Honoring Servicemen and Women, the Best and Brightest Latinos: Highlights from the Final Day of #NCLR14

The last day of the 2014 NCLR Annual Conference closed with an inspiring Tuesday lunch and our annual Awards Gala. Check out the highlights from our last day in Los Angeles.

Stern Words for Congress on Immigration: Day Three of #NCLR14

The Economy and Early Child Education were also major themes for day three.

Day One of #NCLR14 Starts With a Bang

Check out highlights from the first official day of our 2014 NCLR Annual Conference.

This Week in Immigration Reform – Week Ending July 18


Week Ending July 18, 2014

This week in immigration reform: President Obama meets with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to discuss the need for administrative action on immigration reform as well as how best to protect children fleeing violence; President Obama and Congress continue to debate what course of action to pursue regarding children fleeing violence, as a number of lawmakers introduce bills related to the emergency; NCLR launches “Hanging in the Balance: Stories of Aspiring Americans,” a blog series focused on individuals in need of administrative relief from immigration enforcement; and NCLR’s 2014 Annual Conference in Los Angeles presents an array of immigration-related events.

Pres. Obama meets with CHC, which urges him to act on administrative relief and to ensure legal protections for children fleeing violence.  President Obama met with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) this Wednesday, July 16.  The CHC urged President Obama to stand firm on his existing promises to review and reform our broken immigration enforcement practices.  CHC members also encouraged the President to resist appeals from Republican lawmakers who wish to change the law so that child migrants from Central America would be denied due process and their day in court.

Following the meeting, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL-4) remarked that CHC members will refuse to support any legislative changes that undermine the legal protections for child migrants, and reaffirmed that the CHC will work with Pres. Obama to organize the necessary resources needed to address the ongoing humanitarian emergency of children fleeing violence.  Rep. Gutierrez also reported that CHC members asked the President to be “broad and expansive in using prosecutorial discretion and executive action” to relieve aspiring Americans from the threat of deportation.

Meanwhile, Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.) published an op-ed following the meeting in which he called on members of Congress to cease their callous, “detain and deport” approach to the children fleeing violence; pointed at Congress’ failure to consider immigration reform legislation as a root cause of the current troubles; and reminded his colleagues that America has historically provided refuge to those fleeing danger.

Pres. Obama and Congress continue debating best course of action on children fleeing violence.  As the Obama administration deals with the humanitarian emergency of children fleeing violence as best it can, political theater has replaced pragmatic policy-making as various members of Congress are introducing bills that would do little to address the root causes of the situation. So far bills have been introduced by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Henry Cuellar (D-Texas); Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.); and Rep. John Carter (R-Texas).  It remains unclear how Congress will move forward with addressing the emergency.

Other lawmakers, however, have suggested constructive proposals on how to address children fleeing violence.  The Congressional Women’s Working Group on Immigration Reform, chaired by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, firmly rejected proposals to change the law that would eliminate existing due process and humanitarian protections by indiscriminately sending children back to unsafe conditions of rampant gang violence, rape, murder, and human trafficking.

–NCLR launches “Hanging in the Balance: Stories of Aspiring Americans” series.  This week NCLR launched “Hanging in the Balance: Stories of Aspiring Americans,” a blog series that will highlight stories of individuals and families who would benefit immensely from relief from indiscriminate detention and deportation. Since Republican leadership in the House has wasted the best opportunity we’ve had in years to fix our broken immigration system, millions of hard-working individuals must now look to President Obama for action on immigration.

The first story in the series looks at how Congressional inaction on immigration has affected the Maldonado family of Northeast Ohio.  Check it out here, and stay tuned to NCLR’s blog for future updates to this series.

NCLR’s 2014 Annual Conference in Los Angeles presents an array of immigration-related events.  NCLR’s 2014 Annual Conference in Los Angeles, CA is just around the corner.  Conference kicks off on July 19 and runs through July 22.  NCLR is committed to the fight for immigration reform and for administrative action on the part of President Obama, and immigration-related events will be front and center at this year’s conference.

On Saturday, July 19 don’t miss NCLR’s featured session “The Battle for Immigration: Legislation, Executive Action, and Unaccompanied Children” at 10:45 A.M. in Room 515A. If you won’t be able to attend in person, you can

Also on Saturday, July 19 be sure to check out “Casa Azafrán: A Case Study in Immigrant Integration through Placemaking” at 9:00 A.M. in LACC West Hall 511C.  Later that day NCLR will be screening “Documented,” the new film by journalist, filmmaker, and immigration activist Jose Antonio Vargas, at 2:45 P.M. in LACC Theatre 411.  Vargas will take questions and answers after the session.

Finally, NCLR will be holding a roundtable discussion on the humanitarian emergency of children fleeing violence in Central America on Sunday, July 20 at 1:30 P.M. in LACC West Hall 150B.  Check out the full pocket agenda for NCLR’s 2014 Annual Conference here.

While at NCLR’s 2014 Annual Conference, be sure to download NCLR’s new immigration integration app “Inmigo” on your smartphone!  The app provides workers in the immigrant integration field with up-to-date information on changing immigration laws and policies. The app is also equipped with an easy-to-use location feature that helps you find legal assistance on immigration-related issues.

#NCLR14 Kicks Off With a Day of Service

We kicked off our Annual Conference in Los Angeles with a day of community service to beautify Berendo Middle School together with Bank of America and our Affiliate, Youth Policy Institute. Below are highlights of the event!

In Memory of Tomas Atencio

By Janet Murguía, President and CEO, NCLR

The Hispanic community, and the nation, lost a hero on July 16, when Tomas Atencio, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of New Mexico, passed away at his home in Albuquerque after a long illness.

The son of a Presbyterian minister whose family traced its history in New Mexico to the 1700s, Atencio was a Marine “wireman” in the Korean War, whose job was to check and maintain communications lines running through the rice patties and frozen mountains, often under sniper fire. He had degrees in philosophy, social work, and theology, and he authored or coauthored numerous works, including Albuquerque: Portrait of a Western City (Albuquerque: Clear Light Publishing, 2006) and, most recently, Resolana: Emerging Chicano Dialogues on Community and Globalization (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2009). Tomas is perhaps best known for founding community-based academies dedicated to resolanas, or grassroots dialogues. A core concept of the resolana is that all participants are equal and discussions take place in the open, where, according to Papago Indian tradition, the sun is shining and everyone can see and hear what everyone else says, all at the same time.

Atencio’s ties to the National Council of La Raza ran deep. His brother Amos was the long-time CEO of Siete del Norte, one of our oldest Affiliates, and served on the NCLR Board of Directors. Tomas himself worked with two other NCLR Affiliates, the Mexican American Unity Council and the Colorado Migrant Council, as well as Siete del Norte, where among other things he pioneered culturally competent mental health care innovations, battled against heroin traffickers, inspired and catalyzed the development of small family farms, and in the process mentored the next generation of Latino community leaders. He also played a key role in convincing my predecessor, Raul Yzaguirre, to take the job as NCLR’s CEO in 1974, and all of us who have followed in his footsteps are grateful for that profoundly important act. For these and other achievements too numerous to list, Tomas Atencio earned NCLR’s Maclovio Barraza Award for Leadership in 1997.

But what his family, friends, and admirers will remember most about Tomas Atencio was his unique combination of fierce passion, sharp intellect, and gentle spirit. He dedicated his life to striving to help us all find, in his own words, a “new humanity that tears down all class and racial barriers.” May he rest in peace. May his ideas live on forever.

NCLR Affiliate Spotlight: Southwest Key

This month’s Affiliate Spotlight is on Southwest Key, based in Austin, Texas. The former Affiliate of the Year joined NCLR for a Twitter chat to talk about what the group does and where they’re going in the future.

Latinos Place Economy as Number-One Concern

Attend NCLR Economic Policy Workshops to Learn How You Can Help Build a Better Future

Jar of Money --- Image by © Royalty-Free/CorbisLatinos consistently rank the health of the economy as their primary concern, especially in the past few years as our country has slowly emerged from the Great Recession. Analysts at NCLR have designed workshops for the 2014 NCLR Annual Conference about critical economic policy issues: retirement security, housing finance, banking, workforce development, federal budget, and more. Our aim is to engage in a lively discussion with Conference attendees on these important policy topics that ultimately impact all of our pocketbooks.

We hope you are coming to Los Angeles to attend the NCLR Annual Conference and that you’re as excited as we are to participate in the workshops. We need your energy, feedback, and questions to have a real success. We also hope that you learn from the excellent speakers we have lined up to share the latest policy information with our community, and discover about ways to get involved in helping build a better future for our country. A poll of Latino voters from NCLR and Latino Decisions set to be released on Monday, July 21 finds that the economic crisis is indeed still very personal for Latino families.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

9:00–10:30 a.m.
Policy Workshop: Is Washington Working for the Latino Community? An Update from the 113th Congress

While the 113th Congress is frequently described as the most partisan and least effective Congress in history, recent bipartisan efforts to pass a budget, advance immigration reform, and overhaul our housing finance system suggest that there could be substantive progress on Latino priorities heading into the midterm elections and beyond. Hear from NCLR policy experts and Congressman Tony Cardenas’ Chief of Staff about what’s happening on the Hill and in the Obama administration to move a Latino policy agenda forward.

11:00 a.m.–noon
Affiliate Lounge Session: Take it to Washington, DC: Help Shape the 2015 Latino Economic Policy Agenda

Campaign representatives from the group Latinos United for a Fair Economy would like to hear from you regarding various economic issues of high importance to the Latino community, such as funding for education, job training, and infrastructure. Your feedback will help shape the economic policy priorities included in the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda’s 2015 Latino Economic Policy Agenda.


conferencebanners-04Sunday, July 20, 2014

9:00–10:30 a.m.
Health and Community Family and Wealth-Building Workshop: Ready? Set? Retire! Addressing Disparities in Latino Retirement Preparedness

Two-thirds of Latino workers lack access to a workplace retirement savings plan. This workshop will share information about how Latinos utilize retirement plans now, and explore how new retirement policy proposals may impact retirement readiness among Latinos.

3:30–5:00 p.m.
Town Hall: The State of the Economy: Giving Latinos a Fighting Chance

Five years after the financial crisis, Latinos still face significant financial challenges. This town hall will discuss policies impacting access to financial services for Latinos and new immigrants. Keynote address by Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Monday, July 21

9:00–10:30 a.m.
Policy Workshop: Building the Pipeline to Good Jobs

Too many graduates of workforce development programs feel powerless against common abuses in low-wage jobs. This workshop will explore promising approaches to empower workers to stand up for their rights and improve working conditions in key industries.