Thursday, March 4, 2021
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Menendez to Lead Biden-Harris Immigration Legislation in the Senate
Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), who has spent decades fighting for immigrant rights and reforms to our nation’s broken immigration system, announced today that he will lead the legislative effort in the U.S. Senate and introduce the Biden-Harris Administration’s immigration bill to build a fair, humane and functional immigration system.
“The past four years have been traumatic for immigrant communities who have endured relentless attacks from the Trump Administration. Today, we turn the page on this dark chapter of our history and begin the hard work of repairing the damage and rebuilding a better union that reflects the values of our nation. As the son of Cuban immigrants and someone who has spent my adult life fighting for immigration reform, I am filled with hope to have President Biden and Vice President Harris as strong partners to advance a bold vision for immigration reform,” said Menendez.
“This plan is not only about fixing our broken immigration system, but building a better one that reunites families, brings the undocumented community out of the shadows and on a path to citizenship, stands up for human rights, addresses root causes of migration, and includes a smart border security strategy," Menendez explained. "As I prepare this bill for introduction, I know all too well from my work with the ‘Gang of Eight’ that passing immigration reform through the United States Congress will be a challenging task. However, there is a moral and economic imperative to get this done.”
Menendez added, “History shows our nation is stronger and more prosperous when we embrace immigration and treat immigrants with the dignity and respect every human deserves. Immigrants will always be our country’s greatest believers in the American Dream. I have lived that dream, just as Vice President Harris has, and I look forward to working with her, President Biden, and their administration to build a 21st century immigration system that keeps the promise of this dream alive for generations to come.”
Sen. Menendez has been a life-long advocate for Latinos and immigrant families in New Jersey and across the nation, consistently calling immigration reform one of the few unresolved civil rights issues of our time.
Sen. Menendez was a member of the “Gang of Six” that crafted a bipartisan DACA bill to provide Dreamers with a pathway to citizenship that garnered 54 votes in the Senate, after Trump refused to support it.
In 2013, Sen. Menendez was also a member of the “Gang of Eight” that passed bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform in 2013 by an overwhelming majority in the U.S. Senate, only to be blocked by Republican leaders from coming to a vote in the House of Representatives.
Menéndez Presentará Reforma Migratoria de la Administración Biden-Harris en el Senado
WASHINGTON, DC - El senador estadounidense Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), quien por décadas ha luchado por los derechos de los inmigrantes y para reformar el sistema migratorio de nuestra nación, anunció hoy que liderará el esfuerzo legislativo en el Senado para presentar el proyecto de ley de la administración Biden-Harris para construir un sistema de inmigración justo, humano y funcional.
“Los últimos cuatro años han sido verdaderamente traumáticos para las comunidades migrantes, teniendo que aguantar un sinnúmero de ataques de parte de la Administración Trump. Hoy, pasamos la página de este capítulo oscuro de nuestra historia y comenzamos el arduo trabajo de reparar el daño y reconstruir una mejor unión que refleje los valores de nuestra nación. Como hijo de inmigrantes cubanos y alguien que ha dedicado su carrera a luchar por la reforma migratoria y los derechos del inmigrante, estoy lleno de esperanza de contar con el presidente Biden y a la vicepresidenta Harris como aliados firmes para por fin lograr una visión audaz de una reforma migratoria”, dijo el Senador Menéndez.
“Este plan no solo se trata de arreglar nuestro sistema migratorio deficiente, sino de construir uno mejor que reúna a las familias, saque a la comunidad indocumentada de las sombras y los ponga en un camino hacia la ciudadanía, defienda los derechos humanos, aborde las causas fundamentales de la migración e incluya una estrategia de seguridad fronteriza que haga sentido. A medida que empezamos a preparar este proyecto de ley para su presentación oficial en el Senado, tengo muy claro por mi experiencia con la "Banda de los Ocho" lo verdaderamente difícil que será aprobar una reforma migratoria en el Congreso de los Estados Unidos. Sin embargo, hoy más que nunca, contamos con un imperativo moral y económico para lograrlo lo antes posible".
Menéndez agregó: “La historia demuestra que nuestra nación es más fuerte y más próspera cuando reconocemos los beneficios de la inmigración y tratamos a los inmigrantes con la dignidad y el respeto que todo ser humano merece. Los inmigrantes siempre serán los mayores creyentes del Sueño Americano en nuestro país. He vivido ese sueño en carne propia, al igual que la vicepresidenta Harris, y espero trabajar con ella, el presidente Biden y su administración para construir un sistema migratorio del siglo 21 que mantenga viva la promesa de este sueño para futuras generaciones”.
El Senador Menéndez ha sido un constante defensor de los latinos y las familias inmigrantes en Nueva Jersey y en todo el país, y constantemente ha llamado la reforma migratoria uno de los pocos problemas de derechos civiles sin resolver de nuestros tiempos. En 2018, lideró el esfuerzo para proteger a los venezolanos desplazados que huyen de las terribles condiciones en su país y para brindar apoyo a los sistemas migratorios en los países que rodean a Venezuela. El Senador Menéndez también fue miembro de la llamada “Banda de los Seis” que presentó un proyecto de ley bipartidista de DACA para brindarles a los soñadores un camino hacia la ciudadanía. Este proyecto obtuvo 54 votos en el Senado, luego de que el Presidente Trump se negara a apoyarlo.
En 2013, el Senador Menéndez también fue miembro de la llamada “Banda de los Ocho” que logró aprobar una reforma migratoria bipartidista en 2013 por una abrumadora mayoría en el Senado de los Estados Unidos, solo para ser bloqueada por líderes republicanos en la Cámara de Representantes.
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
We need safeguards to ensure that Latinos and others can fully participate in the political process | Opinion
This originally appeared in NJ.com:
By Star-Ledger Guest Columnist
By Christian Estevez
The chairmen of both of New Jersey’s major political parties missed an important opportunity to demonstrate their parties’ commitment to diversity. They announced a slate of members to sit on the Apportionment Commission, responsible for drawing new state legislative districts, that drastically underrepresent the Latino community.
Even though Latinos make up more than 20% of the state’s residents, not a single member of the 10-person board is Hispanic. Similarly, Black New Jerseyans and women are dramatically underrepresented.
Representation is important because it ensures that the people who are drawing our legislative maps understand the experiences of communities of color, women and other traditionally represented groups.
Now that both political parties have made their picks to serve on the Apportionment Commission, it will be up to Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, who appoints the tie-breaking vote, to address these critical diversity issues with his selection. Every prior tiebreaker has been a white man; it is time to recognize that this tiebreaker role can and should also be inclusive of women and people of color.
While party leaders have failed to appoint a properly representative commission, our elected leaders in Trenton do have an opportunity to dismantle a series of structural problems with the redistricting process that have long frustrated the ability of disadvantaged groups to engage in the political process.
While New Jersey is one of the most diverse states in the nation, our political system is still largely controlled by white, male, and suburban political interests.
The Legislature’s decision to push back redistricting because of the COVID-19 pandemic gives lawmakers time to pass a comprehensive constitutional amendment that will protect the rights of disadvantaged groups, particularly Hispanic and Black New Jerseyans, and ensure that we are finally properly represented in Trenton.
A group of civil rights organizations, including the Latino Action Network, has come together to demand that key reforms to the redistricting process be enshrined in the Constitution to provide protections for communities of color and other disadvantaged groups.
As currently written, the state Constitution is practically silent on how districts can be drawn — which gives political insiders a free hand to choose districts that serve them and not the people they represent.
These reforms would change that dynamic.
Most important, we are asking that the Constitution be amended to include an objective set of standards for any legislative maps.
These standards would be designed to prevent Latinos, Black New Jerseyans, and other so-called “communities of interest” from having their political power diluted by having their neighborhoods split into multiple legislative districts. They would also codify important protections that have been watered down at the federal level as national Republicans attack civil rights laws, like the federal Voting Rights Act.
Similarly, we are asking that new legislative districts avoid splitting towns, cities, and counties into separate districts as much as possible.
At the same time, to prevent gerrymandering, the commission should have clear standards to stop the commissioners from drawing maps that favor one political party over another.
To ensure a transparent process, the commission should be required to hold multiple public hearings that are broadcast statewide. Advocates should be able to submit their own proposed legislative maps for public review, and the commission should be required to issue a report justifying the maps that they do adopt.
To prevent an obvious conflict of interest, state legislators should not be permitted to draw their own maps and should thus be barred from serving on the commission.
At a time when progressives nationally are pushing for new safeguards to protect the political process from partisan gerrymandering and attacks on our civil rights laws, it’s time that New Jersey’s legislators step up and provide a model for what a fair redistricting process looks like.
Legislative leaders must take advantage of this once in a decade opportunity to establish important safeguards to demonstrate that they care about ensuring that Latinos and other traditionally excluded communities get the opportunity to fully participate in the political process.
Christian Estevez is president of the Latino Action Network.
Monday, December 14, 2020
Latino Action Network Political Action Committee Endorses Mayor Wilda Diaz for Re-Election in Perth Amboy Run-off
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Christian Estevez, President
Latino Action Network Political Action Committee Endorses Mayor Wilda Diaz for Re-Electionin Perth Amboy Run-off
PERTH-AMBOY - The Latino Action Network Political Action Committee [LAN-PAC] today endorsed Incumbent Mayor Wilda Diaz for Re-Election in the Perth Amboy Mayoral run-off race against challenger Helmin J. Caba.
In deciding to endorse Diaz, the committee considered her years of advocacy on many issues important to Latino communities. LAN-PAC acknowledged Caba’s talent and potential, but it did not outweigh Diaz’s record of accomplishment.
“Mayor Wilda Diaz has stood with our community for more than a decade,” said LAN President Christian Estevez. “On issues of affordable housing, immigrant rights, and Latino political empowerment, she has been a powerful and constant voice locally and on the state level. At every turn, her administration has sought to address the specific needs of the immigrant population in her city.”
Among the issues cited for the endorsement was her advocacy of emergency COVID legislation to protect renters from eviction. Diaz endorsed a plan this summer to allow tenants to pay back rent in installments over many months rather than face homelessness.
She has spoken out about the need for driver’s licenses for the undocumented and in-state tuition for Dreamers. As one of the few Latina mayors in New Jersey, she has served as a role model for more than a decade.
“The Perth Amboy community, and Latinos in particular, have no greater advocate than Wilda Diaz, and we enthusiastically endorse her candidacy,” Estevez concluded.
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Latino Action Network Phone Bank for Joe Biden
Please join the Latino Action Network in making phone calls into battleground states to encourage people to vote for Joe Biden for President.
We will be coming together to make calls on Thursday, October 22, 2020 from 7 pm - 9 pm.
Latinos in the United States cannot afford another four years of Donald Trump as President. Under Donald Trump’s presidency we have witnessed the caging of babies who were torn from their mothers and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 that has infected and killed Latinos at a rate that is higher than any other community. President Trump has shown a complete lack of concern for the Latino victims of the Coronavirus just as he ignored the death and suffering of thousands of victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
Latinos have an opportunity to throw Donald Trump out of office and rid our nation of his hateful leadership. It is imperative that Latinos turn out in record numbers to elect Joe Biden as our next President so we can begin to rebuild our country into one that looks out for all of its residents.
Please register in advance below to help us make phone calls into battleground states for Joe Biden for President:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.