Open Letter to Governor Mitt Romney from Latino GOP Leaders

Jan 29, 2012
10:55 PM

January 26, 2012

Dear Governor Romney:

We are a group of Latino Republicans invested in the growth of the economy and the support of Hispanic communities. Some of us have supported Newt Gingrich from the beginning of his campaign, and others of us have supported you. Our purpose here is to advise you that those of us who have stood by you are now withdrawing our backing in favor of Newt Gingrich. We've come to our decision based on our belief that your support of the Hispanic community is not a clear representation of what we need.

For example, in Iowa you stated that you would immediately veto the Dream Act. Mr. Gingrich proposes to push an essential part of the Dream Act which offers citizenship to those young men and women who serve in military. Last Tuesday in Florida, you openly agreed with Newt on a partial acceptance of the Dream Act, reversing your original stance on the matter.

It appears you find it "dishonest" to consider yourself Mexican-American, even though your father was born in Mexico. Under that same pretense, would those of us born in the United States, but have parental ancestry from Mexico, Venezuela, Columbia, Cuba, and other Latin American countries, be dishonest in claiming ourselves as Americans?

It is clear to us that you have not provided a real solution on behalf of the 12+ million immigrants who live in the shadows of the American communities. You fail to dignify the economic refugees who reside, work, pay taxes, and are otherwise productive citizens in this country. In stark contrast, Mr. Gingrich has a true history of supporting our community. He says we he means, and means what he says.

As examples:

  • As Speaker, he pushed through the Cuban LIBERTAD Act, which codified the embargo on Cuba, authorized aid to dissidents, and set the framework for principled engagement to support a genuine transition to democracy.
  • Newt Gingrich pushed humane immigration laws, including the NACARA act (authored by former Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart) to ensure that we kept our pledge to those who fled the Sandinistas in the 1970's.
  • Newt Gingrich is the only candidate that has offered a humane approach to our immigration problem. He understands how inhumane and unrealistic it is to deport 12 million undocumented immigrants. He proposes to secure the border, deport criminals, and recognize the remainder through temporary work permits, and through establishing legal status for those with American sponsorship and deep ties to their communities.
  • Newt Gingrich proposes to push an essential part of the Dream Act which offers citizenship to those young men and women who serve in the military.
  • Newt supports a referendum for the people of Puerto Rico to decide between independence, statehood and continued commonwealth status.
  • Newt Gingrich has for years shown active support by reaching out to us, our organizations and our community to better understand the real concerns of American Hispanics. His interest in us did not begin last Tuesday in a Florida debate.
  • Mr. Gingrich has showed active support for the Hispanic community by reaching out to us, our organizations, and our communities to better understand the real concerns of American Hispanics. This is a quality that we respect, value, and appreciate.

Mr. Romney, without an open dialogue with us you are unable to understand issues important to the Latino community. Due to this absence, we are unable to support you. 


Rosario Marin – Former US Treasurer, California

Mario Rodriguez – Hispanic 100 Chair, California

Massey Villarreal – Former National Chair of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly, Texas

Vinicio Madrigal, MD – Former Chair Louisiana Republican Hispanic Assembly, Louisiana

Theresa Speake – Former National Secretary of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly, Virginia

Al Zapanta – President & CEO, U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, Texas

Lionel Sosa – President of Bromley Communications, Texas

Miguel Orozco – Immigration lawyer, California; Outstanding Americans by Choice Recipient; Actor & Producer

Elizabeth Orozco – Business Executive

Eduardo Verástegui – Pro-life activist, actor, singer. California

Joe Galvan – Former regional director HUD, Former chair RNHA. Illinois    

Teresa Hernandez – Restaurateur

Saul Delgado – President of Caboraca

Fortino Rivera – CEO

Bertha Rivera – Business Executive

Nancy C. Acevedo – Chair National Republican Hispanic Alliance Florida

Robbie G. Munoz – Hispanic 100 Youth Chair, California

Julio Gudino – President, Gudino Financial & Insurance Services, Inc.

KV Kumar – Nat'l Vice Chairman, Asian American & Pacific Islanders Nat'l Republican Assembly