LULAC National President Moran's Remarks from the March on Washington

August 28, 2013

Today we pay tribute to the many sacrifices made by men and women so that this country can live up to the ideals of equality and justice for all.

And yet, within a stone’s throw of this monument and elsewhere, minority communities and people of color STILL FACE CHALLENGES to Dr. King’s Dream.

The Latino community cannot be defined in simple terms…..for We Are diverse ethnically, socio-economically and politically. But we can be defined as Immensely patriotic as witnessed by our willingness to serve and protect our nation during times of conflict, underscoring our National Anthem’s conclusion when we say: “O’er the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave”.

Today, Comprehensive Immigration Reform is being blocked by pockets of racism and ignorance, thinly veiled as “Budget Constraints” and “Border Security”. Congress has run out of excuses and The Latino Community has Run Out of PATIENCE!

I also want to say a few words about the recent Supreme Court decision, Shelby County v. Holder. This past June, the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. With this ill-fated decision the Supreme Court lifted the strongest protections against voter discrimination laws. Two hours after the Supreme Court issued its decision, Texas announced that it would enforce its voter identification law, which had been blocked by the Department of Justice. The recent action taken by the Department of Justice is a clear indication that the federal government will not allow states to enforce measures that suppress minority voting rights.

North Carolina has followed Texas’s lead by passing a measure which includes draconian voter-ID requirements that prevent minorities, poor, young and elderly people from voting. We know that attempts such as these are designed to place unnecessary road blocks to the voting process and deny the most basic democratic right to the most vulnerable populations.

Today, LULAC stands alongside our civil rights partners to fight for an Amendment to the Voting Rights Act to prohibit such conduct. While we are optimistic that these changes are within our reach, we also know that they can only be realized if we stand as a people united.

Dr. King famously expressed that he could not sit idly by because “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” We know that one person alone may not be able to fight against injustices that can divide a nation. However, what Dr. King proved and what we know to be true is that one person and a dream can inspire a people to move mountains and define a generation. The immigrant community fully appreciates that in this country change is possible – it’s part of the American experience.

Today, Dr. King’s words still ring true and we stand as a people united with the knowledge that together we can realize Dr. King’s Dream, FOR THIS is WHAT Defines us!

Thank you and God bless.

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