NAC Blog: Latinos Before Politics
Celebrating NAHREP familia, cultura, politics, and grassroots action
July 22, 2021
Qué onda mi gente?!
Hi. My name is Noerena, some call me Noe. Mi familia es Mexicana and my parents immigrated to this country in the 70s and 80s. They, like the majority of people who came to the U.S., came to this country in search of opportunity. The immigrant story and the plight for immigration reform has been a driving force in my life. However, as a Latina-American, I care just as much about justice and freedom for my Cuban brothers and sisters marching on the streets of Havana right now as I care about my DACA recipients (many who are part of our NAHREP familia) who are being told that DACA is illegal. El pueblo Latino is one.
Since Jerry Ascencio last told his beautiful and powerful story, there are no longer 53 million Latinos but 60.6 million. We have grown significantly. We’re diverse, stemming from over 20 different countries with different stories, but with one common language and a shared culture that’s rooted in familia, hard work, and sazón.
A lot happened these past few weeks that has had me thinking about what it means to be Latino in this country and how critical it is to stand united.
What it means to put our Latino community before politics
We stand in solidarity with our Cuban sisters and brothers fighting for freedom: In the words of an organization that is dear to my heart because it was founded by one of my closest friends on the planet who we lost to COVID last year:
“The Communist government in Cuba has denied the Cuban people basic human rights, including freedom of expression, for 62 years. The government has used repressive policies and brutal tactics to stifle the voice of anyone who dissents. On July 11th, for the first time since the Revolution, Cubans in fifty different cities across the island peacefully marched to demand change. They called for freedom and relief from decades of suffering, openly holding their government accountable for its failures. The Cuban regime’s response has been violent and brutal, following a well-established playbook of ruthless repression.” – The Miami Freedom Project
If you want to donate money or supplies go to www.givetocuba.org.
We stand in solidarity with DACA recipients: Last Friday, a federal judge in Texas found that DACA is unlawful and that the Department of Homeland Security can no longer approve new applicants or make renewals. We need to force Congress to move on DACA given how vulnerable the program is. There is bipartisan support for this issue, DACA recipients continue to be critical to our economic growth as a nation. However, it takes political will and political guts to move this forward.
Join NAHREP in taking action by urging your Senator to support the American Dream and Promise Act.
We have stood in solidarity with Puerto Ricans recovering from natural disasters: When Puerto Rico was struck with multiple hurricanes and earthquakes these past few years, we stood in solidarity with our Puerto Rican brothers and sisters to ensure that the island received the same type of attention that Hurricanes in Texas received. Our elected officials shouldn’t forget that Puerto Rico is a part of the United States and Puerto Ricans are just as American as everyone else.
Lo que le pasa a uno, nos duele a todos.
And finally, we don’t tolerate people misrepresenting the Latino Community, ever…
At NAHREP, before everything else, we are determined to change the narrative around Latinos. No, Latinos are not, rapists or criminals. Immigrants are not a drag on our society. Latinos are the future of the U.S. economy, driving homeownership growth, and fueling our labor supply. I challenge you to think about this, what if a leader were to say this about another community? How would that community react? A ‘bochorno” against one of us is a “bochorno” against all.
Somos Latinos before anything else. And for us to gain the sort of power that we can gain, our Mexican brothers and sisters have to support freedom from persecution and repression for our Cuban brothers and sisters, and our Cuban and Puerto Rican brothers and sisters have to back our immigrant communities fighting through a broken immigration system. We have to stand together. It’s the only way.
About Noerena Limón
Noerena Limón is NAHREP’s Executive Vice President of Public Policy and Industry Relations. Noerena heads the organization’s policy and advocacy efforts on issues ranging from homeownership, housing inventory, credit access and immigration.
Prior to joining NAHREP, Noerena spent six years at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and served as a political appointee under President Obama in the White House Office of Political Affairs.