On his census form, Nunes checked "Hispanic, other" and wrote in "Portuguese" to specify his ethnicity, said Jack Langer, communications director. All of Nunes' grandparents are Portuguese immigrants, but Nunes has said the Hispanic label isn't specific enough to truly describe him, Langer said.
"He is not opposed to it if considered Hispanic. In his opinion, Hispanic is too broad ... so he doesn't find a lot of use to the term," Langer said.
Valadao's father emigrated from Portugal's Azores islands in 1969, and his mother in 1972, said Tal Eslick, Valadao's chief of staff. Valadao speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese and considers himself "an American with Portuguese heritage," Eslick said.
"He believes we are all better served by not dividing people into groups based on color of their skin or where their ancestors came from," Eslick said.
Costa considers himself Hispanic, communications director Jessica Kahanek said. "He definitely has that immigrant experience," she said. She directed additional questions to the groups that compiled the lists.
An estimated 1.4 million people in the U.S. claim Portuguese ancestry, according to the Census' American Community Survey for 2011.
House Press Gallery: http://1.usa.gov/VTeehy
National Association of Elected and Appointed Officials: http://www.naleo.org
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute: http://www.chci.org
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