An association of Latino groups —including ASPIRA, Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund and the National Council of La Raza— has extended an invitation to meet with Donald Trump, but under one condition: he must first apologize for a string of comments he made against immigrants and Mexicans.
This isn’t the first qualified invitation the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda has sent to the vitriolic GOP frontrunner.
From NBC News Latino:
Hector Sanchez, president of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, said Tuesday the GOP presidential candidate had tried to meet with the group soon after he declared he was running for president and as businesses began responding to the group’s calls to sever ties with Trump.
But because of the statements Trump had made regarding Mexico – that it was sending rapists and criminals and people bringing drugs – as well as subsequent comments, the NHLA set conditions for a meeting, Sanchez said.
One NHLA member, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, has already agreed to host Trump in a Q&A forum along with other candidates on October 8, a move that the undocumented youth group United We Dream has been pressuring the Chamber of Commerce to reverse.
Nonetheless, the NHLA has vowed to keep Trump and other politicians accountable for their words and actions moving forward.
“Even if [Trump] gets out of the race, we are going to make sure there is understanding that we are going to continue with campaigns that have implications in the long term,” Sanchez said. “There is a price to pay to promote hate.”
On Monday the NHLA released a letter demanding an increase of the minimum wage, continuation of the Affordable Care Act, the inclusion of Latinos in criminal justice discussions, the passage of comprehensive immigration reform, the protection of voting rights, and a focus on Latinos concerning education reforms.
As Buzzfeed News reporter Adrian Carrasquillo writes:
While some of the recommendations will be a nonstarter for Republican candidates — none support Obama’s signature healthcare law — the group says a focus on the Hispanic community is really a bet on the country because of changing demographics. …
NHLA and one its member organizations, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), have become involved in making the conversation around criminal justice and police abuse in the country one that includes Latinos as well. At the same time, members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, led by Rep. Tony Cardenas sent a letter to the Justice Department this summer asking for statistics on Latinos killed by cops in the last five years.
NHLA believes the issue needs to be given more prominence and Sanchez said a member organization Latino Justice PRLDEF is putting together an upcoming criminal justice summit on police brutality, mass incarceration and more.