New York Times
By Julie Hirschfeld Davis
February 22, 2017
WASHINGTON — As President Trump is giving his first address to a joint session of Congress next week, Hispanic political leaders plan to meet in Washington to draft a strategy to counter his agenda, particularly his immigration crackdown.
The Latino Victory Fund, a political action committee that works to elect progressive Hispanic leaders, will meet on Tuesday, as Mr. Trump speaks to Congress, to begin recruiting candidates at the federal, state and local levels who can push back against Mr. Trump’s policies, including in cities and municipalities where they are having immediate impact.
Those include in so-called sanctuary cities, which are jurisdictions that limit their cooperation with federal authorities seeking to detain unauthorized immigrants.
“As the president is outlining his plans to break up families, roll back civil rights protections and gut the environment, we are going to be finalizing our strategy to defeat him,” said Cristóbal Alex, the president of the Latino Victory Project, a civic group affiliated with the Latino Victory Fund.
Mr. Trump, he added “literally started his campaign on Day 1 by attacking us, and his policies have reflected that, so we need to build up our power and fight back.”
Attendees will include Xavier Becerra, the California attorney general; Tom Perez, secretary of labor to President Barack Obama; and Julián Castro, Mr. Obama’s secretary of Housing and Urban Development, as well as Latino elected officials from around the country, the organizers said.
Mr. Alex said that of the 13 million to 14 million Latinos who voted in the 2016 election, 79 percent of them opposed Mr. Trump, and the proportion was even higher among women, at 86 percent. They helped elect a record number of Hispanics to Congress, including the first Latina in the Senate, Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada.
“This is the silver lining on Trump’s victory, and we need to continue to build on it,” Mr. Alex said.
The Trump administration’s new policies reject the sometimes more restrained efforts by Mr. Obama and former President George W. Bush and their predecessors, who sought to balance protecting the nation’s borders with limits on the exercise of laws passed by Congress. But the new policies are likely to be welcomed by some law enforcement officials who have called for a tougher crackdown on illegal immigrants, and by some Republicans in Congress who have said that lax enforcement encourages illegal immigrants.
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