Latino Caucus

  • Latino Caucus: SCOTUS Ruling upholding DACA is right thing for nation

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  • Black, Latino Caucuses condemn violence, call for unity

    unity presserCHICAGO – Members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus and the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus held a press conference to address divisions between Black and Latino communities. As some protests over the murder of George Floyd have been infiltrated by those hoping to incite violence and racial tension, officials condemned the rioting and emphasized the need for cooperation in their fight for justice.

    State Senators Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago), Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood), Omar Aquino (D-Chicago), Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago), Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) and Iris Martinez (D-Chicago) were joined by elected officials from all levels of government.

    Officials called for the General Assembly and executive branches to implement policies including community policing, demilitarizing law enforcement agencies, equitable investment in communities of color and accountability for officers who abuse force.

    “This fight is against racism, oppression and white supremacy – not against each other. It’s a fight for accountability for the ridiculously long list of lives taken, from George Floyd and back hundreds of years.” State Senator Celina Villanueva

    “I will not stand here and watch our two communities fight each other for crumbs. None of us win if we are too busy competing to get our fair share from those who take the majority. I want to acknowledge the young Black and Latino people who showed up in Little Village and Cicero in solidarity with one another. I want to thank them for stepping up and leading during this time. In the spirit of the unity they displayed, I am calling on all Black and Latino people to unite and stand against racism and oppression.” State Senator Kimberly Lightford

    “When the Black community hurts, so do we in the Latino community. That’s why we are standing up with you all because you are not just colleagues and friends, but family. When we work together, we can not only be at the table, but setting the agenda. From Washington, to Springfield, to City Hall we must stand together to lead and make real change.” State Senator Omar Aquino

    “In memory of the many lives tragically lost and affected by racial violence, I stand in strong support of introducing and enacting meaningful reform to further protect Black and brown lives from police brutality, racial profiling and other discriminatory acts people have grown too accustomed to. In order to condemn racism in its many forms, we must be united to invoke change in our broken economic, health care and criminal justice systems.” State Senator Iris Martinez

    "Since my career in public service began, at no time has there been a greater need or opportunity for a pivotal social movement driven by Black and Latino Chicagoans focused on ending police violence and eradicating systemic inequality in all its forms. However, misplaced anger expressed through violence is the biggest threat to our progress because one thing I know for certain is this movement doesn't start at City Hall or in Springfield, it starts on the ground in our communities. The collective voice of the people we serve has the potential to be an all-powerful force for justice and equality, but it's going to take a unified coalition built on grassroots solidarity and mutual respect." State Senator Mattie Hunter

    “Black lives matter. It is extremely difficult to be a person of color in America, and I stand strongly and proudly with my Black brothers and sisters in their struggle for justice. As lawmakers, we have not just a duty to fix the problems faced by Black communities on a daily basis, but also the power to personally do the fixing. We must seek a legislative response to these pressing issues.” State Senator Cristina Castro

  • Latino Caucus responds to murder of George Floyd

    Illinois Legislative Latino CaucusCHICAGO – The Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus released the following statement in response to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police:

    “In solidarity with the Black community, we hold grief in our hearts over the murder of George Floyd, and the many other lives lost to racist violence. Communities of color are under attack nationwide, as the president has consistently demonstrated contempt for immigrant and non-White families. We must acknowledge that systemic racism manifests itself in brutal and agonizing ways within our economic, health care and criminal justice systems. And whatever our race, we must stand together to condemn racism in all its forms, demand accountability from police militarization which has only heightened fear in communities they are supposed to serve, and fundamentally change this tragically broken system.

    “As we continue to process grief and anger, the Latino Caucus stands strong with our colleagues in the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus and with all people of color in the fight against racial injustice.”

  • Senate Latino Caucus condemns Dwight immigrant detention center plan

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  • Latino Caucus reacts to Trump's birthright citizenship threats

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  • The Majority Report - Week ending May 11, 2018 (AUDIO)

    The Majority Report - May 11, 2018 - Pensions, bigotry, K2 capture Senate's attention

  • Senate Latino Caucus meets with immigration advocates (UPDATED)

    Senate Latino Caucus meets with immigration advocates

    SPRINGFIELD – Senate Latino Caucus members joined Senate President John Cullerton, President Pro Tempore Don Harmon and immigrant and refugee rights advocates this week to discuss the Senate’s recent actions taken to protect immigrant communities.

    “I’m the son of hard-working immigrants, and as an elected official it is my honor and duty to support policies that continue to give the immigrant community the opportunities my family has had in the United States of America,” Latino Caucus Co-Chair Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) said. “Donald Trump is trying to take away these opportunities in the land that I love, but policies like these give hope to our people and show we are a force that can use our sacred legislative process to fight back against bigotry.”

  • Latino Caucus supports Illinois National Guard troops deployed to Puerto Rico

    aquino 110917SPRINGFIELD-Illinois recently sent more than 100 Illinois Army National Guard troops to assist in the rebuilding of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, as many on the island continue to live without electricity or clean water.

    “Illinois has a large population of Puerto Ricans, and sending support to those who are struggling in their homeland is the right thing to do. I thank our troops who have been deployed to help as the people of Puerto Rico continue to rebuild,” said Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago), Co-Chairman of the Latino Caucus.

  • Martinez applauds TVDL policy update

    martinez tvdlMajority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) joined Secretary of State Jesse White, members of the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus and partner organizations this week to discuss a positive update being made by Secretary of State (SOS) facilities for Temporary Visitors Driver’s Licenses (TVDLs).

    Starting July 1, 2016, all SOS facilities, with the exception of Chicago North and Chicago West, will be able to process TVDLs without requiring an appointment.

    “I’m grateful to Secretary White and his staff for establishing more customer friendly procedures for immigrants wanting to obtain a TVDL,” said Martinez, a champion for the immigrant community. “Now, instead of having to go through the extra step of having to schedule a meeting, all someone has to do is come to an SOS office at a time that is convenient for them.”

  • Legislative Latino Caucus stresses concerns over budget impasse (VIDEO)

    martinez sos 012716Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) joined members of the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus at a press conference to discuss the negative impact the governor’s failure to approve a budget is having on Latinos.

    “I’m frustrated by how many children, families and college students are being hurt by the budget impasse,” Martinez said. “I call on the governor to work with us in a bipartisan manner to put a stop to this.”


    Latino college students are feeling the brunt of the governor not authorizing a higher education budget. Students across Illinois rely on the state’s Monetary Award Program (MAP) to pay for college and are now worried whether or not they can afford to continue their education.

  • Martinez stands up for the Latino community

    martinez 090115SPRINGFIELD — Today, Senate Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) joined members of the Latino Caucus at a hearing regarding how the absence of a state budget is impacting Latino-serving providers and their clients.

    “We heard riveting testimony about how the lack of a state budget is impacting Latinos,” Martinez said. “I am troubled by what I heard today. The governor needs to focus on solving the state’s budget impasse so that human service providers helping our children, seniors, the disabled and other vulnerable populations can stay in business.”

    Martinez provided introductory remarks at the hearing, which featured testimony from representatives of Gads Hill Center, Latino Organization of the Southwest, La Casa Norte, El Valor, Logan Square Neighborhood Association, Corazon Community Services and other organizations.

    Senator Martinez’s participation in today’s hearing is part of a broader effort she is undertaking to help Latinos. This year, she encouraged Latinos to become blood donors and discussed the importance of Latinos being adequately represented in state government.

    Martinez has also spoken out about the necessity of the state funding Welcoming Centers, which serve as lifelines to our state’s newest residents by offering classes and providing information on topics such as employment training and home ownership.