LULAC IGNITES A HISTORIC WAVE IN 2023, PROPELLING TOWARDS EVEN GREATER IMPACT IN 2024
Nation's Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Ready to Defend Voting Rights, Job Conditions, Access to Public Education, Women's Health Care, Veterans, and More
December 31, 2023
Contact David Cruz - (818) 689-9991
Washington, DC – In a seismic year of triumphs, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) declares 2023 a pivotal chapter in its 95-year legacy with monumental feats in safeguarding the rights and welfare of the Latino community.
"LULAC in 2023 was on the move like no other Latino organization in the U.S. and Puerto Rico," says Domingo Garcia, LULAC national president. "Our members were fighting for social justice, helping others, and making a difference in the lives of familias across America. We have compiled a short list of 2023 LULAC milestones. As we reach our 95th birthday, we continue la lucha por la justicia of our forefathers and mothers. Con ganas todo se puede. As we close 2023, we look forward to 2024 with more victorias and progress for our gente. ¡Hasta la victoria!
LULAC opposed the politicization of women's health care, asserting its sacred nature and denouncing threats of public humiliation and imprisonment. We joined in solidarity with deported veterans in their makeshift foreign bunker in Tijuana, Mexico. We called for federal action against child labor in the nation's meatpacking plants. Also, LULAC triumphed in a critical redistricting case in Washington State that threatened to disenfranchise an essential and growing Latino community.
"LULAC has worked with others in what we have achieved, especially on immigration," says Lydia Guzman, LULAC National Immigration Chair. "We have amplified our voice and strength with organizations like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO), the Texas Civil Rights Project, Mi Familia Vota, Southwest Voter Registration, and NAACP."
"LULAC celebrated significant milestones in 2023, including the LULAC Legislative Conference in Washington, DC, and the LULAC National Convention and Exposition in Albuquerque, New Mexico," says Juan Proaño, LULAC Chief Executive Officer. "As importantly, LULAC held unprecedented top-level talks with leading government officials on issues of vital importance to the Latino community. These meetings included talks with Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security; Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation; Gina Raimondo, Secretary of Commerce; Michael S. Regan, Secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency; Anna Gomez, Federal Communications Commissioner; Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator; Robert L. Santos, Director of the U.S. Census Bureau; Francisco Sanchez, Associate Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration. Also, LULAC met with Esteban Moctezuma Barragán, Mexico's Ambassador to the United States, at a significant time in our history. Plus, LULAC held the first town hall in its history with the Food and Drug Administration, which oversees vital aspects of our daily lives," added Proaño.
LULAC aims to intensify its impact on critical issues in the forthcoming year. Among these priorities are the prevention of child labor, safeguarding voter registration against suppression attempts, fighting for equal representation through single-member districts, launching national community education outreach on health, sustainability, and employment equity, and continuing the demand for the repatriation of deported veterans. The organization remains steadfast in its push for comprehensive immigration reform.
"LULAC now sets its sights on a new era, building upon 95 years of success through relentless action," declares Garcia. "Our focus is crystal clear — growth and expansion into regions grappling with the arrival of refugees and a dedicated presence at tables where the fate of essential workers is deliberated. The last five years witnessed unparalleled growth of the LULAC brand since our inception, and we intend to leverage this strength to defend the rights of over 62 million Latinos in the United States and Puerto Rico."
Below is a partial timeline of LULAC actions in 2023:
January 8 - Unveiling a Vision in El Paso, TX
On January 8, El Paso, Texas, witnessed a momentous occasion as Ray Mancera, LULAC National Vice-President for the Southwest, revealed a groundbreaking initiative. The new LULAC proposal sought a hemispheric economic solution to the southern border crisis, marking a significant stride toward resolution. The event conveyed a visionary approach and captured a new framework forward.
January 10 - LULAC Engages in the Texas Legislative Arena
Two days later, on January 10, LULAC declared active involvement in the Texas legislative agenda. With the state at the epicenter of issues like voter suppression, targeted policing, and Operation Lone Star, LULAC geared up to champion change on multiple fronts.
January 11 - A 19-Point Legislative Agenda Unveiled
January 11 saw LULAC unveiling a comprehensive 19-point legislative agenda, addressing a broad spectrum of crucial societal topics. From affordable housing to voting rights, the agenda became a beacon for change, featuring key points such as Affordable Housing, Criminal Justice Reform, and Police Reform.
January 27 - Challenging Categorization for Latinos
A pivotal moment occurred on January 27 as LULAC challenged the way government forms categorized Latinos. Advocating for specificity, the organization called for a dedicated box for Hispanics or Latinos, further divided into sub-categories for various ethnicities.
February 8 - Responding to the State of the Union Message
As February 8 dawned, LULAC responded with a clear reminder to the State of the Union message. People, primarily Latino essential workers, were hailed as the nation's strength, the backbone of the labor force.
March 7 - Strategizing with Homeland Security
March 7 marked a crucial meeting as LULAC engaged with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Presenting a strategic plan with three pillars—border safety and security, increased legal migration, and integrated refugees into the workforce—LULAC showcased a holistic approach to address pressing issues.
March 16 - Demanding Investigation into a Tragic Loss
On March 16, LULAC took a stand, demanding a thorough investigation into the tragic death of U.S. Army Specialist Ana Fernanda Ruiz at Ft. Cavazos, formerly Ft. Hood. Her passing, initially shrouded in mystery, was later determined to be death by suicide, shedding light on the challenges faced by Latina servicemembers.
March 22 - Opposition to Texas School Vouchers
March 22 became a day of vehement opposition as LULAC stood against Texas public school vouchers. On the 50th anniversary of the Edgewood case, the organization deemed efforts to divert public education funding to private schools as an unacceptable solution, emphasizing the importance of accessible education for all.
March 29 - Saluting Vietnam Veterans on a Milestone Anniversary
March 29 became a day of reflection and gratitude as LULAC saluted the brave men and women who served in Vietnam on its 50th anniversary. Honoring loyal service members and acknowledging the sacrifices made during a conflict that ceased on May 29, 1973, LULAC paid tribute to a pivotal chapter in history.
April 18: Unveiling a Disturbing Truth in the Northeastern U.S.
In a damning revelation, the LULAC analysis on April 18 exposed a disturbing reality – the police, operating under the color of law, were failing to safeguard Latino communities in the northeastern United States. The report demanded more than just attention; it called for a full-fledged federal investigation and disciplinary action against officers who, under the guise of law enforcement, were found to be misinforming and manipulating Latinos. The impetus for this call to action was an investigation by ProPublica. This nonprofit news agency unearthed years of deliberate omissions and misinformation by officers in Westchester County. Their nefarious practices were aimed at entrapping Spanish-speaking drivers suspected of driving under the influence.
April 20: LULAC Light Shines on Alleged Racism
Two days later, on April 20, LULAC thrust the spotlight on alleged racist policies revealed by an ex-Florida State attorney's prosecutor. The focus was on a memo outlining discriminatory practices against Mexicans and Hispanics. The memo, plastered on bulletin boards and circulated widely, underscored the systematic mistreatment of Hispanics, portraying it not as an isolated incident but as an embedded practice that demanded urgent attention.
April 28: Latinos Suffer the Brunt in Austin
Fast forward to April 28, and the issue of law enforcement actions in Austin takes center stage. LULAC asserts that the data on these actions necessitates a U.S. Department of Justice investigation. Shockingly, since March 30, 2023, Latinos accounted for a disproportionate 62 to 69% of those impacted despite comprising only 34.5% of Austin's population. LULAC condemned the swarm tactics employed by police and state troopers, explicitly targeting areas densely populated by persons of color.
April 30: LULAC Denounces Trump's Dangerous Lies
On April 30, the spotlight shifted to denouncing dangerous falsehoods. LULAC vehemently rejected Donald Trump's claims about Latin American countries emptying mental health facilities and sending patients to the United States. Labeling these campaign statements as perilous, LULAC emphasized the potential for fueling anti-migrant sentiments.
May 1: LULAC Demands Accountability from Governor Abbott
Come May 1, LULAC took a stand against Governor Greg Abbott's derogatory remarks regarding East Texas mass shooting victims. A direct demand for an apology from Governor Abbott was issued after he announced a $50,000 reward for information on the perpetrator, describing the victims as "five illegal immigrants."
May 4: LULAC Stands for Puerto Rico's Recovery
May 4 marked a pivotal moment as LULAC threw its support behind the $1 billion Recovery and Redevelopment Act for Puerto Rico. Commemorating the 20th anniversary of the U.S. Navy's departure, LULAC aimed to address the longstanding grievances of the people of Vieques, Puerto Rico, who had endured the impact of the Navy's bombing and military exercises on the island.
May 4: LULAC Salutes the U.S. Air Force's Initiative
Simultaneously, on May 4, LULAC celebrated the U.S. Air Force's support for naturalizing Basic Military Training (BMT) trainees. LULAC admired the Air Force's streamlined citizenship process, facilitating BMT trainees' journey toward becoming naturalized American citizens.
May 5: LULAC Cheers for the Brandon Act
May 5 became a day of celebration as LULAC cheered for the rollout of the Brandon Act by the U.S. Department of Defense. Urging all military service branches to implement the law, LULAC highlighted this as a positive step toward addressing critical issues within the military.
May 7: LULAC Urges Action on Texas Mass Shootings
With Texas topping the nation in mass shootings, LULAC, quoted on May 7, urged Governor Greg Abbott to convene an emergency meeting in the wake of the latest mass shooting incident at a mall in Allen near Dallas on May 6.
May 9: LULAC Celebrates a Historical Unveiling
May 9 was a day of triumph as LULAC celebrated the historical unveiling of Fort Cavazos in Killeen, TX. The event marked the name change, honoring America's first Latino army four-star general, Richard Cavazos.
May 11: LULAC Raises Alarm on Border Humanitarian Crisis
May 11 saw LULAC sounding the alarm on the border humanitarian crisis, calling for immediate federal funding. Emphasizing that asylum seekers have the right to due process and should not be treated as criminals, LULAC underscored the urgency of addressing the crisis.
May 15: Historic Warning Against Traveling to Florida
A historic warning echoed on May 15 as LULAC cautioned Latinos against traveling to Florida, drawing parallels to Arizona following SB1070. LULAC initiated a federal lawsuit, mobilizing communities to counter Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
May 24: LULAC Remembers Uvalde TX Tragedy
May 24 became a day of remembrance as LULAC honored the children and teachers of Uvalde, TX, one year after the tragic event. Remembering the 21 lives lost, LULAC demanded more comprehensive gun reforms across America.
May 26 - LULAC Calls for Impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton
In an unwavering stance, LULAC passionately implores the full Texas House and Senate to initiate the impeachment of state Attorney General Ken Paxton. LULAC asserts that Paxton's evidence of public corruption and other criminal activities is compelling.
June 1 - Outcry Against Houston Superintendent's Discrimination Towards Latino Students
LULAC, in a bold move, demands the dismissal of a Houston area Superintendent who targeted Latino students. Alleging that Latino honor students were coerced into removing their Mexican-themed stoles before graduating, LULAC condemns such discriminatory actions and urges swift action against the Superintendent.
June 6 - LULAC Denounces Alleged Exploitation of Latino Refugees in Florida
LULAC issues a stern condemnation of the purported actions of high-ranking staff members in Florida associated with Governor Ron DeSantis. Advocating for justice for Latino refugees, LULAC calls for a Department of Justice investigation into the alleged involvement of Governor DeSantis. The organization stands in solidarity with refugees who experienced kidnapping, deceit, and exploitation under the guise of promises of jobs, housing, and assistance.
June 15 - LULAC Commemorates Landmark Supreme Court Decision for Equal Education
Celebrating the 41st anniversary of Plyler v. Doe, LULAC marks the historic Supreme Court ruling that ensured equal education opportunities for immigrant children. On June 15, 1982, the court mandated that public schools must serve all children, including undocumented ones, recognizing that denying enrollment based on immigration status violated constitutional principles.
June 20 - LULAC Condemns Texas Governor Greg Abbott's Denial of Water Breaks for Workers
LULAC strongly condemns the actions of Texas Governor Greg Abbott and big businesses in eliminating water breaks for workers during the summer heat. LULAC denounces this as a deliberate denial of humane treatment, emphasizing the potentially life-threatening consequences for Latino workers. This call comes in response to the signing of House Bill 2127, which removes the provision allowing cities to mandate water breaks for workers in scorching Texas temperatures.
June 23 - LULAC Supports Supreme Court Decision on Federal Authority over Immigration
Expressing support for a recent Supreme Court decision, LULAC underscores that only the federal government holds authority over immigration issues. The organization calls for good judgment, oversight, and compassion in implementing border policies.
July 3 - LULAC Criticizes Supreme Court Decision on Affirmative Action
LULAC voices disappointment over the Supreme Court's decision on affirmative action, deeming it a historic setback to civil rights progress. The ruling, striking down affirmative action programs, is seen as contrary to America's constitutional guarantees of equality.
July 3 - LULAC Calls for Investigation into Dallas County Juvenile System
Expressing concern over reports of mistreatment within the Dallas County juvenile system, LULAC calls for a federal investigation. The organization seeks immediate, unhampered access to speak with minor wards in Dallas County custody.
July 3 - LULAC Expresses Concern Over Supreme Court Decision on Student Loans
Expressing dismay and disbelief, LULAC criticizes the Supreme Court's decision denying debt relief on student loans. The organization asserts that the ruling provides a financial windfall to collectors and creates barriers for millions of Latino students.
July 3 - LULAC Applauds Landmark Court Victory for Bilingual Voters in Iowa
Celebrating a significant win, LULAC applauds a landmark court victory securing voting materials in Spanish as a constitutional right for bilingual voters in Iowa.
July 7 - LULAC Urges Support for Representative Mark Takano on Veteran Service Recognition Act
LULAC applauds Representative Mark Takano's introduction of the bipartisan legislation titled the Veteran Service Recognition Act. While acknowledging the intent to address an array of flaws in the immigration system, LULAC calls on Congress to fulfill its promise to military heroes and prioritize proposed legislation to repatriate non-citizen veterans who have been deported after loyally serving to defend their country.
September 13 - LULAC Urges Swift Action to Protect Latino Communities from Lead Exposure
September 13 marked a crucial moment as LULAC called for urgent measures to safeguard Latino communities from toxic lead exposure. The organization expressed deep concern over the ongoing use of leaded aviation fuel at private airports near Latino neighborhoods, emphasizing the detrimental impact on community health.
September 14 - LULAC Strongly Condemns Federal Court Decision on DACA
On September 14, LULAC denounced a federal court decision deeming DACA illegal and pledged unwavering support for Dreamers until justice prevails. The organization stands firm in its commitment to defending the rights of Dreamers who contribute significantly to the fabric of American society.
September 15 - LULAC Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month and Recognizes Essential Workers
As Hispanic Heritage Month began on September 15, LULAC called on all Americans to reflect on the true meaning of the month. The organization highlighted the invaluable contributions of millions of Latino essential workers driving the economy. It encouraged a deeper understanding of their impact on communities.
September 16 - LULAC Declares Victory for Latino Voters in Arizona
LULAC proudly declared a major victory for Latino voters in Arizona on September 16. A landmark court ruling was hailed as a triumph, demonstrating LULAC's commitment to fighting voter suppression in the lead-up to the 2024 election.
September 17 - LULAC Launches Campaign for Latino Voter Mobilization
On September 17, LULAC announced a campaign to mobilize Latino voters, demanding fair representation. Expressing dissatisfaction with being shut out by Omaha, NE leaders, and LULAC called on U.S. corporations in Omaha to recognize the importance of active participation in the fight for justice.
September 19 - LULAC Condemns Omaha City Council's Decision Against Latinos
LULAC strongly criticized the Omaha City Council's actions on September 19, denouncing their use of multiple rounds of votes to sideline five qualified Hispanic individuals. The organization expressed concern over what it perceived as a discriminatory move against the Latino community.
September 19 - LULAC Reinforces Commitment on National Voter Registration Day
LULAC marked National Voter Registration Day on September 19 by renewing its commitment to organizing, mobilizing, and getting out the vote for the upcoming 2024 election. The organization emphasized the importance of active civic engagement in shaping the democratic process.
September 20 - LULAC Honors Jose Altuve with Presidential Medal
September 20 saw LULAC bestow the Presidential Medal upon Houston Astros' second baseman, Jose Altuve. The organization celebrated Altuve as an outstanding professional athlete and a role model, recognizing his talents and character as an American sports hero to millions of youths.
September 21 - LULAC Advocates for Undocumented Immigrants' Rights
On September 21, LULAC demanded work permits and protection against deportation for all undocumented immigrants waiting for relief in the USA. The organization urged equal treatment for those fleeing danger and violence, emphasizing the need for a fair and humane approach.
September 28 - LULAC Supports Naming Los Angeles Federal Courthouse for Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez
LULAC endorsed naming the Los Angeles federal courthouse after Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez on September 28. The organization celebrated the historic contribution of five California families, which opened education opportunities for Latinos in America.
October 6 - LULAC Condemns Trump's Offensive Remarks on Migrants
October 6 witnessed LULAC's strong condemnation of Donald Trump's disparaging remarks on migrants. The organization decried the use of despicable Nazi speak and the use of harmful generalizations against predominantly Hispanic asylum seekers.
October 20 - LULAC Honors Brandon Caserta with Posthumous Membership
In a poignant ceremony ahead of the wreath-laying at Arlington National Cemetery's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on October 20, LULAC conferred posthumous membership upon Brandon Caserta. The organization acknowledged Caserta's contributions and recognized his legacy as a symbol of mental health awareness in the military.
October 24 - LULAC Advocates for Veterans' Rights in the Nation's Capital
On October 24, LULAC took its advocacy to the nation's capital, demanding recognition of military service, repatriation of veterans, and an end to further deportations. The organization called on Democrats, Republicans, and independents to support the Veteran Service Recognition Act (HR4569).
October 24 - LULAC Celebrates Wreath Laying Ceremony and Salutes the Brandon Act
In a detailed analysis on October 24, LULAC reflected on the wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington Cemetery for Brandon Caserta. The organization emphasized the significance of mental health services in the military. It applauded the historic achievement of the Brandon Act in saving service members' lives.
November 11 - LULAC Celebrates Historic Victories for Service Members
On November 11, LULAC celebrated historic victories on behalf of service members and veterans. The organization urged Americans to honor those who served honorably, recognizing milestones like the naming of Fort Cavazos and the implementation of the Brandon Act. LULAC demanded action to repatriate or prevent the deportation of veterans.
November 13 - LULAC Slams Trump's Racist Anti-Immigration Plans
LULAC did not mince words on November 13 as it strongly condemned Donald Trump's racist and extreme anti-immigration plans. The organization decried these plans as inhumane and unchristian, calling for total rejection by faith-based groups and self-described American patriots.
November 15: LULAC Takes a Stand Against Governor Abbott's Fear Tactics in Immigration Bill
On November 15, LULAC strongly condemned Texas Governor Abbott's aggressive use of fear-mongering and scapegoating within the Illegal Immigration Bill. In a bold move, the organization declared its intention to file a federal lawsuit, challenging the constitutionality of the state's draconian laws. Urgently calling upon the U.S. Department of Justice, LULAC demanded intervention to protect the rights of refugees and uphold justice.
November 16: Juan Proaño Named as CEO, Paving the Way for Growth and Strategic Partnerships
A new era of growth and strategic partnership opportunities dawned on November 16 as LULAC proudly announced Juan Proaño as the new CEO of its U.S. operations. This appointment signals a forward-looking approach, emphasizing growth and collaboration under Juan Proaño's leadership.
December 6: LULAC Applauds Latina Jurist's Confirmation to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
On December 6, LULAC congratulated Judge Irma Carrillo Ramirez for her confirmation to the prestigious Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Commending Judge Carrillo Ramirez's extensive and distinguished service, LULAC highlighted her invaluable contributions to fostering a more diverse and representative judiciary.
December 19: LULAC and Anti-Defamation League Condemn Trump's Use of Nazi-Era Language
In a historic joint statement on December 19, LULAC and the Anti-Defamation League united in condemning former President Donald Trump's use of Nazi-era language in anti-immigrant remarks. LULAC joined forces with the Anti-Defamation League, calling on Americans to reject such inflammatory language in all its forms.
December 19: LULAC Demands Federal Investigation into Border Incident
On the same day, LULAC called for a federal investigation into a disturbing incident along the Rio Grande River, where National Guardsmen allegedly stood by as a mother and child nearly drowned. Describing the shocking video as a revelation of the actual dangers along the militarized border, LULAC demanded swift action to address the negligence witnessed.
December 20: LULAC Supports Federal Action Against Massive Real Estate Fraud Targeting Latinos
Taking a stand against financial injustices, LULAC voiced support for federal action in a significant real estate fraud case that targeted Latinos in Texas. Referring to the Colony Ridge fiasco in the Houston area as the tip of the iceberg, LULAC highlighted the urgent need to address financial crimes disproportionately affecting minority communities.
December 22: LULAC Leaders in Houston Urge Mayor-Elect to Prioritize Latino Representation
To rectify historical disparities, LULAC leaders in Houston, on December 22, urged newly elected Mayor John Whitmire to improve representation and allocate resources for the city's Latino population. Presenting a historical timeline documenting decades of disparity, LULAC called on the mayor-elect to play a crucial role in addressing the needs of the largest minority community in Houston.