- Associated Press - Thursday, March 3, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A delegation of Hispanic ranchers from New Mexico is in Washington, D.C., to meet with congressional leaders about alleged discrimination and civil rights violations.

The ranchers talked with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Wednesday, a day before the caucus was scheduled to meet with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

The caucus had asked for a meeting with Vilsack in October, saying members had reports from constituents indicating significant civil rights violations and discrimination by the agency.

The caucus also pointed to a 2013 review that found noncompliance with civil rights requirements and regulations by U.S. Forest Service offices in New Mexico and Colorado.

The USDA contends civil rights have been a priority under the Obama administration and that errors have been corrected over the last several years.

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