News Releases

Statement on President Trump Rescinding DACA Program

September 5, 2017


WASHINGTON, D.C.–Hispanic Leadership Fund President Mario H. Lopez issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA):

“The sad reality is that President Obama did overstep his Constitutional authority to implement the DACA program.   HLF was front and center at the time of President Obama’s initial announcement, warning that DACA was more of a political maneuver than a serious attempt at real reform.  In fact, President Obama himself pointed out that DACA was “a temporary stopgap measure.”

“However, with a several options available to him, President Trump’s decision to pressure Congress without committing to work with lawmakers on  DREAM Act legislation or without outlining specifics of what he is willing to sign into law, casts doubt on his willingness to follow-through on his commitment to solve the issue of status for DREAMers after calling them “terrific kids” and promising a solution “that will make people happy and proud,” especially in light of the announced six-month window that does not give much time for legislative action when Congress already has a full plate of huge issues to deal with.

“It must be stressed that recipients of DACA, like all DREAMers, were brought to the country as children and did not violate any immigration law of their own volition.  Numerous studies shows that they are productive members of our society who contribute much to the American economy.  The fact that just two weeks ago the president deemed that Joe Arpaio–a man who was guilty of criminally profiling Latinos, who violated the Constitutional rights of American citizens, and who abused his power in a number of ways–is deemed worthy of amnesty while DACA recipients are now targets, is a black eye to the Latino and immigrant communities.  There is no escaping that punishing kids for the actions of their parents is both bad policy and bad politics.”

“President Trump would have been wise to use his much-celebrated deal-making skills by working with Congress to repeal and replace DACA with an initiative that focuses on removing bad actors from the country and allows intelligent, industrious and law-abiding immigrants to continue to contribute to the success of our great nation.”

Leading Latino Conservative Leaders Call on President Trump to Maintain DACA in Place and Support DREAM Act

August 31, 2017


WASHINGTON, D.C.–Today some of the most prominent national Latino and conservative leaders released the following statement regarding the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:

We have been encouraged by President Trump’s comments about the future the undocumented immigrants who have benefited from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).  Right after his inaugural, President Trump stated that DACA beneficiaries “shouldn’t be very worried” and later on he stated that “[w]e are gonna deal with DACA with heart.”

Today we call on the president to compassionately consider his decision regarding the future of DACA to ensure that those who have benefited from it are not adversely affected.  While we recognize that this program was not created in the appropriate constitutional manner, we should remember that DACA beneficiaries were brought into the country as minors, not on their own volition.  The United States of America is their home.  In addition, numerous studies demonstrate that DREAMers in general and DACA recipients in particular are productive members of society who greatly contribute to our economy.  

We, therefore, call on the president to ask Congress to pass DREAM ACT legislation to provide permanent legal status to DACA recipients.  We also request that he maintain DACA in place until Congress decides to approve such legislation.

Rev. Sam Rodríguez | President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

Massey Villarreal | Former Chairman of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and former Chair of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly

Mario H. López | President of the Hispanic Leadership Fund

Aquiles “Jimmy” Garza | Member of the Board, Hispanic Republicans of Texas

Pastor Mark González | Founder of the Hispanic Prayer Network

Artemio Muñiz | Chairman of the Texas Federation of Hispanic Republicans

Rev. Tony Suárez | Executive Vice President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

Jacob Monty | National Republican Activist

Alfonso Aguilar | President of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles

Statement Responding to Joe Arpaio Pardon:

August 25, 2017


WASHINGTON, D.C.–Hispanic Leadership Fund President Mario H. Lopez issued the following statement in response to the pardoning of Joe Arpaio:

“Joe Arpaio repeatedly violated the U.S. Constitution and the fundamental rights of American citizens.  Federal courts found him to be indiscriminately and illegally profiling Latinos and then refusing to stop when ordered by the court, which led to his criminal conviction.  He has proven to have no regard for the Rule of Law, abusing his power and betraying the public trust in a multitude of well-documented ways.  I personally have spoken with individuals–American citizens–who were literally walking down the street minding their own business, and then suddenly found themselves confronted, illegally detained, arrested, and in some cases physically abused by officers following Arpaio’s policies.  Joe Arpaio deserves to be held responsible for his actions.”

Statement on U.S. Senate Health Care Vote

July 25, 2017


WASHINGTON, D.C.–Hispanic Leadership Fund President Mario H. Lopez issued the following statement in response to today’s pending vote on healthcare vote in the U.S. Senate:

“The Hispanic Leadership Fund strongly encourages all Members of the U.S. Senate to move forward on creating a patient-centered healthcare plan that will allow working American families access to more affordable and quality health care.

“Since its passage in the dead of night in 2010, the ‘Affordable’ Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has been anything but affordable for working class Americans.  In communities across the country, premiums and costs have skyrocketed while coverage options have dwindled.

“HLF supports a free market health care system that expands choice so that all Americans have access to affordable healthcare.  The evidence shows that forcing millions of working class families and small businesses into expensive, poor quality Obamacare plans that they do not want or cannot afford has a negative economic impact that needs to be reversed.”

Hispanic Leadership Fund Announces Gus Portela as Director of External Affairs & Operations

July 10, 2017


WASHINGTON, D.C.–The Hispanic Leadership Fund announced today it has expanded its team, hiring Gustavo J. Portela as its Director of External Affairs & Operations.

“Gus is bringing terrific experience and skills to HLF as we continue to focusing on expanding our advocacy and communication activities in Latino communities across the United States,” said HLF president Mario H. Lopez.  “His dedication to expanding the Center-Right base and his political acumen will serve HLF well as we continue our growth in the face of crucial ongoing policy battles, and of course ahead of the 2018 mid-term elections.”

Portela previously served as Political Director and Executive Director of the College Republican National Committee during the 2014 and 2016 cycles, respectively.  During his tenure, CRNC pioneered new avenues towards reaching younger generations. Through direct online engagement with mediums such as Hulu, Pandora, Spotify, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, the organization delivered nearly 85 million impressions to voters in the 18-29 demographic in over 22 states during his 4-year tenure at the CRNC.

Prior to the College Republican National Committee, Gus worked as a campaign manager on a local mayoral race in Michigan in 2013, as a member of the Delegate Operations team for Rick Santorum’s Presidential campaign in 2012, for the Michigan-based political firm Strategic National in 2010.  He aided State Senator Bill Hardiman’s campaign for Congress in Michigan’s 3rd congressional district.

Born in Puerto Rico, Gus was raised in Michigan and currently resides in Washington, D.C.

Statement on Change in Cuba Policy

June 16, 2017


WASHINGTON, D.C.–Hispanic Leadership Fund President, Mario H. Lopez, issued the following statement in response to President Donald Trump’s speech today in Miami on Cuba policy:

“The Hispanic Leadership Fund applauds President Trump for working to ensure that U.S. funds are not channeled to a government that fails to meet the most fundamental requirements of a free and just society.  We have always maintained that the Cuban military and security apparatus, which are the instruments that the communist government uses to oppress the Cuban people, should not benefit from U.S.-derived revenue. 

“The Obama’s Administration’s ‘opening to Cuba’ was a shameful surrender to the demands of Castro and his communist dictatorship.  We call on Congress to uphold current U.S. law which sets conditions for the lifting of sanctions on the island, and we look forward to the day when there is real change in Cuba that brings freedom and opportunity to people who have suffered under a brutal communist regime.”

HLF Joins Coalition Advocating to Protect Federalism in Tort Reform

June 13, 2017


WASHINGTON, D.C.–The Hispanic Leadership Fund, along with several other conservative organizations, wrote a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan opposing H.R. 1215, a bill that would ‘federalize’ state tort law.  The groups expressed concern about an approach that disregards federalism.  An excerpt is below:

“Regardless of the merits of this bill, it is critical to note that more than 30 states already have some form of cap on damages in such litigation, while 18 others bar such restrictions on awards either by constitutional provision or via state court decisions holding them unconstitutional.
. . .
Overriding state constitutional provisions and interpretation denies states and their citizens essential liberties as well as an important check and balance on the power of the national government: the ability to protect their interests by keeping government and the settlement of legal disputes closest to them where actions can be monitored and held accountable. Moreover, federalization of the law in this manner snuffs out the spirit of innovation and the distinct regional strengths that lie at the heart of American greatness.”

HLF president Mario H. Lopez also recently wrote a piece on this issue for The Hill: Congress shouldn’t undermine federalism in effort to reform healthcare, in which he highlighted the important role of federalism as a Constitutional check on power.

Statement on Alexander Acosta’s Confirmation as Secretary of Labor

April 27, 2017


WASHINGTON, D.C.–The Hispanic Leadership Fund issued the following statement from its president Mario H. Lopez following the U.S. Senate vote to confirm Alexander Acosta as Secretary of Labor:

“The Hispanic Leadership Fund commends all Senators who voted to confirm Alexander Acosta as the new Secretary of Labor.  Mr. Acosta is a well respected attorney who will fight to expand opportunities for every working class American.  We have faith that Mr. Acosta will help strengthen the direction of the Department of Labor.  He will be a committed advocate for policies that give Americans the chance to prosper and live the American dream. 

“In addition, HLF is pleased to see the confirmation of the first Hispanic to President Trump’s cabinet.  As we’ve stated previously, there are plenty of highly qualified, principled, and patriotic Latinos  who are more than capable of serving their country at all levels of public service.”

The Hispanic Leadership Fund previously sent a letter to the U.S. Senate in support of Acosta’s nomination.