What are Latinos from Houston celebrating at Trump inauguration?Cindy • Jan 20, 2017
Source: Houston Chronicle; By Olivia P. Tallet; January 20, 2017
Latinos from Houston and around the country have convened in Washington, D.C., to assist with several of the events surrounding the inauguration of the new President of the United States, Donald Trump, including two Latino-themed inaugural galas.
Organized by Hispanics 100, as Donald Trump's Hispanic Advisory Council is called, the mood of the gala was that of a celebration with lots of dancing -- but also with some caveats.
Jacob Monty, a prominent Houston lawyer who is a former member of HAC, said in a phone interview that he is celebrating. "He is our president now," he said. "We need to give him a chance."
Monty, a Republican, had renounced his HAC membership in August after Trump's speech where he revealed his immigration policy. Monty thought it was too harsh against immigrants.
"I was disappointed with his immigration speech in 2016, particularly when prior to that he had been signaling to the Hispanic Advisory Committee that he was interested in a positive immigration reform," Monty said. "I had disagreements with him on immigration, but I am starting to believe that the reality is not going to be as harsh as the rhetoric.
"I didn't vote for him, I didn't vote for Hillary (Clinton), but I am glad Trump won," Monty said.
He has not rejoined the Hispanic 100. However, he says he reached out to Trump's team after he won the presidency and has contributed financially to the Latino inaugural celebrations in D.C.
"If Trump can deliver on something positive for the Dream Act kids, I'll be very pleased," Monty said.
The Dream Act is a piece of legislation that would permanently provide protection against deportation and offer work-permit status to young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors. These immigrants are now temporarily protected under Obama executive orders DACA and DAPA. During his campaign, Trump said he will end those executive protections.
Other Latino leaders in Washington are not as celebratory as Monty.
Laura Murillo, president of the Greater Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said that she went to Washington not to celebrate but to represent "women, minorities, immigrants and people who may not be able to be there to show that they are paying attention."
Besides protections for some immigrants that would benefit from the Dream Act, Murillo said she is concerned with the fact that there is no Latino in the Trump cabinet, an exclusion that hasn't happened in the cabinet since Ronald Reagan's presidency (1981-1989).
"I am taking every opportunity I have to tell people who are close to him that we are concerned about that," she said.
"We are concerned in Houston about many other issues -- such as the protection of DACA beneficiaries and of NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement), which is very important for our city's business."
President Trump has said he plans to modify or rewrite the trade agreements the U.S. has with other countries, including NAFTA.
Grace Flores-Hughes, one of the leaders of the Hispanic 100, told reporters in Washington about the lack of Latinos in the Trump cabinet: "I'm not going to lie about it, I'm not happy and the Hispanic community is not happy about this, especially the Republicans."
However, she said that several Latinos are going to have important roles in Trump's presidency. She mentioned attorney Zina Bash and Harvard University Professor Carlos E. Diaz Rosillo, who will advise the president on domestic politics and immigration issues.
Read original article here.