The Latino Action Network is a grassroots organization composed of individuals and organizations that are committed to engaging in collective action at the local, state and national levels in order to advance the equitable inclusion of the diverse Latino communities in all aspects of United States society.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Christie Hypocrisy on Display: New Jersey Joins Lawsuit to Block Obama’s Executive Order on Immigration

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie with Mitt Romney during 2012 presidential campaign stop.  Romney at the time took the position that the United States should make life so hard on immigrants that they would deport themselves.
Christie Hypocrisy on Display

New Jersey Joins Lawsuit to Block Obama’s Executive Order on Immigration

For Immediate Release: March 26, 2015
Frank Argote-Freyre, President – 908-670-0552
Christian Estevez, Executive Vice President – 973-418-7012
Rudy Rodas, Co-Chair, Immigration Committee – 201-381-1819

Statement of the Latino Action Network Steering Committee

            Governor Christie yesterday, in a cynical political ploy, entered New Jersey into a federal lawsuit aimed at blocking an executive order by President Obama allowing some undocumented immigrants to remain in the country without fear of deportation. The move underlies the hypocrisy Governor Christie has always displayed towards the Latino community. To national audiences he has proclaimed himself a candidate with appeal in the Latino community while guarding any details about his national policies on immigration. New Jersey’s entry into the lawsuit, although nearly 20 percent of the state’s population are Latinos, should serve as a wake-up call to anyone in the community that considers him a friend.

Christie’s efforts to secure the Republican presidential nomination have led him to undermine one of the most significant bills he signed into law during his tenure as the State’s Chief Executive. When Christie signed the In-State Tuition Equality bill in 2013 at Union City High School, he essentially articulated the need for immigration reform as the basis of his support of undocumented students. The Governor said at the time:  “Even if you're cold-hearted about this, you can agree with the common sense of the economics.” “[O]ur job, I believe, as a government, is to give every one of these children, who we have already invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in, an opportunity to maximize that investment.”

By fighting against the expansion of executive programs that would give undocumented students permission to work legally in the United States, Christie is hindering these students’ ability to pay for their college education.

President Obama announced the executive order last year after Congress failed again to enact comprehensive immigration reform.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Elección Latina: March 13 – 14, 2015 at Rutgers University

Elección Latina: March 13 – 14, 2015

LUPE invites you to participate in this year’s Elección Latina (Ready to Run) at Rutgers University (Douglass Campus Center, New Brunswick, NJ) on March 13 and 14, 2015.

Part of LUPE’s mission is to increase the number of Latinas in public service through various channels. Whether you are interested in running for elected office now or in the future; if you are interested in working on a political campaign or would like to serve on a board or commission; Elección Latina (Ready to Run) will provide you with essential tools to better prepare you for the challenges ahead if public life is your passion. All attendees will also get the opportunity to learn from and network with many Latina trailblazers.

What:    Elección Latina (Ready to Run)

Where:  Rutgers University  (Douglass Campus Center, 100 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ)
When:   March 13 and 14, 2015

To register today, please  to go CAWP’s website.

Some scholarship opportunities still available:  Eleccion Latina Invitation Letter

Elección Latina 2012

Friday, February 20, 2015

Upcoming Immigration Seminars: Deferred Action

Several organizations have seminars scheduled over the next week to share information with the community regarding President Obama's Executive Order related to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action  for Parents of U.S. Citizens (DAPA). Some of these seminars were scheduled prior to the recent developments in the U.S. courts temporarily enjoining the implementation of the Executive Order.  They were originally organized to provide the community with information provided by attorneys about the benefits of these programs and how the community can prepare to take advantage of them. However, given the resent developments, attorneys at these seminars will also be providing information about the court injunction and the impact that it will have on the roll-out of DACA and DAPA. 

A list of some of the events are listed below along with copies of the actual event announcements.  Please share widely. Also, feel free to contact the Latino Action Network at: to share similar events happening in your area. 

Hightstown: Saturday, February 21, 2015

Paterson: Saturday, February 21st and Saturday February 28th

Garfield: Saturday, February 28th

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Please read the statement below from Sec. Johnson’s office regarding the ruling concerning DAPA & DACA. 

Press Office
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Press Release  

Feb. 17, 2015

Contact: DHS Press Office, (202) 282-8010


I strongly disagree with Judge Hanen’s decision to temporarily enjoin implementation of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The Department of Justice will appeal that temporary injunction; in the meantime, we recognize we must comply with it. 

Accordingly, the Department of Homeland Security will not begin accepting requests for the expansion of DACA tomorrow, February 18, as originally planned. Until further notice, we will also suspend the plan to accept requests for DAPA. 

The Department of Justice, legal scholars, immigration experts and even other courts have said that our actions are well within our legal authority. Our actions will also benefit the economy and promote law enforcement. We fully expect to ultimately prevail in the courts, and we will be prepared to implement DAPA and expanded DACA once we do.

It is important to emphasize what the District Court’s order does not affect.

The Court’s order does not affect the existing DACA. Individuals may continue to come forward and request initial grant of DACA or renewal of DACA pursuant to the guidelines established in 2012. 

Nor does the Court’s order affect this Department’s ability to set and implement enforcement priorities. The priorities established in my November 20, 2014 memorandum entitled “Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants” remain in full force and effect. Pursuant to those enforcement priorities, we continue to prioritize public safety, national security, and border security. I am pleased that an increasing percentage of removals each year are of those convicted of crimes.  I am also pleased that, due in large part to our investments in and prioritization of border security, apprehensions at the southern border – a large indicator of total attempts to cross the border illegally -- are now at the lowest levels in years.

For more information, visit><.


Friday, February 6, 2015

Photo Album: Latino Action Network's 2015 Legislative Conference

The Latino Action Network thanks all of the Latino activists, speakers and presenters who attended the Latino Action Network's 2015 Legislative Conference. The conference was a great success because of your participation.  We have posted photos from our 2015 Legislative Conference to our Facebook page.  Please click on the link below to view the full photo album:


Friday, January 16, 2015

Register HERE for 2015 Annual Latino Action Network Legislative Conference

2015 Annual Latino Action Network Legislative Conference

You are cordially invited to the Latino Action Network’s Annual Legislative Conference. The conference will take place on Saturday, January 31, 2015 at the Crystal Room, Robert Treat Hotel Conference Center in Newark, New Jersey.

The event will include a full program, with keynote presentations and dynamic workshops with panels discussing a full array of issues of great importance to New Jersey's Latino community.

Our Keynote Speakers will be:

NJ Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney and NJ Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto.

Breakout panels will cover the following subjects:

  • Immigration Issues
  • Education: K-12 and Financial Aid for DACA
  • Health Disparities and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)
  • Affordable Housing
  • Labor Issues
  • State Budget Process

We expect an audience of over 200 persons, including Latino elected officials, civic and community leaders interested in developing a shared vision for New Jersey.

This Legislative Conference is hosted by the Latino Action Network (LAN) in collaboration with The Latino Institute, Inc., a private, non-profit, charitable organization, and the Latino Coalition, a member organization of the LAN.

Please click in HERE to register for the LAN Legislative Conference or go to:

You can also contact Carmen Torres at973-273-0273 or via email at if you have any questions about the program.

We are looking forward to presence, as we work together to benefit the Latino community.

N.J. must stop Gov. Christie's defiance of state's Fair Housing Act: Opinion

N.J. must stop Gov. Christie's defiance of state's Fair Housing Act: Opinion

By Frank Argote-Freyre and Richard T. Smith

Star-Ledger January 13, 2015

For the past five years, the Christie Administration has, at every turn, tried to undermine New Jersey’s Fair Housing Act, which guarantees that communities cannot use unfair land-use laws to keep out lower-income families, seniors and people with special needs. It is clear Gov. Chris Christie is opposed to this law. He called the original lawsuit that led to it, brought by two local chapters of the NAACP against Mount Laurel Township, an “abomination.” The NAACP acted, at that time, to prevent the displacement of a vibrant African-American community with a long history in the region.

It is unfortunate the Governor believes this lawsuit was inappropriate. The Christie Administration has gone so far as to obstruct and refuse to enforce laws emanating from that original civil rights decision. This is a dangerous precedent. Christie appears deeply committed to undermining the principles of the law and circumventing the legal system. First, he went to the Legislature and tried to change the law, but they refused to undercut basic civil rights protections. Then he went to the courts and tried to argue he did not have to comply with the law. The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in September 2013 that he did. So now the Governor is attempting to defy both the Legislature and the courts by simply not acting in accordance with existing laws.

The Supreme Court heard arguments on the issue on Jan. 6. The Court thus should move forward with the only realistic option in front of it – allow the courts to directly hear fair housing challenges, instead of having them stalled in an administrative process going nowhere.

In its September 2013 decision, the Supreme Court ordered the Christie Administration to "eliminate the limbo in which municipalities, New Jersey citizens, developers, and affordable housing interest groups have lived for too long.” It required the Christie Administration to develop new rules to implement the Fair Housing Act within five months.

Christie appears deeply committed to undermining the principles of the law and circumventing the legal system.

On the last day of that five-month period, the Christie Administration asked for an indefinite extension to develop rules. The Supreme Court granted an extension, but put a time limit on it, saying that if rules were not finalized by Nov. 17, then the Court would consider taking steps to enforce the law through the court system directly.

The Christie Administration next proposed rules that were transparently ridiculous. Towns' fair housing obligations would be based on a spreadsheet that was supposedly “lost.” Land in Monmouth County was mislabeled as being in Ocean County. The State disregarded its own official growth projections to manipulate housing requirements so they were as low as possible. The state also assumed that growth would only occur and lower-income people would only live on undeveloped farms or forests, when in recent years the majority of development in New Jersey has been redevelopment of existing land in places like Montclair, Summit and Red Bank.

After public hearings drew angry responses and the Christie Administration received more than 3,000 comments, they refused to make changes to correct these flaws. But fortunately, half the members of the Council on Affordable Housing, which had ultimate authority over the proposed rules, refused to go along with such an obvious attempt to undermine the Fair Housing Act. As such, no rules were adopted by the Nov. 17 deadline, and the State failed to comply with the Supreme Court’s deadline even after the extension.

Now, the Supreme Court is considering what to do next. There must be no more extensions or delays. Tens of thousands of people waiting for a decent place to live - a number made significantly bigger after Superstorm Sandy - have waited long enough. The Christie Administration’s process is a dead end, and the regulations that were proposed were not a good faith response. It is time for the courts to ensure that their decisions are followed, and directly enforce the state’s fair housing laws since the Christie Administration apparently refuses to do so.

Frank Argote-Freyre is president of the Latino Action Network and Richard T. Smith is president of the NAACP New Jersey State Conference.

The original article can be found at: