Just after the last presidential election, prominent Republicans sent a clear message to support an immigration overhaul. But after months of debate, divisions among Republicans in Congress over a path to citizenship in the bill threaten the new pro-Latino rhetoric the party has worked so hard to promote. Matt Laslo reports from Washington.
Matt Laslo is a freelance reporter who has been covering Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court for more than five years. He has filed stories for more than 40 local NPR stations. His work has also appeared in The Atlantic, The Chattanooga Times Free Press, National Public Radio, The Omaha World-Herald, Pacifica Radio, Politics Magazine, and Washington Magazine.
The Republican Party continues to struggle to recover the level of Latino support it enjoyed during the George W. Bush era. The $64 million question: can the Republicans do it, and how? María Hinojosa speaks with Pablo Pantoja, former Republican National Committee Hispanic outreach director in Florida, and George Antuna, co-founder of the Hispanic Republicans of Texas.
Photo courtesy of…
Pablo Pantoja has worked and volunteered in several roles with the Republican Party at the local, state, and national levels. Recently, he repudiated the culture of intolerance in the Republican Party through a public letter to his friends and took a stand by switching to the Democratic Party. Pantoja is a veteran of the Army National Guard and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish and a Master’s Degree in Political Science, Applied American Politics and Policy from Florida State University.
George Antuna Jr. is the co-founder of the Hispanic Republicans of Texas. He is a former candidate for the Texas House of Representatives and worked for U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison as Regional Director for San Antonio, South Central Texas and El Paso. Before entering public service, he was the Director of Protocol for then Texas Secretary of State, Henry Cuellar, and Policy Analyst of Workforce Development, Economic Development and International Relations for then Lt. Governor Rick Perry. Mr. Antuna was elected to the council of the City of Schertz in May, 2011. He currently works in the financial services industry.
Ten-year-old Sebastian de la Cruz got a dream gig singing the U.S national anthem “Mariachi style” during this year’s NBA finals. But after his performance, a wave of bigoted remarks soon followed. Latino USA host Maria Hinojosa cheers on the little “Charro” for turning negativity into a chance to showcase his pride.
Check out el Charrito sing at Game 4 of the NBA finals.
The increase in Latino populations throughout many U.S. communities in the past two decades may be old news. But in states like Oregon, the change is very recent and very dramatic. Producer Dmae Roberts brings us a portrait of a town transformed in the Beaver state. Woodburn is now 60% Latino, the highest proportion in the state.
Image of the Quinteros at their Woodburn “taquería,” courtesy of Dmae Roberts.
Dmae Roberts is a two-time Peabody award-winning radio artist and writer based in Portland, Oregon who has written and produced more than 500 audio art pieces and documentaries for NPR and PRI. She is a USA Rockefeller Fellow and received the Dr. Suzanne Award for Civil Rights and Social Justice from the Asian American Journalists Association for her Peabody-winning eight-hour Crossing East Asian American history series that ran on 230 stations. Her essay “Finding The Poetry” was published in John Biewen’s essay book Reality Radio (UNC Press).
Latino USA takes a minute to remember Arturo Vega, the Mexican immigrant and “Fifth Ramone,” who designed the iconic logo for the classic New York punk band. He died earlier this month at 65 years of age.