News Releases

Statement on GOP Tax Reform Framework

September 27, 2017


WASHINGTON, D.C.–Mario H. Lopez, President of the Hispanic Leadership Fund, issued the following statement in response to the tax reform proposal release by President Trump and Congressional leaders:

“The Hispanic Leadership Fund applauds the tax reform framework—today’s proposal is the start of much needed reform to fix our country’s broken tax code.  We applaud the focus on relief for middle-class families, increasing the Child Tax Credit, substantially lowering the top rate for small and family-owned businesses, and lowering the corporate rate from the highest in the world to a level that will spur job creation and economic growth.

“This framework for tax reform is a step forward for working families, small businesses that power our economy, and anyone who wants to see better and higher paying jobs here in the U.S.  The Hispanic Leadership Fund stands ready to work with members of Congress for tax policy that strengthens our economy, creates jobs, and gives all families the opportunity to pursue the American dream.”

Response to the Introduction of the SUCCEED Act in the U.S. Senate

September 25, 2017


WASHINGTON, D.C.–Hispanic Leadership Fund President Mario H. Lopez issued the following statement in response to the introduction of the SUCCEED Act in the U.S. Senate, a bill that if enacted into law, would establish an earned path to legal status for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children if they serve in the military, graduate from college, or work.

“The Hispanic Leadership Fund applauds Republican Senators Tillis, Lankford, and Hatch for introducing the SUCCEED Act. This bill is a great step toward a reasonable and constructive conservative solution to the Dreamer issue. We urge all Members of Congress to recognize that punishing kids for their parents actions is both misguided and counterproductive to improving the American economy as a whole, especially when those kids have been vetted and are productive members of society.”

Recent studies show that Dreamers are a positive economic factor in our country and this bill will help increase the U.S. GDP by $81 Billion in over a decade while generating $22 Billion in new government revenue and creating over 117,000 new jobs. [Smith, Karl and Jeremy L. Neufeld. The Economic and Fiscal Impact of the SUCCEED Act. Niskanen Center 25 September 2017.]

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Appoints HLF President to Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment

September 12, 2017


WASHINGTON, D.C.–The Hispanic Leadership Fund announced today that the organization’s President, Mario H. Lopez, has been appointed by the Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to serve on the FCC’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment (ACDDE).

“I am excited and honored to join an advisory committee that will give advice and insight to the FCC on ways to help strengthen businesses and empower consumers with the latest innovation and technology.” said Mario H. Lopez. “In order for all Americans to achieve the American dream, it is important that hard-working families have access to modern tools and resources—and certainly technology is a huge component of that.”

The mission of the ACDDE is to make recommendations to the Commission on how to empower underprivileged communities and accelerate the entry of small businesses, including those owned by women and minorities into the media, digital news and information, and audio and video programming industries.  The Committee will also provide recommendations to the Commission on how to ensure that disadvantaged communities are not denied the wide range of opportunities made possible by next-generation networks.  In formulating its recommendations, the Committee may gather and develop data, examine industry trends and practices, and consider both industry-based solutions, as well as targeted regulatory or legislative solutions, to respond to the challenges identified by the Committee.

In the FCC statement announcing the formation of the ACDDE, chairman Pai said that “all Americans should have the opportunity to participate in the communications marketplace, no matter their race, gender, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.  I hope this committee will help our agency take important steps towards increasing diversity throughout the communications industry and bringing digital opportunity to all Americans.”

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.