NHLA Press Releases

Historic Hispanic Policy Conference Presented by the White House and NHLA, Convenes Administration Officials, Elected Officials, Advocacy and Business Leaders

Estuardo Rodriguez, Estuardo@rabengroup.com, (202) 631-2892
Chris Espinosa, cespinosa@hispanicfederation.org, (202) 641-7186

Over 160 Participants Gathered to Explore Policy Priorities, Make Recommendations President Obama Visited with Participants, Urged to Halt Deportation of DREAM Act Eligible Students

WASHINGTON, DC – At the recommendation of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), a coalition of the 30 leading Hispanic organizations in the United States, the White House convened a Hispanic Policy Conference this week.

The Hispanic Policy Conference brought 160 Hispanic leaders from across the country to Washington to engage in a discussion with Obama Administration officials about how to work together on public policy that advances the Latino community. Latino leaders were able to engage in a dialogue about issues across the spectrum, including education, jobs, civil rights, health, immigration, and the environment.

“We are grateful that the President and other key White House officials were able to meet with NHLA members to discuss the role of the nation’s largest minority population during this important period of economic recovery,” stated Lillian Rodriguez-Lopez, chair of NHLA. “We were pleased to hear that the President will not put important education, health and safety net programs in jeopardy during budget negotiations.”

NHLA members outlined the achievements made in the first two years of the Obama Administration that are at risk should an unbalanced budget deal result in deep cuts to spending on critical federal programs that keep millions of Latinos healthy and out of poverty, and which provide the educational opportunities needed for America to thrive in a global economy.

“It was important for the administration to host a gathering of this kind, bringing together leaders in the Latino community at the national, state, and local levels,” said Brent Wilkes, national executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). “The policy conference allowed our community leaders to make policy recommendations to the White House and to explain how the administration’s work is impacting cities and states. We are glad the White House recognizes the crucial role Hispanic’s will play in achieving President Obama’s goals in education, health care, and our economic recovery.”

NHLA members also pressed administration officials to do more on key areas of concern to the Latino community, including the need for an executive order to halt the deportation of DREAM Act eligible students and the parents of U.S. citizen children, as well as the need to vigorously enforce the Voting Rights Act and address the under-representation of Hispanics in the senior ranks of the civil service.

“This conference was an opportunity for the administration to demonstrate its commitment to the progress of the Latino community with tangible results,” stated Hector E. Sanchez, executive director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA). “Many agencies are doing laudable work to protect Latinos and promote their well-being and advancement in their workplaces and communities. However favorable, the magnitude of the benefit generated for our community is significantly limited without immigration reform. This is why the NHLA demanded that the administration do something now to halt the deportation of DREAM Act eligible students and the parents of U.S. citizen children,”

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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. For more information, please visit www.nationalhispanicleadership.org.

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