LAN

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.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Latino Action Network Denounces US Senate Defeat of Dream Act

The Latino Action Network [LAN] vowed today to work with other state and national organizations to defeat members of the United States Senate who voted against the Dream Act this weekend.  [Read full Press Release Below]

Latino Action Network Denounces US Senate
Defeat of Dream Act

Calls on Latinos to Remember those who Voted Against It.

For Immediate Release: December 20, 2010
Contact:
Frank Argote-Freyre, President – 908-670-0552
Christian Estevez, Executive Vice President – 973-418-7012
Daniel Santo Pietro, Chair of Public Policy Committee – 732-496-9628

The Latino Action Network [LAN] vowed today to work with other state and national organizations to defeat members of the United States Senate who voted against the Dream Act this weekend. In the aftermath of the vote, the Network stressed the importance of passing in-state tuition in New Jersey to ensure that the children of undocumented immigrants have a chance to receive a university education and called on members of the State Legislature to pass the appropriate legislation in 2011.

The US Senate failed to overcome a filibuster that prevented a vote on the Dream Act by a 55-41 vote on Saturday. The measure was opposed by 36 Republicans and five Democrats.

“The names of the Senators that voted against the Dream Act should be emblazoned on the minds of Latinos across the United States every time they step in a voting booth,” said Frank Argote-Freyre, President of the LAN.  “A majority of the Senate was prepared to pass this critical civil rights measure that would have allowed hundreds of thousands of youths brought to this country by their parents without documentation an opportunity to contribute to America’s future by completing their higher education or military service and eventually acquire citizenship.”

  Daniel Santo Pietro, Chair of the Network’s Public Policy Committee stated, “It is a long tradition in Western law not to hold children responsible for the transgressions of their parents.  By denying these youths their basic civil rights, we deny ourselves future leaders, entrepreneurs and scientists that we need just to satisfy an anti-immigrant political agenda.  This is an intolerable situation that Latinos and other Americans of like mind must repudiate.

Both New Jersey Senators, Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg, were strong proponents and supporters of the Dream Act, but several New Jersey Representatives opposed it including, Rodney Frelinghuysen, Scott Garrett, Leonard Lance, Frank LoBiondo, and Christopher Smith.

            Christian Estevez, Executive Vice President of the LAN, summarized the current situation, “In the short term the New Jersey State Legislature has to step forward and at least enact the In-State Tuition bill that the State Senate narrowly declined to move forward last December.  All New Jersey college presidents should endorse this bill and other steps to support the youth left in limbo by the US Senate’s debacle. LAN efforts will be focused on organizing New Jersey’s students in support of in-state tuition in New Jersey and comprehensive immigration reform at the national level.

The LAN was founded in 2009 as a vehicle to mobilize the Latino community to seek greater social and economic justice. A list of the Senators who opposed the Dream Act will be placed on the LAN’s website and blog to remind its members of their vote.

US Senators Voting Against the Dream Act

Republicans:

Lamar Alexander of Tennessee
John Barrasso of Wyoming
Kit Bond of Missouri
Scott Brown of Massachusetts
Sam Brownback of Kansas
Richard Burr of North Carolina
Saxby Chambliss of Georgia
Tom Coburn of Oklahoma
Thad Cochran of Mississippi
Susan Collins of Maine
Bob Corker of Tennessee
John Cornyn of Texas
Mike Crapo of Idaho
Jim DeMint of South Carolina
John Ensign of Nevada
Michael Enzi of Wyoming
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
Chuck Grassley of Iowa
Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas
James Inhofe of Oklahoma
Johnny Isakson of Georgia
Mike Johanns of Nebraska
Mark Kirk of Illinois
Jon Kyl of Arizona
George LeMieux of Florida
John McCain of Arizona
Mitch McConnell of Kentucky
James Risch of Idaho
Pat Roberts of Kansas
Jeff Sessions of Alabama
Richard Shelby of Alabama
Olympia Snowe of Maine
John Thune of South Dakota
David Vitter of Louisiana
George Voinovich of Ohio
Roger Wicker of Mississippi

Democrats:
 
Max Baucus of Montana
Kay Hagan of North Carolina
Ben Nelson of Nebraska
Mark Pryor of Arkansas
Jon Tester of Montana

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Latino Action Network Applauds Latino Voters for Standing Up for Our Community on Election Day

The Latino Action Network applauds Latino voters throughout the United States for not falling for the campaign to suppress the Latino vote. Latinos voters stood up for the entire Latino community by showing up at the polls on Election Day, contributing to the defeat of anti-Latino candidates in states like Nevada. [Read full Press Release below]

Latino Action Network Applauds Latino Voters for Standing Up for Our Community on Election Day      

For Immediate Release: November 3, 2010
Christian Estevez, Executive Vice-President – 973-418-7012

The Latino Action Network applauds Latino voters throughout the United States for not falling for the campaign to suppress the Latino vote. Latinos voters stood up for the entire Latino community by showing up at the polls on Election Day, contributing to the defeat of anti-Latino candidates in states like Nevada.

Latino voters also showed great intelligence in places like Passaic County, New Jersey where they looked beyond the fact that the candidate for sheriff was Latino. The LAN takes note of the fact that Latino voters in Passaic County, New Jersey, rejected a candidate who expressed his support for the anti-immigrant, profiling laws passed earlier this year in Arizona.

The Latino Action Network supports efforts to increase the election of Latinos from all political parties.  However, we cannot support candidates who take positions that run counter to the interests of the Latino community. We are pleased to see that the Latino voters of Passaic County share these values and expressed them on Election Day.

The LAN was founded in 2009 as a vehicle to mobilize the Latino community to seek greater social and economic justice.

###

For more information about Latino voting results, please visit the following websites:

Latino Decisions: Latino Election Eve Poll Results, November 2, 2010

New York Times: Senate Exit Polls 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hispanic Evangelical Coalition Opposes Voter Suppression Efforts

Reverend Gabriel Salguero, a leading voice among Latino evangelicals across the nation and a member of the Latino Action Network [LAN] today issued the following statement in response to efforts to suppress the Latino vote.

Hispanic Evangelical Coalition Opposes Voter
Suppression Efforts

For Immediate Release: October 31, 2010

Reverend Gabriel Salguero, Steering Committee Member – 917-484-0179

Reverend Gabriel Salguero, a leading voice among Latino evangelicals across the nation and a member of the Latino Action Network [LAN] today issued the following statement in response to efforts to suppress the Latino vote. It is in response to a statement issued by Reverend Miguel Rivera of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders [CONLAMIC] urging Latinos to refrain from voting.

“Reverend Rivera is not representative of most of the Hispanic Evangelical national leadership,” said Reverend Salguero, a member of the Latino Leadership Circle. “On the contrary, Reverend Rivera represents a misguided religious leadership that will disenfranchise an important constituency just when it is coming of age.”

“The close to 9 million Latino Evangelicals should disregard this unwise counsel and go to the voting booths in unprecedented numbers,” Reverend Salguero concluded. “Many of us who have suffered from voter suppression in our countries of origin will not tolerate it here."

The LAN was founded in 2009 as a vehicle to mobilize the Latino community to seek greater social and economic justice.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Latino Action Network Urges Latinos to Cast Ballots on Tuesday; Ignore Those Seeking to Silence Them

The Latino Action Network today urged Latino voters throughout the nation to go to the polls on Tuesday and comply with their civic responsibility to elect the leaders of our country. The LAN urged Latinos to ignore those “who seek to silence us and remove us from participation in the political process.”
Latino Action Network Urges Latinos to Cast Ballots on Tuesday; Ignore Those Seeking to Silence Them

For Immediate Release: October 30, 2010

Frank Argote-Freyre, President – 908-670-0552

The Latino Action Network today urged Latino voters throughout the nation to go to the polls on Tuesday and comply with their civic responsibility to elect the leaders of our country. The LAN urged Latinos to ignore those “who seek to silence us and remove us from participation in the political process.”

LAN President Frank Argote-Freyre noted a growing effort by some to keep “Latinos silent and powerless.”

The latest efforts to suppress the Latino vote are spearheaded by Reverend Miguel Rivera, head of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders [CONLAMIC] working in conjunction Roberto de Posada of the Latinos for Reform organization.

“This is the latest irresponsible act on the part of Reverend Rivera, who seems committed to ensuring that Latinos have as little say as possible in the political process,” Argote-Freyre continued. “His effort to encourage a boycott of the Census earlier this year was a complete failure and we hope he will fail again in this latest effort.”

“It does not matter who Latinos support they should go out and vote on Tuesday and ignore the advice of people, like Reverend Rivera, who advocate an extremist agenda. Go to the polls and ignore Rivera and Posada.”

The LAN was founded in 2009 as a vehicle to mobilize the Latino community to seek greater social and economic justice.

Latino Action Network Denounces Comments by Garcia Campaign Favorable to Arizona-Style Profiling Laws

The Latino Action Network [LAN] today denounced statements made recently by the campaign of the Passaic County Republican Candidate for Sheriff Felix Garcia, which took a favorable position towards the Arizona-style racial profiling laws adopted over the summer.
    
Latino Action Network Denounces Comments by Garcia Campaign Favorable to Arizona-Style Profiling Laws

For Immediate Release: October 30, 2010

Christian Estevez, Executive Vice President – 973-418-7012
 

The Latino Action Network [LAN] today denounced statements made recently by the campaign of the Passaic County Republican Candidate for Sheriff Felix Garcia, which took a favorable position towards the Arizona-style racial profiling laws adopted over the summer.
 

Some of the most objectionable elements of that legislation have been placed on hold by a judge pending a federal lawsuit challenging them.
 

The LAN sought a clarification or retraction of the statement that appeared on a local blog recently, but the Garcia campaign declined. The statement made by Garcia Campaign Manager George Cole was as follows: “The Arizona reform comes from the people. Felix advocates people migrating to this country through a legal process. The Arizona people are enforcing the laws that were already present.”
 

Christian Estevez, Executive Vice President of the Latino Action Network, noted “the Garcia campaign has actively courted the Latino vote in Passaic County, while trying to also appeal to anti-immigrant elements in the electorate. The statements by Cole reflect a positive attitude towards a law that would racially profile individuals, specifically Latinos, and this is something we strongly oppose. The issue is of particular concern since Garcia is running for the top law enforcement position in Passaic County.”
 

Estevez concluded: “There is no place for racial or ethnic profiling in law enforcement and the statements by the Garcia campaign come close to endorsing those policies. Local law enforcement must work with local communities to maintain trust with them. The enforcement of immigration laws at a local level would break down those important lines of communication.”
 

The LAN sought a statement from the Democratic Campaign of Richard Berdnik and received the following from the campaign: “My parents were immigrants and law abiding citizens. My parents taught me first-hand the contributions that immigrants have made and continue to make to our country. While I am obligated to uphold the law, immigration is a federal issue.”
 

The LAN was founded in 2009 as a vehicle to mobilize the Latino community to seek greater social and economic justice.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Latino Action Network Praises Judge’s Ruling Against Arizona Immigration Law

“The decision by Judge Bolton was wise and prudent and ensures that the most deplorable provisions of the Arizona Law will not be implemented tomorrow,” said Frank Argote-Freyre, President of the Latino Action Network.

Latino Action Network Praises Judge’s Ruling Against Arizona Immigration Law

For Immediate Release: July 28, 2010
Frank Argote-Freyre, President – 908-670-0552

          The Latino Action Network [LAN] today issued a brief statement on the decision by Federal District Court Judge Susan Bolton:

            “The decision by Judge Bolton was wise and prudent and ensures that the most deplorable provisions of the Arizona Law will not be implemented tomorrow,” said Frank Argote-Freyre, President of the Latino Action Network. “This is the first step in a long legal struggle which the Network will continue to monitor. We urge those planning to take part in protests to proceed and let their voices be heard.”

Argote-Freyre continued: “It now remains for the members of Congress to find the political courage to enact comprehensive immigration reform. There has been an abundance of political posturing from both parties on this issue and a scarcity of political will. It is this failure to act that leads mischievous minds to concoct laws such as the one blocked by Judge Bolton today."

The Network supports federal legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for the estimated 10 to 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, a federal worker exchange program and an economic investment fund for Latin America.
           
            The LAN was founded in 2009 as a vehicle to mobilize the Latino community to seek greater social and economic justice.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Latino Action Network Supports Federal Lawsuit Against Arizona Immigration Law

The Latino Action Network [LAN] today endorsed a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Justice Department earlier this week seeking to overturn an Arizona law that would allow police to question individuals suspected of being undocumented immigrants.

Latino Action Network Supports Federal Lawsuit Against Arizona Immigration Law

For Immediate Release: July 9, 2010

Frank Argote-Freyre, President – 908-670-0552
Emiliano Lemos, Chair of Immigration Committee – 973-518-8707

The Latino Action Network [LAN] today endorsed a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Justice Department earlier this week seeking to overturn an Arizona law that would allow police to question individuals suspected of being undocumented immigrants.

The LAN and other civil rights groups argue that the law will lead to racial profiling of Latinos. The Arizona law also undermines federal control over immigration enforcement.

“The answer to the riddle of the broken immigration system is not to pass laws that undermine the civil rights of us all,” said Frank Argote-Freyre, President of the Latino Action Network. “The solution lies with Congress which for years has failed to find the political courage to address this contentious issue.”

Emiliano Lemos, chair of the Immigration Committee, said: “Arizona passed a law that usurps federal authority over immigration. It opens the door for every state to adopt its own laws. These state laws, as is the case in Arizona, could lead to racial profiling of Latinos and other racial and ethnic groups. The Arizona law is bad public policy and we commend Attorney General Eric Holder for challenging it.”

The Network supports federal legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for the estimated 10 to 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, a federal worker exchange program and an economic investment fund for Latin America.

The LAN was founded in 2009 as a vehicle to mobilize the Latino community to seek greater social and economic justice.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Latino Action Network Supports Lawsuit Against New Jersey for Suspending FamilyCare Benefits to Legal Immigrants

The Latino Action Network [LAN] today voiced support for a lawsuit filed by the Center for Social Justice at Seton Hall University which aims to challenge the removal of legal immigrants from the FamilyCare health program.

Latino Action Network Supports Lawsuit Against New Jersey for Suspending FamilyCare Benefits to Legal Immigrants

For Immediate Release: July 1, 2010

Christian Estevez, Executive Vice President – 973-418-7012
Daniel Santo Pietro, Chair of the Public Policy Committee – 732-496-9628
 
The Latino Action Network [LAN] today voiced support for a lawsuit filed by the Center for Social Justice at Seton Hall University which aims to challenge the removal of legal immigrants from the FamilyCare health program.
 
The coverage expires as of today. The State Department of Human Services and the Governor’s Office has yet to announce a plan for dealing with patients with chronic illnesses.

LAN intends to contact the Center for Social Justice to explore the possibility of joining the lawsuit.
“The lawsuit alleges discrimination and we agree,” said Christian Estevez, Executive Vice President of the Network. “It is immoral to suspend the benefits to these individuals and we praise the Center for Social Justice and the three immigrants for taking these steps to challenge this unjust policy.”
 
Daniel Santo Pietro, Chair of the LAN Public Policy Committee, said: “It is ironic that at the same time the federal government is expanding health coverage, the Christie Administration is seeking to cut health care benefits. The Christie Administration is acting out of political expedience knowing it will soon have to expand health coverage.”
 
The LAN was founded in 2009 as a vehicle to mobilize the Latino community to seek greater social and economic justice.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Latino Action Network Decries Christie’s Treatment of Patients to be Removed from FamilyCare

The Latino Action Network [LAN] today criticized the Christie Administration for failing to develop a plan to accommodate chronically ill patients removed from FamilyCare as part of the governor’s budget proposal. 

Latino Action Network Decries Christie’s Treatment of Patients to be Removed from FamilyCare

No formal plans announced for chronically ill; Termination set for July 1

For Immediate Release: June 22, 2010

Christian Estevez, Steering Committee Member – 973-418-7012
Daniel Santo Pietro, Chair of the Public Policy Committee – 732-496-9628
 
The Latino Action Network [LAN] today criticized the Christie Administration for failing to develop a plan to accommodate chronically ill patients removed from FamilyCare as part of the governor’s budget proposal. 

The Christie budget proposes to remove approximately 11,700 legal immigrants from the health care program, including those suffering chronic illnesses, as of July 1.
 
The LAN calls on Governor Christie to reconsider this immoral and inhumane decision and maintain health care for these individuals.
 
“Even at this late date the Christie Administration has failed to indicate what provisions will be made to provide health care for those suffering from chronic illnesses,” said Christian Estevez, a member of the LAN Steering Committee. “Is the state of New Jersey really going to discontinue health care coverage to someone receiving cancer treatments? Is Governor Christie really going to pull the plug on someone receiving dialysis treatment?”
 
“The individuals effected by these unconscionable cuts need to know their status as soon as possible,” Estevez continued. “The public needs to know as well so they can judge the morality of Governor Christie’s actions.”
 
Daniel Santo Pietro, Chair of the LAN Public Policy Committee, called the FamilyCare cuts the cruelest of all. “Those people losing their health coverage are caught up in the budget circus. The Christie administration is playing with their health and their lives.”
 
The LAN was founded in 2009 as a vehicle to mobilize the Latino community to seek greater social and economic justice.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Latino Action Network Condemns Arizona Immigration Law

Latino Action Network Condemns Arizona Immigration Law

Endorses Economic Boycott of the State;

Calls on Governor Christie to Speak Out Against It

For Immediate Release: May 3, 2010

Frank Argote-Freyre, Interim Chair – 908-670-0552

Christian Estevez -- 973-418-7012

The Latino Action Network [LAN] today condemned a recent Arizona law that would allow police to question individuals suspected of being undocumented immigrants arguing that the law will lead to racial profiling of Latinos.

The LAN endorsed an economic boycott of Arizona and began exploring strategies to make the boycott effective. It called on its members to avoid recreational travel to Arizona.

The organization called on New Jersey Governor Christie to speak out against the Arizona law and reassure the immigrant communities of the state that no similar action is planned here.

“The Arizona law is the clearest indication yet that the federal immigration system must be fixed and it must be fixed now not in some vague distant future,” said Frank Argote-Freyre, interim chairperson of the Latino Action Network. “The law is an open invitation to racial profiling and will most likely be declared unconstitutional, but in the interim lives will be ruined by its enforcement.”

Christian Estevez, a member of the LAN Steering Committee said: “The LAN will review the different economic boycott strategies being put forth by various organizations across the nation and will advise its membership accordingly. We will issue our recommendations in the next few weeks.”

The Arizona law is not set to take effect until August.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Latino Action Network Releases Policy Paper Critical of Governor Christie’s Budget

Latino Action Network Releases Policy Paper
Critical of Governor Christie’s Budget

Report finds Christie Claim of “Shared Sacrifice” a Myth

For Immediate Release: April 19, 2010

Frank Argote-Freyre, Interim Chair – 908-670-0552
Daniel Santo Pietro, Chair of the Public Policy Committee – 732-496-9628

The Latino Action Network [LAN] today released a policy paper on Governor Christie’s proposed budget for 2010-2011 entitled: The Myth of Shared Sacrifice.

The five-page report outlines the devastating impact the proposed spending cuts will have on the Latino community and in general on the poor, the vulnerable and the middle class.

The following is an excerpt from the report: “This is a spending plan that attempts to balance the budget on the backs and wallets of working families, the vulnerable and the middle class. The wealthy are asked to sacrifice nothing by Governor Christie. In fact, in these difficult economic times the Governor has decided the wealthy need a little more money in their pockets and has repeatedly said he will accept no restoration of a tax on incomes over $400,000, which brought in an estimated $1 billion to state coffers last year.”

The report continues: “With regards to Latinos this represents an attack on the entire community and we urge organizations across the state to mobilize against this spending plan. The Governor and his Administration have been meticulous in cutting or eliminating virtually every program serving the community.”

The policy paper offers four recommendations to Governor Christie to minimize the impact on the poor and middle class. The suggestions include a reform of the income tax system and the maintenance of the tax on those with incomes above $400,000, an increase in the gasoline tax to bring it in line with surrounding states, salary cuts for the governor and the cabinet, and a restoration of the programs of importance to the most vulnerable in society.

The Latino Action Network calls on all segments of society to mobilize against the Christie budget. The report concludes: “The Christie budget plan sacrifices the poor, the vulnerable, and the middle class at the altar of financial responsibility and asks nothing of the wealthy. There is nothing equitable or shared about the Governor’s vision for New Jersey.”

The LAN was founded in 2009 as a vehicle to mobilize the Latino community to seek greater social and economic justice. The policy paper is attached to this press release. It will be translated into Spanish in the next few days.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Latino Action Network denuncia recortes presupuestarios del gobernador Christie

Latino Action Network denuncia recortes presupuestarios del gobernador Christie

El sacrificio no es compartido; la carga es sólo para la clase pobre y media



Frank Argote-Freyre, Interim Chair – 908-670-0552

Daniel Santo Pietro, Steering Committee Member – 732-496-9628



La Latino Action Network (LAN) denuncia las decisiones de recortes del presupuesto hechas por el gobernador Chris Christie al preparar su presupuesto 2010-2011, debido a su énfasis en eliminar programas que afectarán a la clase pobre y clase media y por su fracaso en hacer un llamado al sacrificio a los miembros más adinerados de la comunidad de Nueva Jersey.

La LAN ha hecho una disección del presupuesto estatal presentado por el gobernador Christie y planea publicar un breve reporte sobre el mismo en las próximas semanas. Una primera revisión del presupuesto encontró numerosas decisiones políticas censurables por su efecto negativo para las clases pobre y media.

A continuación una lista de algunas de las más lamentables decisiones de recortes del presupuesto:

*La eliminación de 11,700 adultos inmigrantes legales de los programas de FamilyCare. No se han declarado esfuerzos por encontrar planes de tratamiento alternos para aquellos que sufren enfermedades crónicas. Simplemente serán echados por la borda del programa sin ninguna consideración sobre su futuro. Este recorte dará inicio el 1 de abril y continuará durante el siguiente año fiscal. El presupuesto anunciado también congela las inscripciones de todo adulto. El ingreso familiar de aquellos afectados abarca de $18,000 a $36,000.

*La eliminación del Center for Hispanic Policy Research and Development. El programa del Gobernador elimina los $3.6 millones en fondos para dicho Centro que ha existido desde 1975. Estos fondos ayudan a mantener agencias de servicio social en todo el estado, varias de las cuales probablemente cerrarán sus puertas como resultado de estos recortes. Además, esta decisión contradice la promesa de campaña del entonces candidato Christie de mantener abierto el Centro. El Centro, junto a la Division of Youth and Family Services, ha cofundado importantes programas de fortalecimiento familiar que anualmente ayudan a 300,000 familias de bajos recursos –en su mayoría hispanas- a resolver problemas antes que éstos amenacen la estabilidad familiar. Otros $3 ó $4 millones de fondos más se perderán como resultado de esta decisión del Gobernador.

*El presupuesto para el Department of Children and Families se recortó por $4.59 millones con los cuales se ayuda a familias en crisis que enfrentan problemas de vivienda, empleo y atención médica. Estos programas ofrecen ayuda bilingüe y bicultural a una población que carece de este tipo de servicios alternativos dentro de sus comunidades.

*Una amplia variedad de subsidios serán recortados, incluyendo los fondos para el programa “NJ After 3” el cual provee programas de cuidado infantil en horario extendido en 114 escuelas públicas del estado en muchas de las áreas económicamente más desfavorecidas. Además, el presupuesto del Gobernador recorta $5.3 millones en fondos para ayuda a familias de bajos recursos con el pago de preescolar en horario más allá de 9 a.m. a 3 p.m. El State Department of Human Services planea lograr estos ahorros restringiendo la entrada a padres que den un copago de aproximadamente $35,000. La reducción de este programa será un duro golpe para las familias de los 55,000 niños inscritos en preescolar, de los cuales la mitad son latinos.

*Muchos de estos recortes podrían evitarse manteniendo el impuesto extra a los ingresos mayores a $400,000, el cual ya venció. El año pasado este impuesto produjo casi mil millones en ingresos.

“El sacrificio no es compartido en el presupuesto de Christie”, dijo Frank Argote-Freyre, presidente interino de Latino Action Network. “Reconocemos la difícil situación financiera que Christie heredó al tomar el cargo como gobernador, pero sus decisiones presupuestarias significan una estrategia al estilo Robin Hood pero a la inversa: Christie toma dinero de los pobres para no tener que pedirle nada a los ricos”.

Daniel Santo Pietro, miembro del Comité Directivo de LAN y ex director ejecutivo de la Hispanic Directors Association, hizo los siguientes comentarios: “Un estudio reciente muestra que más del 20% de las familias que trabajan en Nueva Jersey no ganan lo suficiente como para igualar los costo de vida en Nueva Jersey. Los recortes que hemos señalado, aunados a otros como aquellos en el programa de crédito reembolsable State Earned Income Tax Credit Program, son una agresión para las familias trabajadoras. Y los hispanos estarán entre los más afectados”.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Latino Action Network Critical of Governor Christie’s Budget Choices

Latino Action Network Critical of

Governor Christie’s Budget Choices

No Sharing of Sacrifice; Poor and Middle Class

Shoulder the Burden

For Immediate Release: March 29, 2010

Frank Argote-Freyre, Interim Chair – 908-670-0552

Daniel Santo Pietro, Steering Committee Member – 732-496-9628

The Latino Action Network [LAN] today denounced the budget choices made by Governor Chris Christie in developing his 2010-2011 budget because of his emphasis on cutting programs effecting the poor and middle class and his failure to call for any sacrifice from the wealthiest members of the New Jersey community.

The LAN is dissecting the New Jersey budget presented by Governor Christie and plans to issue a short policy paper on the subject in the next few weeks. An initial review of the budget finds numerous objectionable policy decisions that adversely impact the poor and middle class.

Below is a list of some of the most undesirable budget policy decisions:

*** The elimination of 11,700 legal immigrant adults from FamilyCare programs. As far as can be determined there are no efforts to find alternate treatment plans for those suffering from chronic illnesses. They will simply be jettisoned from the program without any concern about their future. This cut will commence as of April 1 and is kept in place in the coming budget year. The Governor’s budget also freezes enrollment for all adults. The family income of those effected ranges between $18,000 and $36,000.

*** The elimination of the Center for Hispanic Policy Research and Development. The Governor’s program eliminates the $3.6 million in funding for the Center that has existed since 1975. These funds help maintain social service agencies across New Jersey and several of these agencies will most likely close as a result of these cuts. This is also a reversal of a campaign pledge by Candidate Christie to keep the Center open. The Center co-funded with the Division of Youth and Family Services extensive family strengthening programs that annually assist 300,000 mostly Hispanic low-income families a year resolve problems before they threaten the stability of families. An additional $3 to $4 million in matching funds from a variety of sources will be lost as a result of the governor’s decision.

*** The Department of Children and Families was cut by $4.59 million that go to help families in crisis to resolve housing, employment and health care issues. These programs offer bilingual, bicultural assistance to a population that will not find similar alternative services in their communities.

*** A wide variety of community grants will be cut including funds for the “NJ After 3” program that provides after school programs at 114 public schools across New Jersey in many economically disadvantaged areas. In addition, the governor’s budget cuts $5.3 million in funds to help low-income families pay for preschool beyond the limited hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The State Department of Human Services plans to achieve this savings by lowering the threshold for parents to make a co-payment to around $35,000. A reduction in this program will be a major blow to the families of 55,000 children enrolled in preschools, about half of whom are Latino.

*** Many of these cuts could be avoided by maintaining the surcharge on incomes exceeding $400,000 which lapsed. Last year this surcharge produced nearly $1 Billion in revenue.

“There is little sharing of sacrifice in the Christie budget,” said Frank Argote-Freyre, interim chairperson of the Latino Action Network. “We recognize the difficult financial situation the governor found upon taking office, but his budget decisions amount to a reverse Robin Hood strategy. Christie takes from the poor so he doesn’t have to ask anything of the rich.”

Daniel Santo Pietro, a member of the LAN Steering Committee and recently retired as Executive Director of the Hispanic Directors Association, made the following observations: “A recent study shows that over 20% of New Jersey’s working families do not earn enough to match the cost of living in New Jersey. The cuts we point out coupled with others such as those in the State Earned Income Tax Credit Program are an assault on working families. Hispanics will be among the hardest hit.”

Monday, March 15, 2010

Latino Action Network Urges Governor Christie to Maintain Commission on New Americans

Network Urges Governor Christie to Maintain Commission on New Americans

“Voice for Immigrant Community in New Administration”


For Immediate Release: March 15, 2010
Christian Estevez, Steering Committee Member – 973-418-7012
 
The Latino Action Network [LAN] today called on Governor Chris Christie to maintain the Commission on New Americans as a voice for the immigrant community within his administration.

“The Commission provides an opportunity for the Christie Administration to continue the conversation about how to best integrate New Jersey’s growing immigrant community into the economy and culture of New Jersey,” said Christian Estevez, a member the LAN Steering Committee and formerly a member of the Governor's Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel on Immigrant Policy.

“The establishment of the Commission was an important recommendation of the Blue Ribbon Panel and we hope Governor Christie will maintain it,” Estevez continued. “Immigrants are vitally important to the future of New Jersey and they need to be represented in the government.”

The Christie Administration is currently reviewing all existing commissions and government agencies to search for savings to the taxpayers. “All of the members of the Commission are volunteers dedicating their time and resources, so there is little or no cost to the state,” Estevez noted.
 
New Jersey is one of the immigrant gateways to the nation and it has one of the largest foreign-born populations in the country. Immigrants make up 28 percent of New Jersey’s workforce and bring in 23 percent of all earnings.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Latino Action Network Endorses Full Cooperation with Census 2010

Latino Action Network Endorses Full Cooperation with Census 2010

Opposes Census Boycott Plans by Small Minority

For Immediate Release: February 1, 2010

Frank Argote-Freyre, Interim Chair – 908-670-0552
Christian Estevez, Steering Committee Member – 973-418-7012
 
The Latino Action Network [LAN] today urged members of the Latino community to participate fully in Census 2010, including undocumented immigrants, and opposed efforts by a small minority to encourage a boycott. In the coming months, the LAN intends to sponsor several statewide events aimed at fostering an understanding of the importance of the Census. LAN is partnering with the National Institute for Latino Policy (NiLP) as part of their Latino Census Network.
 
“We reject all calls for a boycott by those who argue it will pressure the federal government into enacting comprehensive immigration reform,” said Frank Argote-Freyre, interim Chairperson of the Latino Action Network. “The immigrant community, documented and undocumented, is struggling for acceptance and a boycott sends the message that they do not want to participate in this society.”
 
Argote-Freyre continued: “The vast majority of immigrants have come to build this great nation. They are proud of the United States and want it to reach even greater heights. They want to participate and be recognized for their contributions.”
 
Christian Estevez, a member of the LAN Steering Committee, also noted that the boycott strategy is critically flawed. “A boycott will not pressure the federal government to enact comprehensive immigration reform, because the Census Bureau will respond by developing a statistical model to estimate the immigrant population count. The end result will be an undercount adversely effecting the Latino population and other immigrant populations. It is an act of civil disobedience with little chance of meaningful success.”
 
The stakes are particularly high for New Jersey which could lose a Congressional seat. An immigrant undercount could make the difference between 13 congressional districts or 12 congressional districts. Census information is the way the federal government appropriates funds and political representation to communities.
 
Argote-Freyre concluded: “We support the approach of many immigrant organizations that urge undocumented immigrants to hand in their completed Census forms at churches and other locations where they feel safe.”

Monday, January 18, 2010

Latino Leaders Across New Jersey Announce Formation of New Organization Dedicated to Civil Rights and Social Justice

Latino Leaders Across New Jersey Announce Formation of
New Organization Dedicated to Civil Rights and Social Justice

Founding tied to Celebration of Dr. King’s Life

For Immediate Release: January 18, 2010

Contacts:
Frank Argote-Freyre, Interim Chairperson -- 908-670-0552
Christian Estevez, Steering Committee Member -- 973-418-7012

Latino leaders from across New Jersey today announces the formation of a new grassroots organization aimed at uniting the state’s diverse Latino communities and promoting a public policy agenda committed to economic and political empowerment.
The Latino Action Network [LAN] consists of 27 charter members who will be convening an assembly by the end of the month to establish bylaws and elect a permanent Executive Committee. The Network is a non-partisan organization focused on issues of policy rather than political parties or personalities. The LAN website will be set up in the next few days.

“It is obvious that the Latino community in New Jersey has not been served particularly well by either political party,” said Frank Argote-Freyre, who was asked to chair the Network on an interim basis by community leaders. “The most recent proof of this was the failure of In-State tuition to even come up for a vote in the State Senate. The Network will seek to create a broader coalition to champion issues of great concern to our community.”

Christian Estevez, a key organizer of the Network, said: “The Latino Action Network represents the next step in community advocacy, bringing together grassroots community organizers with established Latino policy leaders. The challenges faced by the Latino community in these difficult times require a new approach to advocacy that combines proven organizing methods with new techniques that take advantage of modern technology and existing social networks. It's all about connecting people for community action.”

The Members of the Steering Committee and their affiliations [in alphabetical order] are:

  • Albert J. Alvarez, former Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Jon Corzine.

  • Frank Argote-Freyre, Assistant Professor, Kean University.

  • Elsa Candelario, Executive Director of the Hispanic Family Center of Southern

  • New Jersey.

  • Lazaro Cardenas, Chairperson of the Latino Festival Committee of Monmouth County.

  • Edward Correa, New Jersey Latino Foundation.

  • Lizette Delgado, Executive Director of The New Jersey State Council Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

  • Christian Estevez, Plainfield Board of Education Member.

  • Roberto Frugone, Founder & Publisher, La Causa Newsletter of NJ.

  • Carlos Hendricks, Community Activist from Mercer County.

  • Romi Herrera, Peruvian American Political Action Committee.

  • Christopher Irizarry, Chief Executive Officer of the North Hudson Community

  • Action Corporation.

  • Daniel H. Jara, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Statewide Hispanic

  • Chamber of Commerce.

  • Joseph Laureano, Manager of Continuing Education & Global Programs, Rutgers Graduate School of Education.

  • Emiliano Lemos, Community Activist from Morris County.

  • Angel Matos, Charter Member of the Keyport Cultural Harmony Program.

  • David Matos, President of the Matos Group.

  • Axel Miranda, Principal, The Tower Development Group, LLC.

  • Jose Perez, Community Activist, Middlesex County.

  • Omar Perez, Chairperson, Next Generation Latinos Political Action Committee.

  • Anna “Cuqui” Rivera, Community Activist.

  • Michael Ramos, President, Latinos Unidos Civic Association

  • Antonio Rivera, Director, Union County Workforce Investment Board.

  • Idida Rodriguez, Chief Executive Officer, IRODZ Associates.

  • Milton Rosado, United Auto Workers.

  • Reverend Gabriel Salguero, The Latino Leadership Circle.

  • Daniel Santo Pietro, Executive Director of the Hispanic Directors Association of New Jersey.

  • Carlos Valentin Jr., Executive Director of ASPIRA