Day Three Highlights of the 2015 NCLR Annual Conference

The eyes of the nation were on the 2015 NCLR Annual Conference today as three presidential candidates delivered remarks to our attendees. The much-anticipated speeches were given to max-capacity crowds. Below are highlights from day three of our 2015 annual gathering.

The first candidate to deliver remarks was Bernie Sanders, who gave a speech to a standing-room only crowd in a special session.

After Sanders’ speech, it was on to the Monday Luncheon where attendees were treated to a special performance by our favorite mariachi singer, Sebastien De La Cruz.

Our Vice President of Policy, Eric Rodriguez, also gave our Affiliate Award for Advocacy to to Luz Gallegos of Todec Legal Center.

Next, our guests heard from Democratic presidential candidate and former Maryland governor, Martin O’Malley.

Next, guests heard remarks from Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Julian Castro.

Following Secretary Castro, our attendees heard from Sprint CEO, Marcelo Claure, who shared his truly inspiring immigrant story.

While attendees waited for Hillary Clinton to arrive, they were treated to more of the musical stylings of Sebastien De La Cruz.

After some tantalizing tunes, it was time for former Secretary of State Clinton to take the stage.

Kansas City Welcomes NCLR and Affiliates on Road to 2015 Conference

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The countdown to the 2015 NCLR Annual Conference kicked off yesterday in Kansas City, Mo., as community and city leaders gathered to reflect on the historic and continued positive impact of the Latino population in the region.

“It is our full intention to put the spotlight on so many who have made contributions in so many positive ways and highlight the strength of that diversity as we bring the Conference here,” said NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía.

Watch highlights from her remarks:

The NCLR Annual Conference—the largest national yearly gathering of the Hispanic community in the United States—will be held July 11–14 at the Kansas City Convention Center. The Conference attracts thousands from throughout the country and features workshops, town halls, and nationally recognized speakers. In addition, tens of thousands take part in the yearly National Latino Family Expo®, which is set to include free workshops, health screenings, and activities for the whole family.

  • Get more information and register now here.

Also on hand yesterday were Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Pro Tem Cindy Circo and Kansas City, Kansas, Mayor Mark Holland. Attendees included members of local NCLR Affiliates as well as other government and civic leaders.

“Immigration has been the driving force behind the growth of Wyandotte County in every stage of its life,” said Holland. “We need to be sharing that message more vocally and clearly. Having NCLR here for its Conference gives us the opportunity to showcase the positive impact that immigration is having in our community.”

“The diversity that we have, and expanding that and opening up opportunities to the rest of the community, means economic development,” said Circo. “We’re looking forward for everyone to come to Kansas City to enjoy our vibrancy.”

Check out some of the social media highlights from the event.

DACA: Two Years Later

By Laura Vazquez, Senior Immigration Legislative Analyst, NCLR

Advocacy Central Immigration sisters (2)_resizedTwo years ago today, President Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for undocumented youth who have grown up in the United States. Lines of young people formed across the country to apply for temporary relief from deportation and for work permits. In Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and other cities, young people filed into NCLR Affiliates and other community-based organizations to receive help in filling out the newly released applications. We’re wrapping up this week by telling the stories of those who have applied for and received DACA.

More than 500,000 people have received DACA, and with it, the ability to work and continue contributing to communities across the country. While DACA is not the permanent solution that is needed, it is an important protection from deportation and recognition that people who have grown up in this country can contribute even more if they are able to continue their education and put their talents to use.

Katherine DACA (2)_resizedDACA recipients have unique stories to tell of their application experience and what it has meant for them, but one thing that is noticeable in hearing their stories is that there is a physical transformation in the people when they get to a certain point in their story. When they describe that they received the notice in the mail and when they saw their social security number, they break out in a smile. You can see that a weight has been lifted. And I have seen that when people describe that they applied for a driver’s license or a state ID, they stand a little taller—they seem a little more confident or assertive as they describe that they feel that they belong. They now have official recognition that they are part of the communities they have called home. Katherine, a student in Maryland, told us, “I always felt like an outsider throughout my elementary and high school career. I am not sure if it was shame or fear that held me back from fully integrating to the ‘American life,’ but in the back of my head I felt different from everyone else.” DACA has been transformative for her and she states, “DACA gave me hope to continue fighting for my dreams in the United States.”

At the 2014 NCLR Annual Conference, I met Jessica, who told her story of growing up in California. She had arrived as a child from Mexico and began kindergarten in California. Her father told her to work hard in school because no one could take her education away from her, and she did. It wasn’t until she reached high school, like many other DREAMers, that she learned she was undocumented. Soon after, school became less important to her. She said, “What’s the point of getting a degree if I don’t have a social [security number]? Who’s going to hire me?” But her father continued to believe in her and urged her to continue her education. It was her father who recommended she apply for DACA. Jessica and her sister applied, and in the video below, she describes what it was like to have her application accepted and the happiness in realizing that she was going to have a California ID. DACA allowed her to realize that she could work to achieve her dream of managing a business in the fashion industry; DACA motivated her: “I want to do something with my life.” Like Jessica, her sister Nadia is also working on her studies so that she can achieve her dream of becoming a civil engineer.

There is much more work to be done to ensure that people who are eligible for DACA can come forward and apply. Now more than ever, we need President Obama to exercise a legitimate use of his executive authority to expand relief and limit senseless deportations in order to keep hardworking aspiring Americans together with their families and in the communities where they have been contributing.

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.

#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!