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The Next America - Politics 2012 / Politics

Congressional Candidates With Roots in Immigrant Communities--PICTURES

photo of Doris Nhan
October 26, 2012

The growing diversity across the U.S. has captured much of the political conversation this election cycle, and one thing is clear: More and more naturalized citizens and the children of immigrants are becoming involved with the political system, and they have the potential to influence policy for years to come.

Eighty congressional hopefuls, representing 19 states and an array of ethnicities, have roots in immigrant communities. A report published by the New American Leaders Project explores the growing immigrant representation in Congress and the ever-increasing political clout that people of color now have.

We put together a slideshow of some of the candidates identified by the report.

Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, is eyeing a Senate seat in this year's election. Hirono immigrated to the U.S. from Japan as a child.(Rebecca Breyer/AP)

Republican Mia Love, a Caribbean-American and rising star in the GOP, is looking to win a House seat in November against Jim Matheson, a six-term Democrat. Love's parents came from Haiti, and she was born in New York shortly after.(Ralf-Finn Hestoft)

Republican Ted Cruz could become the first Latino elected to the Senate from Texas if he wins his bid in November. Cruz, whose father immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba, is strongly supported by the tea party, and he made headlines when he told Fox News that his Spanish was "lousy."(LM Otero/AP)


Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., is running for reelection against Republican contender Joe Kyrillos. Menendez is a second-generation American born to Cuban immigrants.(Julia Edwards)

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has been seen as the ultimate bridge between Hispanic voters and the Republican Party. Rubio, a second-generation Cuban-American born to Cuban immigrants, introduced presidential nominee Mitt Romney at the 2012 Republican National Convention.(AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

Caribbean-American Yvette Clarke is running for reelection in New York. The Democrat, who is expected to keep her House seat, was the child of Jamaican immigrants.(AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)


Arab-American Joe Kyrillos of New Jersey is looking to best incumbent Democrat Robert Menendez for a seat in the Senate. Kyrillos's grandparents were Lebanese immigrants.(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

If Democrat Grace Meng wins her seat in the House, she would become the first Asian-American elected to Congress from New York. Meng was born in New York to two Taiwanese immigrants.(Campaign photo)

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