website that he is the great-grandson of an undocumented immigrant.

As more Latino Republicans seek and win elected office, their families' backgrounds are becoming subject to increased scrutiny from some Latino activists, a reaction experts say is a result of Latino Republicans' conservative views on immigration.

 It's a new phenomenon that experts say Latino Democrats rarely faced, and could be a recurring feature in elections as the Republican Party seeks to recruit more Latino candidates.

"It's a trend and we are seeing more of it," said Alfonso Aguilar, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press

Follow us on
Like us at