Latino Leaders Challenge Democrats in Congress to Act on Immigration Reform
Washington, D.C. -- Today the nation's Latino leaders, as members the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), met with Democratic leadership of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to urge action on comprehensive immigration reform. The meetings included Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, and Senators Charles Schumer, Robert Menendez, Patty Murray along with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, and incoming House Democratic Caucus Chair Xavier Becerra.
The NHLA members called on the officials to seize the apparent willingness of the GOP to make immigration reform a top priority for the 113th Congress and emphasized that any reform package without a clear path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants is unacceptable. The NHLA has also begun conversations with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and requested meetings with the Republican leadership and Congressional Hispanic Conference in an effort to reach out to all stakeholders and build a solid foundation for comprehensive immigration reform.
"This November the Latino community demonstrated its growing political power through its historic voter turnout, a record 10% of the electorate. Our voice has been heard and we intend to hold our elected officials accountable," said Hector E. Sanchez, chair of the NHLA. "The Latino community stands with a majority of Americans that believe that the time has come for action. Comprehensive immigration reform which includes fair, humane and economically effective reform must include a path to citizenship for all immigrants. Most importantly, the Latino community expects legislation to be introduced and passed in 2013.”
The NHLA, a coalition of the 30 leading Hispanic organizations in the country, speaks on behalf of a growing community that played a central role in the outcome of the 2012 elections. The increasing role of the Latino community in national politics is paralleled by growing support by the general public for fair immigration reform. A new poll by Politico and George Washington University found that 62 percent of voters support allowing undocumented immigrants to earn citizenship , including a majority of independents and a plurality of Republicans.
Established in 1991, The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) brings together Hispanic leaders to establish policy priorities that address, and raise public awareness of the major issues affecting the Latino community and the nation as a whole.