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American Bar Association
Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities
© 2013 American Bar Association. All rights reserved. The American Bar Association hereby grants permission for copies of the materials
herein to be made, in whole or in part, for classroom use in an institution of higher learning or for use by not-for-profit legal service
organizations, provided that the use is for informational, non-commercial purposes only and any copy of the materials or portion
thereof acknowledges original publication by the ABA, including the title of the publication, the name of the author, and the legend:
“Reprinted by permission of the American Bar Association. All rights reserved.” No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in
a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without
the prior written permission of the publisher. To request permission, contact the ABA Copyrights & Contracts Department, [email protected] or via fax at 312-988-6030.
The materials contained herein represent the opinions of the authors and editors and should not be construed to be those of either the
American Bar Association or Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities unless adopted pursuant to the bylaws of the
Association. Nothing contained herein is to be considered as the rendering of legal advice for specific cases, and readers are responsible
for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel. These materials and any attachments or related materials herein are intended for
educational and informational purposes only.
Printed in the United States of America
The Commission extends its gratitude and appreciation to all the individuals who testified and met
with Commission Members during the year-long fact gathering process. The Commission thanks the
lawyers, advocates, and other individuals who invested their time and resources in presenting the
Commission with information about their work and experiences. Their expertise added value to the
Commission’s work and this Report. The Commission expresses its hope that the dreams of those
who sought our help will soon be realized, and that we have been accurate in our description of the
challenges of those who spoke directly to us about their struggles for justice.
The successful completion of this report and the research process would not have been possible without
the assistance and support of several individuals and organizations. The Commission thanks Greenberg
Traurig for its extensive and generous support throughout this process. The Commission also thanks
the City University of New York School of Law for providing extensive research assistance. Special
thanks to CUNY Law School Professor Janet Calvo for her substantive comments and suggestions, and
many thanks to the CUNY School of Law Librarians who provided legal and empirical data research
and citation assistance, especially Library Director Julie Lim and Librarian Raquel Gabriel, and also
Librarians Douglas Cox, Yasmin Harker, Sarah Lamdan, and Jonathan Saxon. Thanks to the several
CUNY School of Law students who assisted with legal and census data research, including Maria
Dyson, Cristian A. Farias, Gabriela Lopez, Golden McCarthy, Christine G. Ortiz, and Giamara Rosado.
The following for hosting the Commission’s regional hearings:
David Yellen, Dean and Professor of Law, Loyola
University of Chicago School of Law
Hon. Richard A. Garcia, Former Superintendent,
San Francisco Unified School District
Richard L. Revesz, Former Dean and Lawrence King
Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
Office of the City Manager,
City of Austin
Rachel Moran, Dean and Michael J.
Connell Distinguished Professor of Law,
University of California Los Angeles
School of Law
Dr. Eduard J. Padron, President, Miami-Dade College
We are grateful to members of the Commission and its Advisory Committee, past and present who
have assisted with this effort for more than two years.
Francisco Angones
Jose Astigarraga
Norma Cantú
Hon. Ida Castro
Hon. Nelson A. Diaz
Manny Flores
Jimmy K. Goodman
Horacio E. Gutierrez
Hon. Iris Martinez
Maribel Medina
Margaret Moran
Janet Murguía
Mark J. Newman
Angela Oh
Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón
Cesar A. Perales
Alma Morales Riojas
Jesse H. Ruiz
Manuel “Manny” Sanchez
Hon. Charles Smith (Ret.)
Carlina Tapia-Ruano
Moises V. Vela Jr.
Mauricio Vivero
Hon. Kim McLane Wardlaw
American Bar Association Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities
Cesar L. Alvarez, Chair
R. Alex Acosta
Clarissa Cerda
Leticia M. Diaz
Asunción “Sunny” Hostin
Aracely Muñoz Petrich
Jenny Rivera, Rapporteur
Anthony Romero
Thomas A. Saenz
Diana Sen
Allan Tanenbaum
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Table of Contents
Introduction............................................................................................................... 2
Preliminary Statement............................................................................................. 4
Latino Diaspora........................................................................................................... 7
Latinos in the United States.................................................................................. 9
A. Demographics, Population Shifts, and Citizenship................................................ 9
B. Language Use and Access.................................................................................... 10
Taking Responsibility: Responding to Issues Within Latino
Communities................................................................................................................. 13
A. Building Latino Communities and Pursuing Justice.............................................. 13
B. Increasing Visibility and Participation in Democracy. .......................................... 15
Sex, Gender Equality and Equity, and Gender Identity............................. 18
State and Federal Law Enforcement Attack on Immigrants.................. 21
A. State Legislation................................................................................................. 21
B. The Federal “Secure Communities” Program........................................................ 23
Violence Against Latinos....................................................................................... 27
Voices From the Latino Community.................................................................... 30
Commission Fact-Gathering and Deliberative Process.............................. 32
A. Regional Public hearings..................................................................................... 32
1. Midwest Hearing–Chicago............................................................................ 33
2. First West Coast Hearing–San Francisco........................................................ 34
3. East Coast Hearing –New York City.............................................................. 35
4. Southeast Hearing–Miami............................................................................. 36
5. Southwest Hearing–Austin............................................................................ 37
6. Second West Coast Hearing–Los Angeles...................................................... 39
B. Latino Law Students Forum ................................................................................ 40
C. StakeholderMeetings. ......................................................................................... 41
1. South............................................................................................................ 41
2. East Coast..................................................................................................... 42
3. Southeast...................................................................................................... 42
4. Southwest..................................................................................................... 42
5. West Coast.................................................................................................... 43
6. Midwest........................................................................................................ 43
D. Meetings with ABA Entities................................................................................ 44
E. Meetings with Government and Non-Profit Organizations.................................. 44
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Table of Contents continued
F. Meetings with the U.S. Census Bureau................................................................. 44
G. ABA 2011 Midyear Meeting-Atlanta, GA........................................................... 44
ABA Meetings and Collaborations...................................................................... 45
Action Item Commission Resolution 303........................................................... 45
Challenges Facing the Latino Community in the United States:
Substantive Legal Issues......................................................................................... 47
A. Employment......................................................................................................... 48
1. Employment and income status.................................................................... 48
2. Discrimination at the workplace.................................................................... 49
3. Wage theft..................................................................................................... 49
4. Hazardous workplaces.................................................................................. 50
5. Legal Framework.......................................................................................... 50
B. Housing............................................................................................................... 51
1. Discrimination in lending.............................................................................. 51
2. Segregation and unequal housing opportunities............................................ 51
3. Legal Framework.......................................................................................... 52
C. Education. .......................................................................................................... 53
1. Segregated schools, educational inequality and limited educational
opportunities................................................................................................ 53
2. Higher education and affirmative action........................................................ 55
3. English language learners.............................................................................. 55
4. Out-of-status immigrant students.................................................................. 55
5. Legal Framework.......................................................................................... 56
D. Health Status and Access to Quality Health Care. ............................................ 57
1. Barriers to quality health care........................................................................ 57
2. Disparities in health outcomes...................................................................... 58
3. Legal Framework.......................................................................................... 59
E. Criminal Justice................................................................................................... 59
1. Overrepresentation of Latinos in the criminal justice system......................... 60
2. Ethnic and racial profiling and the criminalization of Latino immigrants....... 60
3. Legal Framework.......................................................................................... 61
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Table of Contents continued
F. Voting Rights....................................................................................................... 62
1. Latino underrepresentation and the small number of Latino elected
officials......................................................................................................... 62
2. Redistricting.................................................................................................. 62
3. Vote Suppression........................................................................................... 62
a. Voter identification laws..................................................................... 63
b. Purging of voter registration lists....................................................... 63
c. Voter harassment................................................................................ 63
4. Legal Framework.......................................................................................... 64
G. Media and Latino Images..................................................................................... 64
1. Stereotyping of Latinos.................................................................................. 65
2. Underemployment in the English-language media industry.......................... 66
3. Mistreatment of Latinos within the media industry....................................... 67
4. Hate speech................................................................................................... 67
5. Legal Framework.......................................................................................... 67
H. Diversity and Latinos in the Legal Profession..................................................... 67
1. Underrepresentation in the legal profession................................................... 69
2. Workplaces tainted by bias and stereotype.................................................... 69
Recommendation........................................................................................................ 72
Conclusion................................................................................................................... 72
Endnotes........................................................................................................................ 73
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n October 2010, American Bar Association (“ABA”) President Stephen
N. Zack announced the formation of the ABA Presidential Commission
on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities, composed of national
and local leaders reflecting a broad range of the public and private legal
sectors, and including lawyers and nonlawyers.1 President Zack appointed
Cesar L. Alvarez, Executive Chairman of Greenberg Traurig LLP, to the
Commission’s Chair, and appointed as Honorary Chairs the Honorable
William Richardson, Honorable Mel Martinez, and Emilio Estefan. The
Commission’s mandate is to explore and report on the urgent legal issues and
challenges facing the Latino population, the largest ethnic/racial population
group in the United States. The Commission is also charged with reporting Cesar L. Alvarez
on the efforts of Latinas and Latinos to address legal hurdles which impede
their full participation in America’s civic life.2
In furtherance of its mandate, and in order to promote the ABA’s mission to defend liberty and pursue
justice, the Commission and its Advisory Committee undertook an extensive fact gathering process.
The Commission held public hearings throughout the country, held meetings with stakeholders,
government officials and ABA entities, and reviewed existing data and scholarly literature on the
status of Latinos in the United States and the legal issues that compel action by the ABA.
This Report presents the Commission’s findings and conclusions, based on the information available
to the Commission, including a summary of the demographic and socio-political status of Latinos,
the legal obstacles that most adversely affect and define the ability of Latinos to fully participate in
civic life, and to fully share in the promise of equality and justice under the law that is at the very
core of constitutional guarantees. The Report also describes efforts by Latinas and Latinos to address
these obstacles through litigation and advocacy, and the ways in which they assume responsibility for
their lives and the continued vibrancy of their communities.
Based on the Commission’s research and analysis of existing data, reports, surveys and testimony
submitted to the Commission, it has determined that the ABA’s goal of addressing the legal issues
and impediments to full access to justice for the Latino Community can best be addressed by a
permanent entity tasked with continued analysis of the legal issues affecting Latinos, and with
developing appropriate and necessary recommendations, resolutions and programs. Therefore, the
Commission recommends that it be established as a Standing Committee of the ABA.
Midwest Hearing-Chicago
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atinos are the largest ethnic/racial population
group in the United States, currently numbering
over 50 million people,4 reflecting the historical
presence of Latinos in America, and the impact
of immigration trends. Latinos have a long history in the
United States, reaching back over two centuries, marked
by great accomplishments in the face of tremendous
challenges.5 Many Latinos have achieved professional
success and served in leadership positions, and Latinos
continue to contribute to this country’s political, social,
and cultural life, benefitting all Americans. The legal
issues championed by Latinos reflect the core legal
principles and values of our constitutional system, and
Latino struggles for equal treatment under the law have
helped shape U.S. jurisprudence.
Despite their individual and group achievements, Latinos
have yet to fully share in the benefits afforded to other
members of the broader community in the United States.
Based on information gathered by the Commission,6 it
appears that there continue to be significant obstacles
to equal and fair treatment for the majority of Latinos.
Among the subject areas addressed in its research, the
Commission reviewed information about mistreatment
related to employment, education, housing, the criminal
justice system, health services, access to the legal
profession and biased treatment by the media.7
Latinos in the U.S. today feel marginalized and believe they
receive different adverse treatment based solely on “being
Latino.” They are not alone in believing that Latinos are the
subjects of different treatment. There is a growing sense
within the general public of the discrimination experienced
by Latinos. A 2009 survey by the Pew Research Center
found that “[s]even-in-ten adults (70%)” responded
that “Hispanics face a lot or some discrimination…,” an
increase of 4% since 2001.8 Moreover, almost one in
four Americans, 23%, stated that they believed Latinos
face “a lot” of discrimination, an increase from the 19%
who answered similarly in the 2001 survey.9 The survey’s
finding is undeniable that, “big majorities of the public say
there is at least some discrimination against Hispanics.”10
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“The ABA has long said that the
legal profession must mirror our
society. And if it does not mirror
our society, then society will lose
respect for the rule of law.”
Stephen N. Zack, ABA President 2010-2011,
Midwest Hearing, Chicago, IL,
November 12, 2010, Tr. 43.
“The health of our justice system
also depends on whether it can
appropriately and adequately
fulfill its mission vis-a-vis the
Latino community. And it
is abundantly clear that the
future of this great country is
increasingly and inextricably
linked with the future wellbeing of the Latino community.”
Janet Murguia, President and CEO, National
Council of La Raza, Midwest Hearing,
Chicago, IL, November 12, 2010, Tr. 45.
Prelininary continued
“Not knowing the legal system
makes ‘new immigrants’ very
afraid of going to court for simple
issues of traffic violations, and
housing issues, we need to make
sure that our communities know
and are confident of their ability
to access the legal system. It
should not matter if they are
undocumented or do not have
money for the attorney.”
Zenaida Mendez, President, National
Dominican Women’s Caucus, Written
Submission, March 26, 2011, p. 4.
The lack of accurate information about Latinos has
helped foster an environment in which Latinos are
treated unfairly and at times inhumanely, and caused the
scapegoating of Latinos as dangerous outsiders. The role
of Latinos in the formation of the United States has been
all but invisible to the majority of non-Latinos.11 Today,
many non-Latinos know little of the history of Latinos in
the U.S., in part due to the general lack of information or
misinformation about Latinos, as illustrated by popular
media portrayals of Latinos as foreigners with attenuated
connections to the United States.12 While the current
environment has created particularly harsh circumstances
for immigrants, especially those who are out of legal
status, all Latinos are vulnerable to attack. The growing
rhetoric of hate or antipathy towards Latinos, regardless
of status, has escalated.13 This environment has helped
breed distrust within the Latino Community of the
legal system and its officials, including law enforcement
personnel, prosecutors and the judiciary.14
In the wake of the current challenges faced by Latinos,
as discussed in this Report, it is critical that the ABA take
steps to ensure that this country’s core constitutional and
statutory protections apply fully and fairly to Latinos, and
the Latino Community have meaningful access to justice.
“Our struggle for immigrant
rights is a struggle for freedom.
Just like in any other struggle
for freedom, this nation has
emerged the better for it.”
Juan Salgado, President and CEO of Instituto
del Progreso Latino, Midwest Hearing,
Chicago, IL, November 12, 2010, Tr. 90.
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“[I]t is more important than ever
… to share our own stories fairly
and accurately, that people outside
of the Latino community be exposed
to our rich diversity and significant
contributions to this country. Without
this exposure, Latinos remain in the
shadows as second class citizens,
instead of real individuals with feelings,
values and aspirations.”
Alex Nogales, President and CEO of the National Hispanic
Media Coalition, January 13, 20113
he Latino Community consists of members of various national origin subgroups, who
individually, or whose ancestors, migrated to the United States many years ago. Some
Latinos in the United States can trace their roots back several centuries while others
are more recent arrivals. In order to better understand cultural and country-of-origin
differences and the significance, if any, of such differences, the Commission invited testimony on
Transnational Communities and heard about issues specific to Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans
and Dominicans. These groups have disparate and dynamic histories associated with their past and
current relationships to their countries of national origin and the United States.15
The majority of Latinos are U.S. citizens,16 for whom race, ethnicity and language have had a
significant impact on their experiences. Latinos have been “racialized” at different points in U.S.
history—sometimes treated as “white” other times as other than “white”—and also considered by the
U.S. government to be an ethnic group consisting of individuals who “can be of any race.”17 Latinos,
in particular Afro Latinos and Latinos of mixed racial backgrounds, have been targets for distinct
racial oppression, both as a consequence of the legacy of racism in the U.S. and as an expression of
racial hierarchies within the Latino Community, with roots in Latin America and the Caribbean. The
Latino Community has also faced challenges in successfully developing legal paradigms that best
address their unique experiences as an ethnic group. Often working to clarify the ways in which
ethnicity differs from race, and the ways in which ethnicity may require different consideration from
the historical approaches to race-based discrimination.
In addition to the significant impact of race and ethnicity on Latino lives, Latinos have pointed to the
role of language as an important aspect of Latino identity. The Spanish language has always been a
source of community cohesion, but it has also been the basis for different treatment of bilingual and
monolingual, or Spanish-dominant speakers.
The differences among the groups, however, pale in comparison to the numerous and transformative
ways in which Latinos have a shared history of overcoming oppression in the United States.
Members of Latino subgroups have faced the sting of discrimination based on ethnicity and national
origin. All subgroups continue to struggle mightily to ensure that they are treated fairly. As a general
matter, and as discussed in this Report, this common history is based on the continued treatment of
Latinos as one monolithic group of outsiders.
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A. Demographics, Population Shifts, and Citizenship
ccording to 2010 Census data, at 50.5 million, Latinos now constitute 16.3% of the total
U.S. population.18 The Latino population increased 43% and accounts for most of the
U.S. population growth over the past decade.19 The Census data establishes that Latinos
are the largest minority in the United States.20 Undoubtedly the Latino population is of
significant importance to the current and future economic and political position of the United States.
The status and success of the Latino population will be a barometer of the U.S. commitment to
equality and social justice.
A large percentage of Latinos, 76%, are concentrated in 9 states: Arizona (1.9 million), California
(14 million), Colorado (1 million), Florida (4.2 million), Illinois (2 million), New Mexico (953,000),
New Jersey (1.5 million), New York (3.4 million), and Texas (9.5 million).21 The top five states with
the largest Latino population in 2010 were (in descending order): California, Texas, Florida, New
York, and Illinois.22
The impact of the Latino population growth cannot be understated. Every state saw an increase
in its Latino population.23 In Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas Latinos are
more than one in four of the state’s residents.24 The Latino population growth was the sole source
of population growth in six states: Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and
Rhode Island.25
Even in states where Latinos were once a small segment of the population, they have seen their
numbers increase, in certain areas exponentially.26 For example, in nine Southern states the Latino
population more than doubled: Alabama (145% population growth from 2000-2010), Arkansas
(114%), Kentucky (122%), Mississippi (106%), North Carolina (111%), Tennessee (134%), and
South Carolina (148%).27
The Latino population is also a very young population. Latinos constitute 23.1% (17.1 million) of
children aged 17 and younger.28 Almost one out of four children in the United States is Latina/o. In
comparison, there are over 33 million Latina/o adults, constituting 14.2% of all adults,29 or one
in seven.
There are more Latinos than Latinas in the U.S., but the difference is small, 50.7% male and 49.3%
female.30 However, there is a slight difference between foreign and native-born populations, with the
majority of foreign-born Latinos being male.31
The five largest subgroup populations (in millions) are Mexican (32.9), Puerto Rican (4.7), Cuban
(1.9), Salvadoran (1.8 million), and Dominican (1.5).32
The majority of Latinos—74%—are U.S. Citizens.33 The majority are born in the United States.
According to the Pew Hispanic Center, 62.9% of all Latinos in the U.S. are native born,34 compared
with 37.1 % who are foreign born.35 From 2000-2010, the native born Latino population has more
than doubled (51.4%) and the foreign born has grown approximately 33.2%.36
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Latinos in the United States continued
Despite the fact that the majority, and overwhelming number, of Latinos are native born, much
political interest has focused on the foreign-born Latino population, specifically the noncitizen,
out-of-status population, and its impact on society. However, as the numbers reflect, this is a small
portion of the U.S. Latino population, and of the total U.S. population.37 In March 2010, only
3.7% of the total U.S. population were unauthorized immigrants (both Latino and non-Latino),
and constituted just over one fourth (28%) of the total U.S. foreign-born population.38 Although
it is difficult to provide accurate numbers for this population, the Pew Hispanic Center estimates
that 11.2 million unauthorized immigrants (Latino and non-Latino) live in the U.S., representing
a decrease in this population over the past several years.39 The majority of the unauthorized
immigrant population is Latino (81%).40
Of the 18.8 million foreign-born Latinos in the U.S., 13.3 million, or 26.2%, are noncitizens.41
According to a recent Pew Hispanic Center report, of the 10.2 million total unauthorized adult
immigrants in the United States (Latino and non Latino), nearly two-thirds (63%) have lived in the
U.S. for at least 10 years, with over one third (35%) living in the U.S. for 15 years or more.42 Notably,
there are at least 9 million people in “mixed-status” families, meaning families with “at least one
unauthorized adult and at least one U.S.-born child.”43 There are also childless mixed-status Latino
households. Thus, the rhetoric and targeting of immigrants has an impact on Latinos individually
at a deeply personal level, and also impacts the communities in which they live because their family
networks are destabilized by the threat of deportation and government scrutiny.
B. Language Use and Access
The majority of Latinos are English dominant or literate,
and approximately 39% of all Latinos, regardless of age
group, speak only English at home.44 According to selfreported data on English-speaking ability, the majority of
Latinos in the United States speak English at least very
well.45 Of Latinos 5-17 years of age 84.5% speak English
at least very well, as do 57.7% of those 18 years and older.
Amongst the foreign born, almost two-thirds of those
5-17 years old (64.5%) speak English at least very well,
as do 29.1% of those 18 years and older.46 For Latinos
who are English dominant or English monolingual, the
Spanish language bears cultural significance and may
serve as a marker of Latino identity. According to a
recent nationwide survey of Latinos, a majority believes,
across generations, that it is “very important” that future
generations of Latinos in the U.S. speak Spanish.47 Thus,
the Spanish language continues to have a prominent place
within the U.S. Latino experience and is a vital component
of ethnic and cultural identity.48
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“…every courthouse should
have an interpreter available,
particularly in Spanish. It’s
impossible to access justice
or the court system if there’s
no one there that speaks your
Adela Carlin, Legal Assistance Foundation
of Metropolitan Chicago and Mujeres
Latinas en Accion, Midwest Hearing,
Chicago, IL, November 12, 2010, Tr. 160.
Latinos in the United States continued
The Commission heard extensive testimony during its public hearing process on the need for
language access throughout the legal system, and the consequences of failing to provide adequate
language services. There are a significant number of Latinos, who are Spanish-speaking and Limited
English Proficient (LEP),49 and the overwhelming majority of LEP or Spanish monolingual Latinos
do not have interpretive or translation services readily available and cannot pay for those services.
Rather, they may depend on family, friends, and the courts to provide such services when they must
seek legal assistance.
Language access is particularly critical given the serious issues that arise in legal-related matters,
like child custody disputes, immigration proceedings, and eviction actions. Language access issues
plague areas where large numbers of Latinos have long called home, and parts of the country where
changing demographics require better approaches to new linguistic service needs. For example, the
U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division recently issued findings based on its investigation of
the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), where it determined “that the AOC’s
policies and practices discriminate on the basis of national origin, in violation of federal law, by
failing to provide limited English proficient (LEP) individuals with meaningful access to state court
proceedings and operations.”50 The Division found significant harm as a consequence of the federal
statutory violations.
The AOC’s policies and practices have significant consequences for LEP individuals
who are parties or witnesses to North Carolina state court proceedings. Among
the harms we identified in the course of our investigation are longer incarceration
as a result of continuances caused by the failure to locate an interpreter; serious
conflicts of interest caused by allowing state prosecutors to interpret for defendants
in criminal proceedings; requiring pro se and indigent litigants to proceed with
domestic violence, child custody, housing eviction, wage dispute and other important
proceedings without an interpreter; and other barriers to accessing court proceedings
and other court operations. These harms are the function of not only a state
interpreter policy that is unduly restrictive, but also of the failure to implement even
this limited policy according to its terms. We further found that the AOC is aware of
the harm caused by its court policies and practices on LEP individuals.51
The ABA’s recent adoption of Resolution 113 on ABA standards on language access in courts is an
important and welcome recognition by the ABA of the impact of language barriers on legal rights,
and the urgency of addressing the need for language services in the courts. The Commission
commends this important commitment to justice by the ABA, and encourages the ABA to reject
any interpretation of the Resolution that would place a financial hurdle to those in need of these
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atinos have a legacy of affinity group social
and political activism, focused on building
and sustaining vital communities. They
work to improve their neighborhoods, the
lives of their families, and the lives of recent Latino
immigrants, who are following in the footsteps of
generations of Latino pioneers. The Commission heard
from advocacy groups and professional membership
organizations, many established decades ago, some
of more recent creation, predominantly founded
and staffed by Latinas and Latinos, who are deeply
committed to encouraging and enhancing Latino
participation in society.
“[T]he Latino community
has a responsibility, a critical
responsibility, to champion a
vindication of constitutional
principles and values because
we are at the forefront of [a]
constitutional crisis…. We
need to be the champions of
ensuring that our legal system
is able to address concerns of
the Latino community…. We
need to be the champions of
a more comprehensive public
understanding and support of
all constitutional principles.”
Thomas Saenz, President and General
Counsel, Mexican American Legal Defense
and Educational Fund, First West Coast
Hearing, San Francisco, CA, January 13,
2011, Tr. 28-29.
The Commission received testimony and information
about the numerous ways in which Latinos have
worked individually and collaboratively to address
the challenges faced within their communities. The
Commission found that historically Latinos have
worked to address obstacles to access and success by
relying on the strong leadership and determination
of members within Latino communities. This
testimony, however, was overshadowed by testimony
and information about the scope of the challenges
facing Latinos that require additional support and
effort, beyond those available solely from communitybased resources. This Report focuses predominantly
on the challenges because they are of such urgency
to ensuring equality under the law. However, in the
following two sections of this Report, the Commission
briefly summarizes some of the efforts of the Latino
Community to address issues through communitybased initiatives, including litigation strategies.
Taking Responsibility
A. Building Latino Communities and
Pursuing Justice
A responsibility addressed by legions of Latinos has
been to ensure that the law treats fairly and justly
all members of U.S. society. This commitment to
ensure the legal system lives up to constitutional
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Taking Responsibility: Responding to Issues within Latino Communities continued
guarantees of freedom, justice and equality under the
law has been led by several organizations, including
MALDEF, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, LULAC, the National
Council of La Raza, and The ASPIRA Association and
its various affiliates throughout the United States.53
These organizations have been at the forefront of
fairness and justice campaigns focused on a range of
issues, including education, employment, housing,
and immigrant rights. They have fought for the
opportunity for Latinos to choose elected officials who
will represent their interests and concerns in Congress
and state legislatures. The Latino-focused bar
associations also stand as examples of organizations
focused on working with their members to promote
opportunities for success.
In addition to a legacy of activism focused on
litigation, Latinos in the United States have improved
their neighborhoods and lives through Latino
nonprofit and charitable organizations.54 In a 2012
report by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which
compared funding across several communities of
color, the Foundation found that, “[t]he Latino was
also the only community to place high significance
on funding for legal services and programs related
to civil and immigrant rights.”55 Latino funding of
charitable enterprises goes back to the first Latino fund
established in 1967. More established Latino funds
focus on scholarship and professional advancement,
and the largest number of Latino funds support
education-giving priorities. Latino charitable giving
is on the rise and 63% of Latino households make
charitable donations.56
Advocates working on behalf of Hispanic persons
marginalized in society because of national origin,
ethnicity, race, and gender have worked to build their
own institutions. For example, Latino advocates
have created organizations focused on equality for
women and for members of the LGBT community,
working together to address domestic violence through
strategies involving both women and men, ending
homophobia in Latino communities through outreach
and education campaigns.
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“We are not victims. We
have found and created
many acts of daily resilience
and resistance. We argue,
complain, file reports, write
letters, document hearings,
file for fair hearings, sue,
call 311, call the police, call
people in charge, call the
media, scream, intervene in
physical situations, fight back
with organizations, fight back
with friends, do research, sign
petitions, force the issues, go to
protests, lobby representatives,
go to jail, advocate for policies,
advocate for ourselves, engage
in community education,
work street patrols, maintain
spirituality, and keep trying.”
Welfare Warriors Research Collaborative,
New York Written Submission, p. 4
Taking Responsibility: Responding to Issues within Latino Communities continued
Latino advocates have also helped to define a more inclusive agenda within organizations that seek
to address issues across diverse communities. Working within organizations focused on issue-specific
agendas, Latinos and their advocates have sought to make visible to the greater community the daily
challenges faced by their Latino neighbors, coworkers, family and friends. Through their efforts
they have shined a spotlight on problems that were otherwise invisible, helped to create meaningful
access for the voiceless, and assisted these organizations in developing inclusive agendas.
In addition to working on improving the lives of Latinos by focusing on social issues, Latinos have
also recognized the importance of ensuring individual economic growth, and the maintenance of a
vibrant business community. Indeed, Latinos are important participants in U.S. economic growth.
Latinos constitute 14.8% of the civilian labor force and 8% of the permanent federal workforce, and
thus constitute a significant part of the U.S. labor pool.57 Latinas and Latinos have skills vital to U.S.
businesses and a strong entrepreneurial spirit.58 Thousands of Latinos are small business owners.59
According to a 2010 report, Hispanic-owned businesses lead U.S. business growth at a rate of
43.7% of all business.60 In 2007, Hispanic-owned business generated $345.2 billion in sales, which
reflected a 55% increase from 2002.61 A 2012 report noted that Latino purchasing power is worth
approximately $1 trillion, and is expected to grow another 50% over the next five years.62
Despite arguments that out-of-status immigrants
fail to pay their fair share and instead impose a
financial burden on federal and state governments,
a recent report found that in 2010 households
headed by unauthorized immigrants, which also may
include persons who are U.S. citizens and in-status
immigrants, paid $11.2 billion in state and local taxes,
including $1.2 billion in personal income taxes, $1.6
billion in property taxes, and $8.4 billion in sales
taxes. 63 The states receiving the largest tax revenue
from households headed by unauthorized immigrant
populations were California ($2.7 billion), Texas ($1.6
billion), Florida ($806.8 million), New York ($662.4
million), and Illinois ($499.2 million).64
A 2012 report noted that
Latino purchasing power
is worth approximately $1
trillion, and is expected to
grow another 50% over the
next five years.
B. Increasing Visibility and Participation In Democracy
Latinos have been critical actors in the political history and life of the United States. Latinos have
served in the military, and their service has been another important contribution to the nation.
There have been Latino Medal of Honor recipients dating back to the Civil War.65 More than
300,000 Mexican Americans served in World War II, and half a million Latinos served in the
military; Puerto Ricans have participated in every major American military conflict.66 These are but a
few examples illustrating this long and extensive service.
Luminaries from the Latino Community serve as role models not only for other Latinos and Latinas,
but for the broader society.67 The successes of Latino lawyers and judges are of great interest
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Taking Responsibility: Responding to Issues within Latino Communities continued
following the appointment of Justice Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. Her personal
story of professional success inspires future generations of lawyers, regardless of race, ethnicity, and
gender. Her achievements are the source of pride and hope for Latinos who see real opportunities
now that the first Latina has taken her seat at the U.S. Supreme Court.
Latinos have worked over the past decade to ensure that their voices are heard in the U.S. political
system by increasing voter registration and participation. National organizations like the National
Association of Elected Officials, and Voto Latino, as well as state and local get-out-the-vote groups,
have actively worked to register Latino eligible voters and remove obstacles to voter participation.
The success of those efforts was visible over the last two election cycles when the number of Latinos
registered to vote and the number who voted helped define the election results. In 2008, 9% of the
electorate was Latino, in 2012 10% of all voters were Latino, and estimates project that the number
of Latino voters will grow even more dramatically in the next few years.68
First West Coast Hearing-San Francisco
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“Conditions of vulnerability are systemic, entrenched within the social, economic and
educational policies of nations. They are further fuelled by racism and discrimination
based on gender, ethnic and cultural considerations. It is necessary to ask, therefore,
why and how we as donors, policymakers, care-givers and nations have failed to take
the preventive actions necessary and, by that failure, have contributed to an escalation
of the very problem we seek to prevent.”70
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, An Introduction to Human Trafficking: Vulnerability, Impact and Action, 2008, at 78.
he gender inequality in the greater community is mirrored and experienced within the Latino
Community. As discussed throughout this Report, Latinas are discriminated against based on
their sex, as well as on the basis of ethnicity, and immigration status. The Commission heard
testimony and the data and scholarly literature confirms that Latinas are targets of sexual abuse
and harassment at the workplace, on the street and in their homes. They are also victims of human
trafficking.71 The position of Latinas is thus defined by the intersection of their ethnicity, race, gender,
gender identity, and immigration status. Especially disturbing are the limits of current legislative gender
equality efforts to address gender inequality as experienced by Latinas. The inability to comprehensively
address the legal challenges faced by women in the Latino community further illustrates the need to
develop holistic approaches that address the needs of Latinas based on their lived experiences.
Latinas and Latinos who are members of the LGBTQ
community are also targets of discrimination. Unlike
Latinas who have some statutory and constitutional
recourse for discriminatory practices based on sex,
LGBTQ persons are often not legally protected for
discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender
identity. Although marriage equality is the current
focus of attention, LGBTQ people face challenges
daily, regardless of their partnership status, including
employment and housing discrimination, and limits
to quality and appropriate health care. The challenges
faced in the greater community are made even
more difficult when gender identity intersects with
ethnicity and immigration status. In the employment
context, an employer may more readily discriminate
against an employee with multiple characteristics
that trigger bias than against an employee with only
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“Domestic violence is a universal
problem for Latinas around the
world. A similar set of factors and
conditions reinforce violence against
women whether it occurs domestically
or broad. These factors include:
patriarchal systems; women’s inferior
economic status; and gender-bias in
societal institutions, such as the family,
judicial systems, government, schools
and religions.”
The National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic
Violence, National Forum on Latinas and Domestic Violence:
El Pasado, El Presente Y Mirando Hacia El Futuro, 2003, at 3.
Sex, Gender Equality and Equity, & Gender Identity continued
“LGBT youth usually cycle
through homelessness, foster
care, and the juvenile justice
system because in many of these
settings, they face harassment
and physical, verbal and sexual
abuse.[] LGBTQ youth are
commonly isolated from other
youth, threatened or attacked
by youth and service providers,
blamed by service providers
for their own mistreatment
and even denied services
outright because of their sexual
orientation or gender identity/
one such characteristic. An employee who is
Latino, gay, and immigrant may face greater risk
of discrimination than a white non-immigrant
counterpart.72 In the housing context, the Fair
Housing Act does not prohibit discrimination
based on sexual orientation or gender identity,
although the U.S. Department of Housing and
Urban Development issued regulations prohibiting
certain discrimination against LGBT persons in
HUD-assisted and FHA-insured housing,73 and
some states prohibit housing discrimination based
on sexual orientation and/or gender identity.74
Immigrant LGBTQ persons are at particular risk
because of their immigration status. Some may have
migrated to the United States to escape oppression
in their countries of origin only to find that their
immigration status compounds the challenges
they face based on their sexuality and gender
Flore Bermudez, Staff Attorney, Lambda Legal
Youth in Out of Home Care Project and Jody
Marksamer, Staff Attorney and Youth Project
Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights,
Written Submission, January 2011, p. 2
(footnotes omitted).
“LGBT Latinos/as are more
similar to the general Latino
population than dissimilar, yet
have unique legal concerns that
neither heterosexual Latinos
or white LGBT people have to
contend with.”
“The National Transgender Discrimination
Survey [find-ings reveal]… Latina and Latino
transgender people experienced discrimination
at levels significantly higher than their nontransgender Latino/a counterparts as well as
their non-Latino transgender counterparts.
Furthermore, for Latino/a transgender and gender
non-conforming respondents who also reported
being non-citizens, rates of discrimination were
often even higher.”
Francisco Duenas, Proyecto Igualdad
Coordinator, Lambda Legal, Written testimony.
Jack Harrison, Policy Analyst, The National Gay and Lesbian
Task Force, Written Testimony, August 29, 2011.
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atinos have historically been targets of anti-immigrant policies and nativist efforts to
marginalize Latinos as outsiders.77 These efforts continue today. The rhetoric leads to
a discourse that implies that all immigrants are Latinos, and that all Latinos are recent,
undocumented immigrants. The rhetoric extends beyond the media and nativist groups,
and has influenced state legislative initiatives in many parts of the country to target immigrants,
with a noticeable focus on Latino immigrants.78 Federal programs that rely on state identification
of potential deportable immigrants have also resulted in the targeting of Latinos. In part due to the
underlying assumptions that all Latinos hold a questionable immigration status, these federal/state
programs create an environment in which no Latino is safe from law enforcement profiling.
These efforts have turned local police officers, employers, coworkers, neighbors, health care
workers, school employees, and strangers on the street to potential informants, with the result that
Latinos are treated as if they are exempted from the coverage of the Rule of Law, and not entitled to
basic rights, fundamental to our democratic society. Mothers with tenuous or uncertain legal status
are threatened with, or fear, being turned over to ICE and separated from their U.S. citizen children.
Throughout the Country, the Commission heard testimony about the harm suffered by individuals
and their families, and the damaging effects caused by these programs on Latino communities. It is
not surprising that these programs helped foster a growing sense within the Latino Community that
a significant number of the public distrusts Latinos.
This section of the Report discusses significant aspects of state and federal programs.
A. State Legislation
“But the age-old voices of hatred
are using the powerful weapon
of fear to turn society against
itself. What we are doing to
immigrant communities across
our nation, we are doing to
ourselves. Our new global
competition requires that we
be smarter than that as a
nation, so our nation should
take pause and reflect.”
Juan Salgado, President and CEO of Instituto
del Progreso Latino, Midwest Hearing,
Chicago, IL, November 12, 2010, Tr. 90.
A number of states proposed or enacted legislation
that targets members of immigrant communities, with
significant adverse effects on Latinos.79 These laws cover
several topic areas, and seek to legislate immigrants’
ability to participate in society, unimpeded by
government intrusion in their communities. According
to the National Conference of State Legislatures, during
the first quarter of 2012 legislators introduced 865 bills
and resolutions relating to immigrants and refugees,
and “the top areas of interest for introduced bills…were
law enforcement (125), employment (119), and public
benefits (92).”80
Challenges to this type of state legislation, filed by the
federal government and public interest and immigrants’
rights organizations, had some success in the courts.81
The Supreme Court’s recent decision addressing the
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State And Federal Law Enforcement Attack On Immigrants continued
legality of Arizona’s legislation is a significant step towards
ensuring the rights of immigrants.82
The decision in Arizona v. United States,83 the Supreme
Court held that all but one provision of Arizona’s law, “S.B.
1070”, which had served as the model for several state laws,
are preempted. Specifically, the Court concluded federal
preemption doctrines applied to Arizona S.B. 1070 Section 3,
which created a new state misdemeanor for failure to complete
or carry registration documentation, a provision based on a
similar federal proscription, Section 5(C), which created a new
state misdemeanor for an unauthorized immigrant’s knowing
application, solicitation or performance of work, a provision
without any federal counterpart, and an approach specifically
rejected by Congress, and Section 6, which provided for a
warrantless arrest by a state officer based on probable cause that
the person committed an offense making the person subject to
removal from the United States.84 The Supreme Court stated
clearly that the Federal Government has “broad, undoubted
power over the subject of immigration and the status of aliens.”85
“Undocumented parents
have to get up and go to
work every day. That
means they have to drive
carefully and make sure
they do not get stopped
for any reason by police
officers. At work they
must navigate the reality
that raids at work places
do happen and theirs can
be next.”
Juan Salgado, President and CEO of
Instituto del Progreso Latino, Midwest
Hearing, Chicago, IL, November 12,
2010, Tr. 85.
The Court determined that the remaining provision, Section
2(B), on its face was not preempted. However, the Court
specifically left open the possibility of “other preemption and
constitutional challenges to the law as interpreted and applied
after it goes into effect.”86 Thus, the Court has left for another
day the legality of Section 2(B), and similar laws, which mandate
that state officers attempt to ascertain the immigration status of
certain persons stopped, detained or arrested, in cases where the
officer has reasonable suspicion, “that the person is an alien and
is unlawfully present in the United States.”87
“…Latino and immigrant
communities can and will
organize to fight against
such initiatives and to
claim our rightful place in
this nation.”
Fred Tsao, Policy Director of the Illinois
Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee
Rights, Midwest Hearing, Chicago, IL,
November 12, 2010, Tr. 99.
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State And Federal Law Enforcement Attack On Immigrants continued
“America is now at war with
the immigrant hands that
feed us. Communities and
states across the country
are enacting a patchwork
laws that will only drive
undocumented immigrants
further underground and
make them even more
exploitable by the businesses
that employ them and the
criminals who prey on
them. Immigrant women
face the additional danger
of sexual assault and rape,
crimes they often are afraid
to report to police because it
could lead to deportation.”
Injustice on Our Plates: Immigrant
Women in the US Food Industry (Mary
Bauer and Monica Ramirez, authors),
Southern Poverty Law Center, Written
Submission, p. 5.
Although the Court did not address the potential for
profiling, in part because the Court concluded that “[t]he
nature and timing of this case counsel caution in evaluating
the validity of 2(B),”88 the issue of profiling was raised by
several amici.89 The issue is now thrown back to the states.
The role of elected officials in furthering a discourse
of antipathy towards immigrants, including out-ofstatus immigrants, often underlies these state legislative
efforts, and arguably provides legitimacy to the increased
hostility towards Latinos, and the marginalization of
Latino communities.90 Apparent public support for these
legislative efforts have made Latinos feel vulnerable and has
also significantly impacted Latinos’ perceptions of fairness.
According to a 2007 Pew Hispanic Center National Survey
of Latinos, “[o]ver half of all Hispanic adults in the U.S.
worry that they, a family member or a close friend could
be deported….”91 The survey respondents who said
their local officials focused “a lot on the issue of illegal
immigration in recent months are more likely than other
Hispanics to report being the victim of some types of
discrimination. For example, nearly one-in-five (19%)
of those who perceive a heavy local government focus on
illegal immigration report having been treated poorly in
government offices very or fairly often.”92 By contrast, just
one-in-nine Hispanics (11%) who perceive that illegal
immigration has not been a priority of local officials report
receiving poor service in government offices very often or
fairly often.93
B. The Federal “Secure Communities” Program
The “Secure Communities” federal program enlists the assistance of state and local law enforcement
in immigration enforcement.94 According to the federal government, 2,700 jurisdictions are part of
Secured Communities. Pursuant to the program state and local law enforcement must submit to the
FBI fingerprints of persons they arrest or book, which the FBI sends to Homeland Security. Then,
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) determines whether the person is removable, in
which case ICE issues a detainer and requests that the state or local facility hold the individual up to
an additional 48 hours to allow ICE to interview the person and decide whether to pursue removal.95
The Commission heard powerful testimony about the adverse impact of this program on Latino
immigrants, and their families and communities. Indeed, members of the Latino Community have
been leaders in several state and local efforts to limit the impact of Secure Communities by enacting
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State And Federal Law Enforcement Attack on Immigrants continued
The data also indicated that “93% of the people identified
for deportation through Secure Communities are from
Latin American countries…”
policies to limit when law enforcement may honor a detainer risk from ICE to hold an individual
beyond their ordinary release until ICE can take custody.96
Data provides further information on the harms posed by this program. In a recent study based on
a random national sample of 375 persons identified pursuant to the Secure Communities program,
and apprehended by ICE after October 1, 2008, researchers found that 39% of those identified
for deportation reported having a U.S. citizen family member, and 37% reported having a U.S.
citizen child.97 The data also indicated that “93% of the people identified for deportation through
Secure Communities are from Latin American countries….”98 Based on their research, the authors
concluded that “US citizens are significantly impacted by the Secure Communities program, both
through their own apprehension, and through the impact on UC [sic] citizen family members.”99
The authors also stated that they are “concerned that Latinos appear to be disproportionately
impacted by Secure Communities.”100 Further, they concluded that the “adjudication process
for those processed through Secure Communities points to minimal procedural and due process
protections. Thus, individuals who are not meant to be in the system, may have little opportunity to
get out.”101
The Task Force on Secure Communities, a subcommittee of the Homeland Security Advisory
Council created in June 2011,102 issued its findings and recommendations to the Department
of Homeland Security in September 2011. Its findings and recommendations provide further
information on the challenges posed by this program.
According to the Task Force,
[t]o the community at large—especially immigrant communities—local
law enforcement agencies cooperating with ICE or participating in Secure
Communities may be viewed as immigration agents, regardless of the actual
role they play in the process. Some local law enforcement agencies and
state government officials are uncomfortable with being perceived as a ‘passthrough’ to ICE via Secure Communities.103
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State And Federal Law Enforcement Attack on Immigrants continued
The Task Force found that,
the impact of Secure Communities has not been limited to convicted criminals,
dangerous and violent offenders, or threats to public safety and national security.
Moreover, the program has raised real concerns for some law enforcement agencies
because of the adverse impact it has on community policing and the perception that
law enforcement agencies are participating in immigration enforcement.104
The Task Force concluded that the program had “resulted in the arrest and deportation of minor
offenders and non-criminals.105 The effects of this expansive implementation have great impact
in the community and unintended impact on law enforcement because, as the Task Force also
found, “[i]mmigration enforcement against traffic offenders and others arrested only for minor
offenses poses the greatest risks of undermining community policing.”106 This is particularly serious
given “that the goals of civil immigration enforcement and those of law enforcement agencies
are not always aligned and may sometimes be contradictory.”107 The public perception of Secure
Communities is negative, and no less because, “mixing individuals who have no criminal convictions
or who have only low-level convictions with serious offenders is having the unintended consequence
of undercutting the credibility of the entire Secure Communities Program.”108
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A report from the
California State Attorney
General’s Office found
that California
experienced a 47%
increase in anti-Latino
hate crime events in
2010 from the
previous year.
atinos are under attack where they live, work and go to school.109 These attacks take the
form of derision, mockery, dehumanization, and in a troubling growing trend, physical
assaults. Latinos have long been the targets of discrimination, bias and violence. However,
over the past decade, the hostility towards the Latino community has reached historic
proportions. For some sectors of the Latino Community even their neighborhood does not provide
places of safety and security.
From 2003-2007, hate crimes targeting Latinos increased 40%.110 According to federal 2010 data,
9% of all single-bias incidents victims were targeted due to anti-Hispanic ethnicity or national
origin bias.111 California, home to 14 million Latinos, provides useful information about the
Latino experience with bias crimes at the state level. A report from the California State Attorney
General’s Office found that California experienced a 47% increase in anti-Latino hate crime events
in 2010 from the previous year.112 From 2003-2009, nearly 90% of the hate crime victimizations
“were perceived to be racially or ethnically motivated.”113 The majority of violent hate crimes were
interracial, and “[n]early 70% of Hispanic victims of violent hate crime were victimized by white
offenders.”114 Almost all hate crime victims indicated that the offender used hate language, and
approximately 23% of hate crimes involved serious violent crimes.115
Latinos continued to be targets of hate crimes, even while total hate crime incidents and
victimizations decreased from 2008-2010.116 Hate crime victimizations known to the police
declined 9% from 2003-2009,117 according to Uniform Crime Reporting Program data the
percentage of single-bias incidents stemming from ethnicity/national origin bias, remained steady for
most of this period, at about 12% of all such incidents. Anti-Hispanic bias constituted about 65% of
all ethnicity/national origin single-bias incidents. Moreover, a number of hate crimes against Latinos
may be underestimated given that the Uniform Crime Reporting Program data is based on actual
counts of offenses reported by law enforcement agencies.118 The National Crime Victimization
Survey found that approximately 49% of ethnicity-based hate crime victimizations are not reported
to the police,119 and that law enforcement officials have been criticized for undercounting biasmotivated crime in local jurisdictions. Data compiled from 2003-2009, indicate that violent hate
crime victimization has decreased by 37%.120 Nevertheless more Latino hate crime victims than nonLatino white and Black victims suspected the offender’s motivation to be ethnic bias.121
The ongoing politicization of immigration, fueled by the deployment of anti-immigrant rhetoric
by some elected officials and candidates for political office, threatens to sustain a climate in which
Latinos are targets for hate speech and crimes.122 Latinos as individuals, and the Latino Community
itself, are characterized as dangerous outsiders, and the source of the country’s recent economic and
social ills. Much of the recent hostility towards Latinos has its roots in anti-immigrant attitudes
sweeping the country.123 Although a recent report found that “nativist extremist” groups, defined as
groups that “harass and confront” persons they consider to be “undocumented”, decreased last year
to 184, the report stated that the reduction in groups was due in significant measure to “the way that
the movement was co-opted as state legislatures began passing draconian legislation meant to punish
undocumented immigrants, effectively stealing the issue away from the nativist groups.”124
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Violence Against Latinos
Violence Against Latinos continued
exacerbate access to justice
for many Hispanic [domestic
violence] victims: lack of adequate
language access to legal and social
services, law enforcement and
the courts; the limited number
of lawyers who understand
domestic and sexual violence and
are able to provide culturally
competent assistance to Latina
victims; the added complexities
and greater vulnerability for
undocumented survivors who
often find that their immigration
status is an additional tool of
abuse; Department of Homeland
Security programs, such as 287(g)
and Secure Communities, that
blur the lines between ICE and
local law enforcement and make
it much more difficult for victims
of abuse to feel safe in calling the
police; growing anti-immigrant
sentiment and confusion about
federal and state laws that
further isolate victims of violence
from accessing critical services;
and lack of adequate access to
resources to build the capacity of
community-based organizations
in Latino communities to assist
victims of domestic and sexual
violence and enhance prevention
Rosie Hidalgo, JD, Director of Public Policy, Casa
de Esperanza, Commissioner, ABA Commission
on Domestic Violence, Written Submission, Miami
Hearing, p. 1.
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Violence against Latinos based on other identity
and status indicators includes violence based on
gender identity and citizenship status. A recent
report based on data collected by programs
working within LGBTQ communities described
violence against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
Transgendered individuals, and found that people
of color and immigrants were disproportionately
impacted by hate violence in 2011.125 The report
found that Latino survivors and victims were 29%
of all survivors and victims, the second largest
survivor/victim group, and reflected a 5% increase
from the prior year’s report.126 The report also
found that undocumented survivors and victims
were overrepresented in the data compared
to their numbers in the general population in
Latinas may also face gender-based violence as
targets of sex and labor trafficking, domestic
violence and sexual harassment at work and in
“Police harassment has been a pervasive
problem for Latino LGBT. Twenty percent
report that it’s been the most pervasive
homophobic experience in their lives.”
Edwin Emilio Corbin-Gutierrez, Association of Latino Men for
Action, Midwest Hearing, Chicago, IL, November 12, 2010, Tr. 144.
Voices from the Latino community
ccording to the 2011 National Survey of Latinos by the Pew Hispanic Center,129 slightly
over half of Latinos most often describe themselves based on their family’s country of
national origin.130 When asked to specify their race, 36% of survey respondents chose
“white”, 26% chose “some other race”, and 25% chose “Hispanic or Latino”. Thus,
although the government categorizes Latinos as an ethnic group that can be of any race, the report
found that, “the government’s system of ethnic and racial labeling does not fit easily with Latinos’
own sense of identity.”131
The survey respondents divided evenly on their American identity. According to the survey report,
“47% say they think of themselves as `a typical American’ while an identical share say they think of
themselves as `very different’ from a typical American.”132 However, there was a significant difference
between native-born and foreign-born Latinos, with almost double the native born (66%) compared
to the foreign born (34%) saying they think of themselves as “a typical American.”133
In a 2010 National Survey of Latinos by the Pew Hispanic Center, 61% of Latinos indicated that
“discrimination against Hispanics is a `major problem’ preventing Hispanics in general from
succeeding in America….”134 In addition, 34% of respondents said “they, a member of their family
or a close friend have experienced discrimination in the past five years because of their race or ethnic
As for the causes of discrimination, according to the 2010 National Survey of Latinos, of the
respondents who were provided with four choices for the biggest cause of discrimination against
Latinos, 36% percent selected immigration status as the biggest cause, 21% selected skin color, 20%
chose language skills, and 17% chose income and education levels.136
Notwithstanding the obstacles posed by discrimination, according to the 2011 National Survey of
Latinos, 75% of Latinos “say that most people can get ahead if they are willing to work hard….”137
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Commission Fact-gathering and deliberative Process
n its first year,138 the Commission implemented an ambitious agenda, centered on its factfinding process, which included hosting six public hearings and eight stakeholder meetings
across the United States, cosponsoring a Law Student Forum, and meeting with representatives
from ABA entities, the federal government and nonprofit organizations. A total of over 120
persons testified or provided information to the Commission through this process. The Commission
also actively participated in ABA events and governance, including cosponsoring Association
programming and successfully presenting to the House of Delegates the Commission’s first
From 2011-2012, during its second year,139 the Commission proceeded to discuss and analyze the
testimony and additional information collected during its inaugural year. On November 12, 2011,
the Commission held an all day retreat during which the members discussed the information
accumulated during the first year. The members considered data and testimony submitted to the
Commission, and data and other information available from the Commission’s independent review of
the existing scholarly research and literature on Latinos.
This section of the Report describes the Commission’s fact-gathering process as it evolved during its
first year, and leading to its deliberative process in its second year.140
Regional Public Hearings
In furtherance of its mandate, and as part of its fact finding, the Commission embarked on a series of
public hearings across the country, to identify the most pressing issues facing the United States Latino
Community, and to determine how the ABA could best address these issues.141 The Commission
selected six hearing locations, which provided Commission Members with an opportunity to collect
information on Latinos from different regions of the country, and allowed access to the diverse
national origin groups which constitute the Latino Community in the United States.142 To encourage
broad participation in the hearings, the Commission issued public announcements of the hearings in
the respective regions and solicited requests to submit and present testimony before the Commission.
Electronic submission forms were featured on the Commission’s webpage.
Over the course of the year the Commission received testimony from approximately 80 individuals.
The testimony addressed a range of issues that reflect matters of region-specific concern, as well as
issues of national urgency for the broad Latino Community. The Commission received testimony
on the following topics: housing, foreclosures and homelessness; criminalization of immigrants;
access to the courts; issues impacting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Latinos; issues facing
disabled Latinos; the legal landscape and its impact on Latinos; voting rights and responsibilities;
Latino youth and the educational pipeline; Latino farmers rights; discrimination against Latinas at
the workplace; legal services access; the DREAM Act; transnational Latino communities, including
the issues affecting Puerto Ricans and Dominicans; criminal consequences of immigration law
and policy; violence against Latinos; domestic violence; health care access, including access for
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Commission Fact-Gathering & Deliberativw Process continued
Spanish speakers; environmental justice; Latinos in the military; the criminal justice system and
incarceration; Latinos in the media; Latinos in the legal profession. The witnesses and their
testimony topics are presented below, by hearing venue and date.
1. Midwest Hearing—Chicago
The Commission held its first public hearing
in the Midwest, in Chicago, Illinois, at Loyola
University Chicago Law School, on November
12, 2010. The following witnesses testified
before the Commission:
Commission Member Janet Murguia, President
and CEO, National Council of La Raza, testified
on the State of Latinos in the United States.
Honorable Jesse Reyes, Circuit Court of Cook
County, Chancery Division, and Dulce Quintero,
Program Director for La Casa Norte, testified
on the Housing Crisis, Foreclosures and
Homelessness in the Latino Community.
Juan Salgado, President and CEO of Instituto del
Progreso Latino, and Fred Tsao, Policy Director
of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and
Refugee Rights, testified on the Criminalization
of Immigrants.
Anita Alvarez, Cook County State’s Attorney,
testified on Access to the Courts.
The Commission also received in person
and written testimony submissions from the
Hispanic National Bar Association (Robert
Maldonado), the Association of Latino Men
for Action (Edwin Emilio Corbin-Gutierrez),
Wisconsin Hispanic Lawyers Association (Adria
D. Maddaleni), Chicago Commission on Human
Relations (Refugio Gonzalez), Access Living
(Renee Luna), Legal Assistance Foundation of
Metropolitan Chicago and Mujeres Latinas en
Accion (Adela Carlin), and the Chicago Housing
Authority (Edie Diaz).
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2. First West Coast Hearing—San Francisco
The Commission held its second public hearing and
first West Coast hearing in San Francisco, California,
at the San Francisco Unified School District, on
January 13, 2011. The following witnesses testified
before the Commission:
Commission Member Thomas Saenz, President and
General Counsel of the Mexican American Legal
Defense and Educational Fund, testified on the
Legal Landscape and its Impact on Latinos in the
Robert Rubin, Director of Litigation, California
Voting Rights Institute, Lawyers Committee for Civil
Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, testified on
Voting Rights and Responsibilities.
Ruthe Ashley, State Bar of California, and Armando
Castro, Hispanic National Bar Foundation, testified
on Latino Youth and the Educational Pipeline.
Fred Pfaeffle, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil
Rights, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Juan
Sanchez, New Mexico Land Grants Council, testified
about Latino Farmers.
Arcelia Hurtado, Executive Director of Equal Rights
Advocates, testified on Latinas in the Workplace.
Jose Padilla, Executive Director, and Dan Torres,
Attorney, California Rural Legal Services, testified on
Latinos and Access to Legal Services.
The Commission also heard in-person testimony
from four immigrant Latina/o students about their
experiences coming to the U.S. and striving to
complete their education. Director of the University
of California at Berkley pre law society, Tahitia
Dean, and former President of the Santa Clara Bar
Association, Christopher Ariola, testified about the
challenges facing undergraduate Latina/o students,
including severe underrepresentation on campus
and increased tuition.
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3. East Coast Hearing—New York City
The Commission held its third public hearing on the
East Coast in New York City, at New York University
School of Law, on March 25, 2011. The following
witnesses testified before the Commission:
Jose Luis Morin, Professor and Director of the
Puerto Rican Research and Public Policy Institute
at John Jay College, City University of New York,
testified on Transnational Latino Communities in
the United States, specifically on the Puerto Rican
Zenaida Mendez, President and Founder of the
National Dominican Women’s Caucus, testified on
Transnational Latino Communities in the United
States, specifically on the Dominican Community.
Manuel Vargas, Senior Counsel at the Immigrant
Defense Project, testified on Violence and Criminal
Justice in the Latino Community, specifically on the
impact on the Latino Community of ImmigrationRelated Criminal Laws.
David Charney, Staff Attorney, Center for
Constitutional Rights, testified on Violence
and Criminal Justice in the Latino Community,
specifically about Police Brutality and the New York
City Police Department.
Richard Rivera, Project Coordinator, Civil Rights
Protection Project and former police officer, testified
on Police Corruption and Racial Profiling in New
Juliana, Latina Domestic Violence Survivor, testified
about her personal experience as a domestic
violence survivor and the legal challenges she
Theo Oshiro, Director of Health Advocacy and
Support Services, Make the Road New York, testified
about the Urban Environment and Latino Health,
specifically about the challenges Latinos face in
seeking bilingual medical and prescription services.
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Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director, United Puerto
Rican Organization of Sunset Park (UPROSE), testified about
the Urban Environment and Latino Health, specifically
about environmental justice issues impacting the Latino
Larry Schwartztel, Staff Attorney, Racial Justice Program,
American Civil Liberties Union, testified on Education and
Latino Youth, specifically the school to prison pipeline.
Carmen Mercado, Professor Emeritus, Department of
Education for Hunter College, City University of New York,
testified on Education and Latino Youth.
The Commission also received in person testimony from
survivors of violence and their families Ryan Nuñez,
survivor of police violence, and his mother Rebecca Nuñez,
and Altagracia Mayi, mother of Manuel Mayi, hate crime
4. Southeast Hearing—Miami
The Commission held its fourth public hearing in the
Southeast in Miami, Florida, on May 20, 2011, at MiamiDade College. The following witnesses testified before
the Commission:
Victoria Mendez and Roland Sanchez-Medina,
respectively, President and Immediate Past-President of
the Cuban American Bar Association, testified on the
experiences of Latino attorneys in Florida.
Raquel Regalado, School Board Member, Miami-Dade
County Public schools District 6, testified on the
Educational Attainment of Latino Students.
Alex Acosta, Dean, Florida International University
College of Law and former U.S. Attorney in Florida,
testified on the Educational Attainment of Latino
Students, specifically the issues facing law students.
Helen Aguirre Ferre, Opinion Page Editor, Diario Las
Americas, Chair of Miami-Dade College, testified on
Transnational Latino Communities, specifically on the
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Jorge Mursuli, President and CEO, Democracía USA,
testified about Voting Rights.
Alan Pascal, President, Broward County Hispanic
Bar Association, testified about Voting Rights,
specifically on judicial elections in Broward County.
Michelle Ortiz, Director, LUCHA Program Florida
Immigrant Advocacy Center (FIAC), testified on
Human Trafficking.
Carlos J. Martinez, Public Defender, Miami-Dade
County, testified on Due Process and Barriers to
Access to the Courts.
Robert Parks, Member, ABA Standing Committee
on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants, testified on
Language Barriers and Access to the Courts, and
discussed the Committee’s proposed resolution on
national standards and practices for language access
to the courts.
Roberto Cruz, Managing Attorney, Community Legal
Services of Mid-Florida, Inc., testified on Consumer
Carlos Rodriguez-Vidal, testified on Transnational
Latino Communities in the United States,
specifically about the issues facing the population of
the Island of Puerto Rico.
Myriam Marquez, Editorial Page Editor, Miami
Herald, provided closing remarks.
5. Southwest Hearing—Austin
The Commission held its fifth public hearing in the
Southwest on June 20, 2011, at Austin City Hall in
Austin, Texas. The following witnesses testified before the
LM Garcia y Griego, Director, University of New Mexico’s
Southwest Hispanic Research Institute, testified on Latinos
in the Southwest.
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Norma Cantu, Professor of Law and Education,
University of Texas Law School at Austin, testified
about Equity in Education.
Adrienna Wong, Limon Public Interest Fellow,
American Civil Liberties Union, Texas, testified about
the Latino Federal Prison Population.
Dr. Vincent Fonseca, Former State Epidemiologist,
Texas Department of State Health Services, testified
on Latino Health.
Nina Perales, Director of Litigation, Mexican
American Legal Defense and Educational Fund,
testified on Electoral Districts.
Carlos Martinez, president, National Veterans
Outreach Program, American GI Forum, testified
about Latino Veterans.
Fernando Garcia, Executive Director, Border Network
for Human Rights, testified on Border Control and
Representative Trey Martinez Fisher, Texas House
of Representatives, testified on Anti-Immigrant
Legislation SB 1070.
Arturo Zertuche, National Director-SCSCP, SER-Jobs
for Progress National, Inc., testified about Latino
The Commission also heard brief in person
summaries of written testimony submissions from the
following witnesses:
Carlos Salinas, Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, Austin,
Texas, testified about domestic violence and the need
for multiple language services.
Honorable John Vasquez, Austin Municipal Court,
testified about the criminal justice system.
Fred Pfaffle, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil
Rights, U.S. Department of Agriculture, testified
about the USDA Hispanic and Women Relief Funds
and Claims Process.
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James Harrington, Executive Director, Texas
Civil Rights Project, testified about wage theft.
Hector Gausine, DREAM Act student, testified
about his personal experiences and the need
for passage of the Act.
6. Second West Coast Hearing—Los Angeles
The Commission held its sixth public hearing and second West Coast hearing in Los Angeles,
California, on July 12, 2011, at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law. This
final hearing featured the following witnesses who testified before the Commission:
Alex Nogales, President and CEO, National Hispanic Media Coalition, testified on Latinos in
the Media and Film.
Tony Plana, Actor and Director, testified on Latinos in the Media and Film, specifically on his
experiences as a Latino actor.
Capitan David C. Iglesias, JAG, U.S. Navy and Prosecutor, Office of Military Prosecutions,
testified about Latinos in the Military.
Victor Narro, Project Director, UCLA Downtown Labor Center, testified about Latino Service
and Farm Workers.
Maggie Cervantes, New Economics for Women, testified about Latina Economic
Jessica Karp, Staff Attorney, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, testified on Secure
Esther Limm and Jessica Price, Jails Project, American Civil Liberties Union of Southern
California, testified about the Latino Prison Population in State and County Jails.
Fernando Rejon, Urban Peace Academy Manager, The Advancement Project, testified about
Latino Gangs and Juvenile Justice.
Marcia Davalos, Director of Regional Networks, Latino Coalition for a Healthy Los Angeles,
testified on Latino Access to Health Care.
The Commission also heard brief in-person summaries of written testimony submissions
from the following witnesses:
Nancy Meza, UCLA Alumna, testified in support of the DREAM Act.
Victor Acevedo, President, Mexican American Bar Association (MABA), testified about MABA’s
collaborative work with Mexico.
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B. Latino Law Students Forum
On March 11, 2011, the Commission co-sponsored with the Hispanic National Bar Association
(HNBA) a Forum with Latino Law Students, held during the HNBA midyear meeting in New
Orleans.145 The Forum was intended to provide an opportunity for Latina and Latino law students
to discuss the issues faced by these students in the law school admissions process, during law school,
and immediately following graduation from law school. The HNBA midyear meeting is also the
site for the HNBA annual moot court competition, generally attended by hundreds of law students
competing in or attending the competition. The joint program sought to capitalize on this gathering
of mostly Latina and Latino law students.
During the Forum, a panel of invited witnesses who work directly with law students spoke on
the challenges facing Latina and Latino law students, and the programs that seek to address those
challenges. The witnesses were: Edward Carlson, HNBA Law Student Division146; Barbara Barreno,
Chair, National Latina/o American Law Students Association147; Sonji Patrick, Education Director,
LatinoJustice/PRLDEF148; Sannestine Fortin, Student Ambassador, Council on Legal Education
Opportunity149; and Natacha Carbajal, Chair, HNBA National Mentoring Program.150
The witnesses addressed the following topics: the college to legal education pipeline; financial and
academic barriers to higher education and law school admissions; transition from college to law
school; mentorship programs; existing pre-law programs; need for Latina and Latino law professors
to provide students with support within law schools; need to increase the number of Latina and
Latino law students in order to energize the Latino affinity groups; the groups’ needs for financial
support from law schools; the LSAT as a barrier to Latina and Latino admissions; bar passage
support; and the need for mentorship early in the education process.
In addition, Mr. Carlson summarized reports from students in 13 regions describing their experiences.
The student feedback indicated that first generation students know little about the law school
admissions process; the application process and law school costs are often insurmountable and affect
student selection of which law school to attend; students do part time programs which adversely
affect their ability to participate in externship which are important to their professional development;
students lack mentors; there is a need for Latinos at the legislative level; there is a need for diversity
in the Boardroom. He presented the following recommendations: increase the audience for prelaw
programs; provide cost-saving webinars and podcasts; and coordinate mentorship programs.
Immediately following the testimony the attendees, including witnesses and Commission
Members,151 divided into breakout groups for a working lunch session during which they continued
the discussion of issues raised by the witnesses and additional issues of concern raised by the
students in attendance. Recommended questions were provided to the groups to initiate the
discussion. After lunch the participants reconvened and group representatives reported back on the
issues raised in the groups. During this open forum discussion Commissioners had an opportunity
to ask questions of participants.
Participants raised the following issues during the open forum: LSAT preparation costs; the difficult
transition experienced by Latinos who go to law school outside of their communities, or attend law
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school in areas where there are few Latino students and professionals; need for mentoring during
law school; how some Latinos who may not want to be visible or “standout” do not take advantage
of networking and mentorship opportunities; when students may feel they are imposing on Latino
lawyers and mentors; students lack of information about the admissions process, LSAT preparation
materials, and financial aid; students need for information about academic preparation in college,
including course selection and ways to develop critical thinking skills; the fact that some Latinos do
not pursue programs focusing on minorities or Latinos; some Latinos identify by subgroup and not
only as Latino or Hispanic; and the affect of time spent away from studying to fundraise for studentinitiated programs.
C. Stakeholder Meetings
In addition to the public hearings, the Commission held small, invitation-only group meetings with
organizational representatives working on issues impacting the Latino Community. These meetings
provided an opportunity for in-depth discussion on issues raised in the hearings and in these small
The Commission held stakeholder meetings during the following Commission sponsored events:
1. South
Commission members held a meeting with representatives from the Esperanza Charter School
focusing on Latino Charter School in New Orleans, Louisiana to discuss the educational and social
services challenges facing the students in the school, and the families in the community.
Following the Law Student Forum, Commission members in attendance met with Mickey
Landry, the Head Master of the Esperanza Charter School, the only Latino Charter School
in New Orleans,152 and Dan Schwarzenbach. During the meeting the participants discussed
the academic and socio-economic challenges facing the students and the Charter School.
The School was created by the State in 2006 and is located in a predominantly Latino
neighborhood with many children who do not speak English as their first language. They
are working with the Hispanic Bar and lawyers to improve opportunities for the students.
Currently there are 420 students at Esperanza Charter School, most from Nicaragua and El
Salvador, with a small number of Mexican and Puerto Rican students, and an even smaller
number of White and African American students. They noted that in order for the Latino
students to succeed they must learn the language. The teachers are required to know the
students individually and work with the parents to help the children. The staff is bilingual
and the School partners with organizations like Catholic Charities to provide social services
to the families. The environment focuses on academics. The unique issues for the students
at this School are that they are outside the social mainstream, and do not feel they are part of
America because they are so new to the area. They also live in poverty. There has been some
tension between the African American and Latino students and they are working on this issue.
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2. East Coast
The Commission held three meetings in New York City. One meeting with representatives
from Latina organizations, a union representative, and the Latino Leadership Alliance of New
Jersey. A second meeting with local Latino bar associations from New York and New Jersey.
A third meeting with immigrant advocates. These meetings focused on the most significant
issues currently facing the respective constituencies represented by the attendees. These
issues included the lack of support systems for Latinas, lack of quality health care, patriarchy
within the Latino community and the promotion of sexism and sexist stereotypes on Spanish
language media, immigration status and its effect on labor participation at the workplace,
entrepreneurship among Latinas and within the Dominican community, stereotypes of
Latinas as not smart or as failing to contribute to the community, severe health problems
of Puerto Rican and Dominican women who worked in the garment industry, Latina home
attendants treated terribly and asked to provide work outside their job description, Latino
youth are more internet connected, students face financial barriers to attending four-year
colleges, the gender gap in college with more Latinas compared to Latinos attending, LGBT
issues within the Latino community and the need to address homophobia, the need for
mentorship programs, how Latinas do not know about their rights at the workplace and are
harassed and discriminated against, the abusive treatment of immigrants at the workplace,
the deportation of many legal permanent residents due to the focus on low level crimes, the
increased number of ICE raids in New York City, Secured Communities’ negative impact
on Latinos and its uneven application throughout New York State, racial profiling by law
enforcement, anti-immigrant ordinances on Long Island, the wage abuse and physical attacks
on day laborers, Domestic Workers Rights Act, experiences of mixed-status families in New
York, diversity in law enforcement, law school pipeline, mentorship for law students and
newly admitted lawyers, and birthright citizenship.
3. Southeast
The Commission held a meeting with representatives from local Latino bar associations in
Florida, focusing on the continued need for diversity on the bench, immigration reform,
efforts to end divisiveness among various Latino organizations by working together,
mentorship programs, how ABA programs can assist Latino professionals, and legal services
for moderate and low-income clients.
4. Southwest
The Commission held meetings with representatives from legal services, small business
owners, and Latino bar associations. These meetings focused on immigration issues,
education of Latinos and segregated schools, DREAM Act, wage abuse of undocumented
workers, language access to the courts, developing Latino leadership within the legal
profession, local law enforcement of immigration laws, negative impact of secured
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communities, domestic violence and VAWA projects, opportunities for ABA amicus briefs
on issues impacting the Latino Community, challenges facing Latino business to securing
business contracts, wage abuse of Latino employees, experiences of Latina business owners,
access to Latino lawyers for Latino business owners, challenges associated with E-verify
use, access to capital, women and minority business centers, diversity of experience of the
U.S. Latino community, increased deportation of Latinos, the need for mentorship across
generations, the benefits to students of early exposure to the legal profession and the law
school pipeline, and job placement and recruitment.
5. West Coast
The Commission Members attended meetings with representatives from LGBTQ associations
and Latino bar associations. These meetings focused on challenges affecting Latinos
within the LGBTQ community, homelessness, HIV infection and other health care issues,
discrimination in social and legal services provision, language barriers, challenges facing
Latino trans individuals, difficulty in securing assistance from Latino organizations for
persons who are LGBTQ, lack of information about LGBTQ Latinos, recent studies by
the Williams Institute at UCLA, hate crime against Latinos based on sexual and gender
identity, how gender identity-based discrimination or misinformation affects access to
social and medical services and shelters, Latina lesbians in the military, lack of legislative
legal protections based on gender identity, LGBTQ youths’ negative health outcomes, samesex couples in rural communities, judicial appointments, insufficient numbers of Latino
lawyers relative to the Latino population, and ABA programs that may assist Latina lawyers’
professional development.
6. Midwest
The Commission held a meeting with representatives from the Legal Assistance Foundation
of Metropolitan Chicago (LAF), focusing on the work and challenges of the office. The LAF
has approximately 15 people on staff, including 85 lawyers. It runs a statewide Migrant
Project which serves a client base that is approximately 99% Latino. They represent seasonal
workers. The project’s biggest challenge is dealing with the isolation of the clients. The issues
for the female clients in this project are domestic violence, trafficking and sexual harassment.
LAF members from the following LAF Practice Groups attended the meeting: Employment,
Migrant Project, and Community Engagement Project. The substantive areas they address
in the various LAF Practice Groups include labor trafficking, wage theft, sexual harassment
of female clients, and migrant workers rights. Staff discussed the need for attorneys to work
on these issues and the lack of bilingual and bicultural staff. They also noted that there are
no attorney’s fees for migrant worker cases. They recommended the ABA identify pro bono
counsel to work on wage theft, and other migrant worker issues. They also suggested the
ABA and law school clinics consider training law firm volunteers who wish to assist on cases,
but who lack appropriate and sufficient training.
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D. Meetings with ABA Entities
The Commission held stakeholder meetings with representatives from the Standing Committee on
Election Law, Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, Commission on Domestic Violence
and the Commission on Immigration.153 The meeting participants discussed the work of the
Commission and the respective Association entities, and explored potential collaborations.
During these meetings, the participants raised the following issues:
Commission on Immigration: The need for diversity on the Immigration Court; anti-notario fraud
campaign; projects focused on people in immigration detention; same-sex partners’ immigration
issues; efforts to secure right to counsel in immigration proceedings; the need for bilingual
immigration lawyers; birthright citizenship.
Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities: Defining race and addressing the myth of a post
racial society; public education; challenges faced by LGBT members in minority communities;
human trafficking; mortgage modification scams.
Standing Committee on Election Law: Voter participation and redistricting; genetic testing; social
justice and health disparities; juvenile drug courts; public interest career pathways.
E. Meetings with Government and Non-Profit Organizations
The Commission met with a representative from the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) to discuss
the NCLR’s data collection and research papers on issues relevant to the Commission’s work. The
Commission also met with a lawyer from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
(HUD) to discuss HUD initiatives addressing housing matters affecting Latinos, including the
foreclosure crisis.154
F. Meeting with the U.S. Census Bureau
The Commission held a special meeting with representatives from the U.S. Census Bureau, Partnership
and Data Services Program (PDSP) during its visit to the Southeast. During this meeting, the PDSP
presented to the Commission its recent U.S. Census 2010 data on the Latino population. They also
introduced the Commission to the various interactive programs available on the Census website.
G. ABA 2011 Midyear Meeting—Atlanta, GA
At the ABA Midyear Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, on February 11, 2011, Commission Chair Cesar
Alvarez provided an update to the Board of Governors on the work of the Commission. Chair
Alvarez also provided an update to the Women’s Caucus and the Minority Caucus of the ABA House
of Delegates. Commissioner Thomas Saenz and Commissioner and Reporter Jenny Rivera also
attended. The Commission also held a meeting with the Southern Poverty Law Center, focusing on
the Center’s recent reports on Latinos and Latinas in the South.
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n the fall of 2010, the Commission collaborated with the ABA Standing Committee on Lawyer
Referral and Information Service in the development of an ABA Approved Attorney Referral
System for minimum wage, overtime, and family medical leave. This toll-free phone referral
service was funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. The Commission spearheaded the
translation of the referral service from English to Spanish, making sure that the translation was
culturally competent and linguistically sensitive to the diverse Spanish speaking communities. In
spring of 2011, the Commission also provided guidance to the ABA Center on Children and the Law
regarding the translation of its guides for fathers.
At the ABA 2011 Annual meeting, held August 4-9, 2011, in Toronto, Canada, the Commission
served as a co-sponsor and Members participated in two ABA programs. Commissioner Thomas
Saenz served as a panelist on the program entitled, The Battle Over Birthright Citizenship:
History, International Perspectives, and the Path Ahead. The program was sponsored by the ABA
Commission on Immigration, and also featured Dr. John C. Eastman, Honorable Bruce Einhorn,
Professor Roger Smith and Professor Margaret Stock. Commissioner and Commission Reporter
Professor Jenny Rivera served as a panelist on the program entitled, Facilitating Diversity: Similar
Countries, Different Experiences; How Historical Context Informs How We Address Diversity Today
in the U.S. and Canada. The program was sponsored by the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic
Diversity in the Profession, and also featured Fred W. Alvarez, Joseph K. West, Kate Boer, and
Associate Professor Sonia Lawrence, Osgoode School of Law at York University.
In addition to its participation in these CLE programs, the Commission provided a series of
briefings to ABA stakeholders, and addressed the California Delegation to the ABA and the Women’s
and Minority Caucuses. The Commission also helped convene a special breakfast of the Latino
members of the ABA House of Delegates. During the meeting, President Zack, Chair Alvarez,
Commissioner and Reporter Rivera and Commissioner Saenz, discussed the work-to-date of the
Commission, including preliminary observations based on the Commission’s public hearings, and
the Commission’s Resolution 303.155
ABA Meeting & Collaborations
The Commission joined approximately 16 other co-sponsors in support of the Standing Committee on
Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants’ proposed ABA Standards for Language Access in Courts.156 Resolution 113 passed at the 2012 Mid Year meeting, held in New Orleans, Louisiana, February 1-7, 2012.
he Commission successfully presented Resolution 303 to the Association House of Delegates for adoption as ABA policy at the 2011 Annual Meeting. Commission Chair Alvarez
and Commission Member Saenz presented Resolution 303 on birthright citizenship, which
urges Congress to reject any proposed amendment or efforts to limit or eliminate U.S. citizenship under the Constitution. The Resolution passed by voice vote.157 ABA co-sponsoring entities included the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, ABA Standing
Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants, ABA Commission on Immigration, ABA Commission on Youth at Risk, ABA Council on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Educational Pipeline, ABA
Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities and the ABA Section of Litigation.
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he Commission considered the many issues raised during the public hearings and
meetings with stakeholders, as well as the available research contained in the scholarly
literature on Latinos, and selected eight substantive areas to present in this Report. The
eight substantive areas are employment, housing, education, health, criminal justice,
voting rights, media and Latino images, and diversity in the legal profession. The
Commission selected these areas based on its conclusion that these are critical areas in which large
numbers of Latinos have significant unmet legal needs, and that the ability to respond to those legal
needs depends on an understanding of how Latino national origin, race, immigration, language, and
gender status are implicated in each of these areas.
Latinos, as a group, face obstacles to equality under the law, and have not yet reaped the full benefits
of U.S. political and economic systems. Many factors contribute to the difficulty Latinos face in
the United States, including current socio-economic
conditions in our diverse communities. The legal
“[O]ften discriminators choose barriers to Latinos’ access to justice and the courts
to engage in discrimination include: discrimination in employment and housing,
against Latinos by proxy. and the abuse of vulnerable Latino workers and tenants;
They don’t label what they a highly segregated public education system in which
the majority of Latino children attend public schools
are doing as discrimination
that do not have sufficient resources to address the
against Latinos per se, but as educational needs of Latino students, and which fails
discrimination on the basis of to provide a quality education in compliance with
language, accent, citizenship, constitutional and statutory requirements; limited
alienage, legal status or other access to integrated quality health care, compounded by
proxies they view as applying legal obstacles to health coverage and pharmacy services
in large part to the Latino for immigrant and Spanish monolingual and Spanishcommunity. This phenomenon dominant Latinos; denial of voting rights, including
the construction of legal obstacles to the exercise of
of discrimination by proxy has
the franchise and the selection of Latino candidates
precipitated a struggle ongoing that represent their concerns, and voter harassment;
in the legal community with and racial and ethnic profiling of Latinos in their
how to apply existing doctrines neighborhoods and their workplaces, facilitated and
discrimination sanctioned by government officials and policies.
against the Latino community.”
Thomas Saenz, President and General
Counsel, Mexican American Legal Defense and
Educational Fund, Testimony, First West Coast
Hearing, San Francisco, CA, January 13, 2011,
Tr. 27-28.
In this section, the Report presents within each
substantive area a brief explanation of the challenges
facing Latinos, and the representative statutory legal
framework applicable to the area.158 Federal and state
constitutional provisions, including due process and
equal protection guarantees, while not specifically
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Challenges Facing the Latino Community
Challenges Facing the Latino Community in the United States continued
mentioned in the subject area discussions, are broadly deployed in legal challenges on behalf of
Latinos. The Commission notes and recognizes the singular importance of constitutional provisions
to ensuring equality under the law. However, the descriptions included in this section of the Report
are intended to provide a nonexhaustive introductory survey to eight specific subject areas relevant
to Latinos in the United States.159
The Commission intends that this section of the Report provide guidance to assist the ABA as it
continues to identify and implement a comprehensive approach to addressing the legal issues
impacting the country’s largest ethnic group, and the challenges ABA members face in providing
legal services to Latino clients.
A. Employment
In the area of employment, Latinos continue
to face discrimination based on race, national
origin, language, sex, gender identity, and
immigration status. Unlawful practices create
significant barriers to Latino employment and
workplace productivity, and subject Latinos
to hostile environments where they are targets
of harassment, wage theft and, for some
Latinos, threats of deportation.
“With its current lack of both diversity
and cultural competence, the civil
rights enforcement system has been
simply unable to adequately enforce
anti-discrimination laws on behalf of
Janet Murguia, President and CEO, National Council of La
Raza, Written Testimony, November 12, 2010, pp. 10-11.
1. Employment and income status
According to a Department of Labor August
2010 report, Latinos have higher rates of
unemployment compared to Whites. The
Hispanic unemployment rate in 2009 was
12.1% compared with 8.5% for Whites.160
The unemployment rate varies somewhat
by age group. Thus, in 2008, Latinos
between 16 and 24 years old had a 13%
unemployment rate, and Latinos over 25
years old had a 6% unemployment rate.161
Employed Latinos have lower median
incomes than their White counterparts. In
2007, Latino males had a median income of
$33,000 compared to White males whose
median income was $50,000. Latino males
with at least a bachelor’s degree had a median
income of $54,000, compared to similarly
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“Hispanics who are both undocumented
and LGBT face intersecting discrimination
that leaves them vulnerable. For example,
Hispanics who are discriminated against
in employment or suffer bias-motivated
attacks often will not report violations
for fear of deportation.”
Robert Maldonado, Chair, LGBT Section, Hispanic National
Bar Association, Midwest Hearing, Chicago, IL, November
12, 2010, Tr. 141.
Challenges Facing the Latino Community in the United States continued
educated White males whose median income was $71,000. Latinas had a $30,000 median income
compared to White females who had a $38,000 median income. White females with at least a
bachelor’s degree had median earnings of $50,000 compared to $43,000 for Latinas with at least
a bachelor’s degree.162 Latino males with at least a doctorate or a first professional degree had a
median income of $80,000 compared to $100,000 for White males in this category.163
Latino workers constitute a vulnerable workforce, holding low paying jobs, and employed mostly
in the service industry. In contrast, Latinos are underrepresented in supervisory, managerial and
professional positions. According to the Department of Labor Current Population Survey in January
2011, 18.9% of Latinos worked in management, professional, and related occupations compared
with 37.9% of Whites; and 26.4% of Latinos worked in service occupations compared with 16.6%
of Whites in these occupations.164 The percentage of Latinas working in management and service
jobs was higher than Latino males: 15.3% of Latinos and 24.1% of Latinas worked in management
related positions, and 21.8% of Latinos and 33.2% of Latinas worked in service occupations.165
2. Discrimination at the workplace
At their workplaces Latinos face discrimination based on their race, national origin, language, sex,
gender identity, and immigration status. Latino workers are treated differently based on being Latino.
Latino workers are the targets of discriminatory practices and policies that limit their opportunities
and relegate them to low paying jobs, working long hours under stressful and oppressive working
conditions. Latinas are subject to sexual harassment and adverse treatment based on their gender and
race/ethnicity.166 Latina and Latino workers are admonished not to speak Spanish at the workplace.
The number of individual charges of discrimination in employment, based on national origin,
filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has increased steadily from 1997 to
2011, from 8.3% to 11.8% of all charges.167 In two states with large Latino populations the total
national origin individual charge filings for year 2011 were a significant percentage of the total
state’s filings, as well as a significant percentage of the total U.S. national origin charges: California’s
national origin charges were 18.9% of the state’s total charges and 11.5% of the total U.S. national
origin charges; and the national origin charges for Texas were 17.5% of all the state’s charges, and
represented 14.7% of the total U.S. national origin charges.168
3. Wage theft
Latinos are also targets of wage theft, including employer violations of minimum wage laws.169
The Commission heard testimony of how immigrants, including out-of-status immigrants, are
vulnerable to this type of exploitive practice. The data indicate that minimum wage law violations
are widespread and that all workers are vulnerable to this unlawful practice, but that foreign-born
Latinos experience minimum wage violations at particularly high levels. For example, a 2008
survey of 4,387 workers in low-wage industries in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City, found
that 25.9% of all workers in the sample experienced minimum wage violations; the rate was almost
one third for Latino workers,170 and foreign-born Latino workers had a 35% rate of minimum wage
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Challenges Facing the Latino Community in the United States continued
violation, which was “double the rate of U.S.-born Latinos and nearly six times the rate of U.S.-born
Whites.”171 The survey also found that gender, as well as nativity, race, and ethnicity affected worker
minimum wage violation rates, and that women experienced higher violation rates. Latina workers
experienced a 40% minimum wage violation rate compared to 24% for Latino male workers.172
Echoing the testimony presented to the Commission, the survey report authors concluded that wage
theft has a devastating impact on workers, communities and the economy.
Wage theft not only depresses the already meager earnings of low-wage workers, it also
adversely impacts their communities and the local economies of which they are part. Lowincome families spend the large majority of their earnings on basic necessities, such as food,
clothing and housing. Their expenditures circulate through local economies, supporting
businesses and job. Wage theft robs local communities of this spending, and ultimately
limits economic growth.173
4. Hazardous workplaces
In many industries Latinos confront dangerous and unhealthy environments. Their workplaces are
often some of the most hazardous in the country—from working in environments surrounded by
toxic chemicals, to workplaces in which they handle dangerous machinery, and workplaces where
the nature of the work causes debilitating illnesses.174 Conditions are especially harsh for agricultural
workers and workers in food processing factories where a significant number of workers are Latino.
According to a 2010 report based on interviews with Latina farm and factory workers, Latinas
suffered “injuries from the repetitive strenuous movement required to keep up with the voracious
production demands.”175 The farm workers were “sickened by pesticides and toxic chemicals.” The
meat and poultry processing workers reported laboring “long hours in bone-chilling temperatures
with inadequate safety equipment.” Children who work in the fields are especially vulnerable to
exploitation and the effects of dangerous working conditions, including pesticide related illnesses,
because of their developing bodies.176 Restaurant workers also suffer from exposure to cleaning
chemicals and dangerous working environments that may result in burns or cuts. 177
5. Legal framework
Federal statutes and regulations that have provided some protections to Latinos in the employment
context include: Title VII, prohibiting discrimination by certain employers, based on inter alia, race,
national origin, and sex;178 the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title I, prohibiting discrimination
on the basis of disability;179 the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, prohibiting discrimination
based on age;180 Age Discrimination Act of 1975, prohibiting discrimination based on age in
federally financed programs;181 Fair Labor Standards Act, setting forth fair labor standards and
providing certain protections for certain employees;182 Immigration Reform and Control Act of
1986, prohibiting discrimination based on national origin, and in certain circumstances, based on
citizenship, however this section does not protect an “unauthorized alien”;183 and Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission Guidelines, including, §1604.11 (sexual harassment),184 §1606.1 (national
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Challenges Facing the Latino Community in the United States continued
origin definition), §1606.2 (disparate impact applies to national origin), §1606.7 (English-only
rules), §1606.8 (harassment based on national origin).
These statutes, and state statutes and local laws that provide similar protections,185 have significantly
improved employment opportunities for Latinos, and reduced workplace hostility at their places
of employment. Nevertheless, these laws are no panacea and have significant limitations. For
example, they suffer from inadequate enforcement by the federal government, barriers to securing
plaintiff’s counsel, exclusion of certain categories of workers and employers from statutory coverage,
including, for example domestic workers and small employers, and judicial interpretations that
narrow the scope of the statutory protections, place procedural hurdles on plaintiffs, and increase the
plaintiff’s burden of proof.186
B. Housing
Studies show that segregated neighborhoods are still very much a reality
in America. In areas with large African-American populations, declines
in segregation have been minimal or nonexistent, and levels of Hispanic
segregation are rising, in part due to immigration.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, “Live Free,” Annual Report on Fair Housing FY 2010187
Latinos are subjected to a range of housing discriminatory practices which limit their access to
housing opportunities, regardless of income status.188 These include predatory lending, steering,
and discrimination based on race, national origin, sex, and gender identity.189
1. Discrimination in lending
Today, 47.8% of Latinos are homeowners, compared to 74.4% of Whites, over a four percent drop
from 2007.190 There are several obstacles faced by Latino prospective and existing homeowners,
including foreclosures due to the housing bubble, and persistent residential housing segregation.
While the housing bubble and the mortgage foreclosure crisis deeply affected Americans throughout
the country, Latinos have been disproportionately affected by the rate of foreclosures. One report
concluded that among recent borrowers, nearly 8% of Latinos lost their homes to foreclosures,
almost double the 4.5% rate for Whites.191 The report also found that Latinos “are more likely to be
at imminent risk of foreclosure” than non-Latino White borrowers.192 The report estimated that 17%
of Latino homeowners “already have lost or are at imminent risk of losing their home.”193
2. Segregation and unequal housing opportunities
Discrimination in housing against Latinos based on national origin resulting in segregation and
unequal housing opportunities is a persistent problem. Each year from 2007 to 2010, of the total
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Challenges Facing the Latino Community in the United States continued
annual housing discrimination complaints filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development and Federal Housing Assistance Program agencies, approximately 8% charged national
origin discrimination against Hispanics or Latinos.194
Latinos live in segregated neighborhoods throughout the country.195 A recent study on segregation
of Black and Latino children found that from 2000-2010 residential segregation in the 100 largest
metropolitan areas (where the majority of Black and Latino children live) fell only moderately.196
The study also found that “Latino segregation remained in the upper end of the moderate range”
of the dissimilarity index, a segregation measure applied by the researchers.197 With respect to the
experience of segregated living, the researchers noted that:
Decades of research on residential segregation in the U.S. reveal that black and Latino
children grow up not only in separate neighborhoods than their white peers, but in largely
unequal neighborhoods as well. Neighborhoods where minority children reside have
much lower homeownership rates, lower income levels, higher rates of unemployment and
higher poverty than those where white children live. In fact, in very few instances do the
very best neighborhoods where black and Hispanic children live have opportunities and
amenities close to the average level of neighborhoods where white children live. Disparities
in opportunities remain even when comparing poor minority children with poor white
In the wave of anti-immigrant lawmaking in recent years, Latino immigrants have also faced the
danger of local laws mandating that landlords check immigration status or that localities check
immigration status before providing a required permit to rent.199 3. Legal framework
Latino plaintiffs and their advocates have relied on various
federal statutes to address discrimination related to housing.
These statutes include: the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits
discrimination in the sale or rental of housing, and prohibits
discriminatory advertisements, based on race, color, sex,
familial status, national origin, or handicap;200 the Equal
Credit Opportunity Act, which prohibits discrimination on
the basis of race with respect to credit transactions;201 Title
VI which prohibits discrimination based on race and national
origin in any program receiving federal financial assistance;202
and the Housing Community Development Act of 1974,
Title I, which prohibits discrimination based on race and
national origin in any program receiving federal financial
assistance.203 To the extent that federal statutes do not
address discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender
identity, several states prohibit discrimination in housing
based on these protected characteristics.204
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“These are young people who
study in our schools, they
play in our neighborhoods,
they’re friends with our kids,
they pledge allegiance to our
flag. They are Americans in
their heart, in their minds,
in every single away but one:
on paper.”
President Barack Obama, Remarks by the
President on Immigration, June 15, 2012,
Rose Garden, White House
Challenges Facing the Latino Community in the United States continued
C. Education
Latinos continue to face legal barriers to appropriately resourced public K-12 education, as well as
discrimination based on race, national origin, language, sex, gender identity, and immigration status.
Latinos have long fought for equal opportunities to adequate quality education, including access to
bilingual education programs and advance placement programs.
Latino students under 18 years old constitute the second largest group of students in the schools, and
are the fastest growing sector of the student population.205 In 2007-2008 Latino students constituted
21.2% of the public school elementary and secondary enrolled students.206 Regionally there is some
variability in population numbers, but there are consistently high numbers of Latino students. For
example, the percentage of public primary and secondary Latino students in 2007-2008 by region
was (in descending order): West, 38.4%; South, 20%; Northeast, 15.4%; and Midwest 8.5%.207
The future of the United States is inextricably linked to the success of this growing population of
students. They will be the future workers, business owners, voters, elected officials and leaders in the
legal profession. Nevertheless, by all measures the educational system is failing to adequately serve
the needs of Latino students, and prepare them for civic life. The result is a growing sense among
Latino students of despair, and disenchantment with American society. This sense of hopelessness
has affected the dreams of Latino youth. In 2004, less than one fourth of Latino 12th graders
(28.2%) expected to attain a bachelor’s degree.208
1. Segregated schools, educational inequality and limited educational opportunities
The majority of Latino children attend public schools, which are highly segregated and often
have low graduation rates. In 2006-2007, 40% of Latino students attended public schools whose
student population was 90-100% minority.209 This represents a disturbing reality for Latinos and,
as one scholar indicated, reflects segregation patterns worse than those that existed in 1988, when
Latinos were in schools “with average enrollments of one-third white, and one-third of Latinos were
in intensely segregated schools. Now [Latinos] are in schools with almost three-fourths minority
students on average and about 40% are in intensely segregated schools.”210
Latino students also attend schools that have large numbers of children living below the poverty
line. In 2006-2007, 40% of Latino students attended schools with 70—100% poor children, and
only one fifth of Latinos attend a school with 0-30% poor children, although the majority of white
students attend such schools.211 In the 2005-2006 school year, 46% of Latino and 44% of Black
“students composed the vast majority of students attending school in high-poverty urban areas,
while fewer than 10% of their White peers attended such schools.”212 Schools with large numbers
of children living in poverty have significant resource challenges, yet “some states with large Latino
populations spend significantly less on students in high-poverty school districts than those in lowpoverty districts.”213
Latino students have higher high school dropout rates, lower rates of high school completion,
and lower rates of participation in advance placement courses compared to White students. The
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Challenges Facing the Latino Community in the United States continued
percentage of 16-24 year old high school dropouts in 2007
who were Latino was 19.9%, compared with 6.1 % of White
students. The Latino dropout rate is affected by the higher
dropout rate for Latinos born out of the U.S., compared
with U.S.-born Latinos, 34.3% and 11.5%, respectively.214
For Whites born outside the U.S. the dropout rate was
21.2% and for Whites born in the U.S. the rate was 7.7.215
The disparity in high school graduation rates in 2007
between Latino and White students was almost 20%: Latino
students’ graduation rate was 62.3% compared with 80.3%
for White students.216 From 1999-2008, the number of
Latinos taking advance placement examinations increased
dramatically, although the number still lagged significantly
behind their White peers.217 In 2007, a mere 7% of Latinos
completed calculus and another 13% completed advance
science courses, compared with 16% and 20% of White
students, respectively.218 Moreover, “[s]egregated black and
Latino schools have less prepared teachers and classmates,
and lower achievement and graduation.”219
Young Latinas face additional challenges to success. A joint
effort by the National Women’s Law Center and the Mexican
American Legal Defense and Educational Fund surveyed
Latina high school students across the country and adult
program staff working with Latina students, and canvassed
the available academic literature on Latino students. The
organizations found that despite Latina students’ high
aspirations for their educational future, they had lower
expectations of actual educational attainment. These lower
expectations are due to a complex set of interdependent
factors, including poverty and limited access to quality
educational programs, language barriers, immigration status
of students and family members, diminished expectations
of education officials and relatives, gender stereotypes,
students’ parenting and care giving responsibilities, and
obstacles to parental involvement in schools.220 As other
studies indicate, the teenage pregnancy rate for Latinas
has decreased over the past few years, but nevertheless is
still higher than the rate for White female teens. In 2007,
Latinas 15-19 years old had a birth rate of 82 per 1,000,
compared with White female teens that had a rate of 27 per
1,000.221 This has an adverse impact on Latinas educational
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Nancy Meza, Dreamer
Challenges Facing the Latino Community in the United States continued
2. Higher education and affirmative action
The total number of Latino students enrolled in institutions of higher education is low. In 2008, the
total percentage of 18-24 year old Latinos enrolled in colleges and universities was 25.8%, compared
with 44.2% for Whites and 32.1% for Blacks.222 Moreover, a greater percentage of Latinas enrolled
in higher education institutions: 28.9% of Latinas compared with 23% of Latinos.223
In 2008, only 11% of Latinos, ages 25 to 29 had at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with 33% of
Whites.224 Of the degrees conferred on Latinos in 2008, 48% were bachelor’s degrees and 36% were
associate’s degrees. Master’s degrees accounted for 14% of the degrees conferred on Latinos, and
doctor’s degrees were .9%.225
Pre-college programs seek to better prepare students for college and to make them viable candidates
for acceptance in a highly competitive application process. However, there are not enough programs
to serve the growing Latino population and the resources for such programming are limited.
Latino students may also face government-imposed barriers to higher education. For example, some
states bar undocumented students from attending university, or charge these students out-of-state or
international tuition rates.226
The ability to develop programs that are designed for the needs of Latino students are also under
constant attack. Moreover, attempts to take national origin and race into consideration in the
admissions process are vulnerable to constitutional challenges. Although affirmative action has
provided opportunities for many students, the continued viability of affirmative action and its
applicability for the future generations of Latino students remains uncertain and contentious.227
3. English language learners
Over 4.6 million students enrolled in public school in the 2009-2010 school year were English
Language Learners (ELL)—students for whom English is a second language and who are not yet
proficient in English—and accounted for 9.7% of the total public school enrollment.228 Latino
students and their parents who are Limited English Proficient have faced obstacles to access to
education. Even with statutory mandates that seek to ensure access to educational services for
students, they and their families continue to face obstacles, for example, due to a lack of properly
drafted, language appropriate educational documents. Advocacy and legal recourse is particularly
difficult or an illusory remedy for parents and students who are LEP because of the language barriers
and lack of information on administrative protocols. Moreover, school districts can be resistant to
addressing the needs of ELL students and their parents, or simply fail to utilize available resources
that would permit them to better serve these students.229
4. Out-of-status immigrant students
In Plyler v. Doe,230 the Supreme Court prohibited discrimination against undocumented students.
Notwithstanding this decision, there are attacks on the rights of immigrant students to attend
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Challenges Facing the Latino Community in the United States continued
public schools. For example, localities request documentation, which intimidates parents and
increases fears of reporting by local authorities increasing the risk of deportation. This has serious
implications for the Latino community because the majority of the 800,000 undocumented
immigrant students in grades K through 12 are Latino.231
These efforts undermine education for immigrant students, flout legal requirements, and reflect a
wrongheaded approach to educational policy. Moreover, these illegal and discriminatory efforts
potentially discourage Latino students, regardless of their status, from staying in school, which puts
these students in peril of employment hardships in the future.
It is estimated that 1.4 million persons may be eligible for
deferred status under this policy, including 700,000 who are
under the age of 18 and currently enrolled in school.
Legislative efforts to provide a path to legalization for out-of-status youth recognize and support
educational success. The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM ACT),
was introduced August 1, 2001,232 and reintroduced almost a decade later on May 11, 2011. The
DREAM Act “provides a strong incentive for unauthorized children now enrolled in elementary or
secondary school to obtain a high school diploma and further education.” 233 This would be an
outcome that would benefit the students covered by the DREAM Act and have a positive impact
on the U.S. economy. It is morally the right thing to do. However, the bill has failed to pass and
advocates have turned to the states.234
Although legislative efforts at the federal level are stalled in Congress, on June 15, 2012, the
Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that pursuant to her
prosecutorial discretion, effective immediately, DHS would consider for deferred action for a two
year period certain young individuals brought into the U.S. as children.235 It is estimated that 1.4
million persons may be eligible for deferred status under this policy, including 700,000 who are
under the age of 18 and currently enrolled in school.236 The decision was lauded as a positive
step towards addressing the problems with the existing immigration system, and also of providing
some hope to students who would be covered by the DREAM Act.237 However, the policy does not
grant any substantive right,238 and does not provide a long-term solution to the immigration system
problems, which can only be addressed through appropriate immigration reform.
5. Legal framework
Latinos have relied on several federal statutes in their efforts to secure access to equal and
quality education. The following have proved indispensible in the legal struggle for educational
opportunity: Title VI, which prohibits discrimination based on race and national origin in any
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Challenges Facing the Latino Community in the United States continued
program receiving federal financial assistance,239 Title IX, which prohibits discrimination based
on sex in education programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance;240 Education of
Individuals with Disabilities Act, which ensures a free appropriate public education for children with
disabilities, including the creation of an Individualized Education Program;241 Section 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act, which prohibits discrimination based on disability in federally financed programs
and activities;242 and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, specifically the former Bilingual
Education Act, which in its original version promoted appropriate education for students who are
not English proficient.243
Significant litigation in this area has focused on school desegregation,244 bilingual education,245
discriminatory placement in special education programs,246 immigrant children’s access to
education,247 and school financing and fiscal equity.248
D. Health Status and Access to Quality Health Care
Access to quality health care is a priority concern for many Latinos given the limited access to
affordable, culturally and linguistically appropriate services, and the fact that many Latinos lack
health insurance. Legal obstacles to improving access to health care, and attendant health outcomes,
include legal exclusion from certain publicly funded health insurance programs, exclusion of certain
immigrants from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act249 exchange system, and the failure
to provide adequate Spanish-language medical and pharmacy services. As the Latino population has
increased, the need for bilingual health care providers and professionals has also increased.
1. Barriers to quality health care
A significant portion of the Latino population does not have health insurance, and over five million
Latinas are dependent on Medicaid coverage for their health care.250 In 2007, the private health
insurance coverage for persons under age 65 was 41.7% for Latinos, compared with 76.2% for
Whites.251 Within the Latino population, Mexicans were least likely to be insured (37.9%), and
Cubans were mostly likely to be insured (64.8%).252 Based on 2007 data, one study found that over
half of Latinos who are noncitizens are uninsured (57.6%), compared with Latinos who are U.S.
born (21.2%) or naturalized (27.1%).253 Moreover, while a significant number of Latinos receive
their health insurance through their employment (40.3%); this rate lags behind the rates for Whites
(65.5%) and Blacks (49.5%).254 Although public health coverage rates were similar for Latinos
(28.3%) and Whites (26.7%), Latinos were more likely to depend on Medicaid or the Children’s
Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Also, Whites were more likely to be covered under Medicare
because the White population is older compared to the Latino population,255 a statistic affected, in
part, by the 5 year preclusion from participation in Medicare of legal permanent residents.256 A large
number of these Latinos are children. Indeed, in 2007, 64.6% of Latinos covered by Medicaid or
CHIP were children under 18 years of age.257 Moreover, the majority of Latinos covered by Medicaid
or CHIP in 2007 were citizens.258 This is not surprising given that, at the time, undocumented and
many legal immigrants were not eligible for this coverage.259
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Challenges Facing the Latino Community in the United States continued
Lack of health insurance affects health coverage and access to quality health care, and also affects
continuity of care. In 2005, only 46.5% of all uninsured Latinos had a consistent source of health
care.260 There is also a difference in rates of insurance coverage based on language dominance. A
2008 study based on data from 2003-2005, concluded that 55% of Spanish speaking and 23% of
English-speaking Latinos were uninsured.261 This may correlate with foreign and native-born status,
In addition to barriers based on access to coverage, some Latinos face additional barriers based on
lack of appropriate and adequate language services and the need for culturally competent service
provision.262 For example, according to 2007 data, 12.1% of Latinos reported that their provider
“sometimes or never explains their medical situations in a way that they can understand,” compared to
7.3% of Whites.263 A 1999 study found that Spanish-dominant Latinos were more likely than Englishdominant Latinos to describe communication with their providers as “fair,” “poor,” or “very poor”.264
For Limited English Proficient Latinos, they face challenges in understanding their health care-related
treatment and medicine labels, and one study found that as a result they were four times more likely
to suffer a bad reaction due to problems understanding instructions.265 This same study found that
disparities for LEP patients decrease when their providers speak to them in their primary language.266
Recent efforts have also focused on the need for language accessible services at pharmacies for
prescription medications.267 The underrepresentation of Latinos in the health professions further
exacerbates this access issue. Latinos account for only 5.9% of U.S. health care professionals.268
Latinas also face unique barriers associated with access to health services, including reproductive
health services. For example, women are more often responsible for their family’s health care needs,
jobs held by Latinas may not provide health insurance coverage, and at times women have paid more
for health insurance than men. Costs associated with health care have impacted Latinas’ ability to
address their family planning needs: 50% of women, including Latinas, ages 18 to 34 indicate that
the cost of contraceptives has prevented consistent use.269 Gender identity and sexual orientation
also affects healthcare access for LGBT persons who face discrimination based on their identity.270
2. Disparities in health outcomes
Latinos experience various health care and health outcome disparities from Whites and Blacks, and
there are health care differences even among Latino subgroups. Disparities exist in rates of diabetes,
asthma, HIV/AIDS and certain cancers. For example, among persons 20 years and older, 10.4% of
Latinos have physician-diagnosed diabetes, compared with 6.6% of Whites, 11.8% of Blacks, and
7.5% of Asians.271 Among Latinos, diabetes rates vary: 8.2% of Cubans, 11.9% of Mexicans, and
12.6% of Puerto Ricans are diagnosed with diabetes.272 Latino asthma prevalence rates from 20052007 was 6.4%, lower than the 7.7% rate for Whites and 9.4% rate for Blacks.273 However, the
asthma rate for Puerto Ricans was 15.6%, significantly higher than rates for Whites and Blacks, and
more than double the rate for Latinos overall.274 Asthma rates for Puerto Rican children under 18
(20%) is also higher than the rate for Latino children overall (9%), and for White children (7.9%).275
Latinos also have high rates of HIV infection. In 2006, the Latino rate was three times the rate for
Whites.276 Latinos constitute 19% of people from the U.S. and the U.S. Territories diagnosed with
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Challenges Facing the Latino Community in the United States continued
Aids since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic,277 and Puerto Rico has the sixth-highest rate of AIDS
cases in the U.S.278
Latino rates are higher than for Whites for certain cancers, specifically, liver, gallbladder, stomach
and cervix.279 Latinas are diagnosed with cervical cancer at almost twice the rate of White women.280
According to one study, low-income Latina immigrants “demonstrated less knowledge regarding
cervical cancer and were less likely to receive a Pap smear than low-income non-Latinas.”281 Latinas
have a history with forced sterilization which has impacted their reproductive health-related
experiences. In particular, women of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent have been the subject of
forced sterilization, at times sanctioned by the government.282
Latinos also have low rates of dental services. For example, Latino children ages 2-17 are less
likely (62.7%) than White children ( 78.6%) to have visited the dentist within the past year,283 and
Mexican children are the least likely (59.7%) to have had a dental visit compared with Central or
South American (65.7%), Cuban (69.6%), and Puerto Rican (71.8%) children.
Some researchers have identified a “Latino mortality paradox,” or “The Hispanic Paradox”, which
refers to Latinos disproportionate adverse health outcomes and low social economic status while
simultaneously showing strong indicators in certain health areas and a lower all-cause mortality
rate.284 For example, despite having low levels of access to early prenatal care, Latinas’ rate for low
birth weight infants (6.9%) is lower than the rates for Whites (7.3%), and Blacks (14%).285 Some
Latinos also suffer from high rates of overweight and obesity--conditions often cited as factors in
adverse health conditions.286 While some of the disparities in health status between native born and
foreign-born Latinos are due to acculturation to the American diet and lifestyle, there is little focus
on equal access for Latinos to healthy food and educational services diet and nutrition.287
3. Legal framework
Laws and legal resources that address some of the access and disparity issues include Title VI, which
prohibits discrimination based on national origin in federally funded programs;288 Executive Order
13166289 and Department of Justice and interpretive guidance on serving Limited English Proficient
individuals in compliance with Title VI;290 the Department of Health and Human Services’ Title
VI regulations291 and guidance on providing services to Limited English Proficient persons;292 the
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) which provides health coverage to certain persons
ineligible for other federal coverage and unable to afford private health insurance, and the Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act.293
The Supreme Court’s recent decision in National Federation of Independent Business et al. v. Sebelius,
et al.,294 upholding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, allows the federal and state
governments to pursue a health care system intended to provide some uninsured with coverage and
expanded coverage to others who are already insured. However, recent efforts at the federal level to
scuttle the Act, and at the state level to refuse to implement the Act, continue to imperil future health
care access for Latinos who would come within the Act’s coverage.295
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Challenges Facing the Latino Community in the United States continued
E. Criminal Justice System
Latinos are disproportionately impacted by the abuses and biases in the existing criminal justice
system, both as victims and as the accused. All too often their interactions with criminal justice
officials result in severe adverse consequences for them and their families. Among the concerns
brought before the Commission were: inadequate legal services, especially for the poor and for out of
status immigrants; lack of appropriate bilingual services; the criminalization of immigrants; draconian
sentencing laws; and racial and ethnic profiling resulting in disproportionate arrests of Latinos; and
policy brutality.
1. Overrepresentation of Latinos in the criminal justice system
Latinos constitute 20% of inmates in federal, state, and local prison/jails.296 Nationwide, Latino
incarceration is nearly double that of Whites.297 In 2010, 327,200 Hispanic males, and 18,700
Hispanic females were incarcerated under state and federal jurisdiction.298 Immigrants have been a
recent focus of law enforcement, resulting in increased rates of arrest and detention. According to
the U.S. Department of Justice, from 2005-2009, while all federal arrests increased at an annual rate
of 7.1%, immigration arrests increased 23%.299 At 46% of all federal arrests, immigration offenses
were the most common bases of all arrests in 2009, and had increased from a 27% rate in 2005.300
Over half (56%) of all federal arrests occurred in five federal judicial districts along the U.S.-Mexico
border.301 Latinos were 45.6% of persons arrested by the Drug Enforcement Administration in 2009,
compared with 26.3% of Whites and 25.5% of Blacks/African Americans.302
According to 2009 data, defendants in immigration cases were most likely to be detained compared
to other defendants at a staggering 94.8% detention rate.303 This rate outpaced the rate for
defendants charged with offenses involving a violent crime (86.9%) or weapons (82.3%).304 In
2009, defendants in immigration cases constituted 43% of all defendants detained prior to case
disposition.305 Ninety-seven percent of immigration defendants were convicted; the majority
accepted a guilty plea, compared with 91% of all defendants, of whom 87.9% accepted a guilty
plea.306 The cases have also had a significant impact on the work of public defenders. In 2009, cases
involving immigration offenses constituted 49% of cases terminated with a public defender, almost
double the next largest category of cases (drug offenses—18%).307
2. Ethnic and racial profiling and the criminalization of Latino immigrants
Latinos and African Americans are targets of aggressive police practices.308 Profiling by law
enforcement officials and agencies based on race and ethnicity has been a longstanding complaint of
communities of color, and has been the focus of several lawsuits.309 Profiling of Latino immigrants
has been of particular concern as states and localities deploy resources to identify and detain “illegal
immigrants.” These concerns are heightened given the Supreme Court’s recent decision upholding
Arizona’s law that requires officers to verify the immigration status of persons stopped, detained or
arrested on legitimate grounds, when officers have “reasonable suspicion” to believe “the person is an
alien and is unlawfully present in the United States.”310
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Challenges Facing the Latino Community in the United States continued
Recently the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division found that the East Haven, Connecticut
Police Department (EHPD) “engages in a pattern or practice of systematically discriminating against
Latinos in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, Title VI, and the Safe
Streets Act.”311 The DOJ found that the EHPD “engages in discriminatory policing against Latinos,
including but not limited to targeting Latinos for discriminatory traffic enforcement, treating Latino
drivers more harshly than non-Latino drivers after a traffic stop, and intentionally and woefully
failing to design and implement internal systems of control that would identify, track, and prevent
such misconduct.”312 The DOJ also found that this pattern of conduct “is deeply rooted in the
Department’s culture and substantially interferes with the ability of the EHPD to deliver services to
the entire East Haven Community.”313
The Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) merits mention because it is the second largest law
enforcement agency in the country,314 and the Department of Justice recently issued its findings that
PRPD officers’ aggressive police tactics violated individual rights, the federal constitution and various
federal statutes. The DOJ found reasonable cause to believe that PRPD officers engage in a pattern
and practice of:
• excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment;
• unreasonable force and other misconduct designed to suppress the exercise of protected First
Amendment rights; and
• unlawful searches and seizures in violation of the Fourth Amendment.315
The DOJ also found evidence of PRPD violations of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Safe Streets Act
and Title VI, and discrimination targeting persons of Dominican descent, as well as the failure to
police sex crimes and domestic violence incidents.316
The PRPD violations are widespread, and the use of excessive force is particularly notable because
it appears to be an established and accepted policing practice. “Improper and unconstitutional uses
of force are rampant throughout the PRPD. Force is frequently used when it is unnecessary and
gratuitous, and is often the first and last option considered by PRPD officers.”317 Violation of rights is
the norm.
PRPD regularly violates the constitutional rights of civilians through illegal searches,
detentions, and arrests. In particular, we found a pattern and practice of PRPD officers
conducting searches of civilians’ homes without warrants or consent and in the absence of
any exigent circumstance or exception that would render such a search permissible under the
Fourth Amendment. Our findings also indicate that officers plant evidence during searches,
rely on excessive force and intimidation as search aids, and proceed with searches even
when knowing that the address, identity of the individual, or other pertinent information
is incorrect. The evidence we uncovered further demonstrates that PRPD officers engage
in a regular pattern of detaining and arresting individuals without reasonable suspicion or
probable cause in violation of the Fourth Amendment, and that supervisors and members of
specialized units are often involved in these unlawful acts.318
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Challenges Facing the Latino Community in the United States continued
3. Legal framework
Challenges to unlawful and disparate conduct in the criminal justice context have relied on
constitutional and statutory protections, including the Fourth,319 Fifth,320 and Fourteenth321
Amendments to the United States Constitution prohibiting unlawful searches and seizures, and the
due process and equal protection clauses; Title 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which provides for a cause of
action for deprivation of rights based on conduct under color of law;322 and state constitutional due
process and equal protection guarantees.
F. Voting Rights
According to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed
Officials, as of 2012, a mere 5,850 Latinos in elected offices across the
country and only 9 Latinos serve in statewide offices.
1. Latino underrepresentation and the small number of Latino elected officials
Latinos are woefully underrepresented in the federal and state legislatures. According to the National
Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, as of 2012, a mere 5,850 Latinos in elected
offices across the country and only nine Latinos serve in statewide offices.323 At the federal level, this
includes only 27 members of congress: two Latino senators and 25 Latino members of the House
of Representatives.324 This disproportionate underrepresentation undermines the ability of Latinos
to address issues that uniquely impact their communities, and influence policy-making decisions.
It also erodes Latinos’ confidence in our democratic system of government. Representational
government requires that Latinos not only be able to have a genuine and meaningful opportunity
to select a candidate that best reflects their interests and concerns, but also requires that the largest
ethnic minority group have a significant and meaningful presence within our legislative and
executive branches of government.
2. Redistricting
Redistricting often plays an important role in providing the type of environment in which Latinos
have an opportunity to vote for a candidate that best represents their interests. Redistricting is a
contentious process that can be manipulated in ways that reduce the opportunity for Latinos to
select their preferred candidates, and reduces the possibility of greater democratic engagement by
Latino voters and prospective candidates. It taints the electoral process because it can create districts
in which Latinos are marginalized, and where they must struggle to gain the attention of incumbents
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Challenges Facing the Latino Community in the United States continued
and challengers. With every redistricting cycle Latinos expend resources challenging efforts to limit
their electoral choices.325
3. Vote Suppression
Latinos have relied on the Voting Rights Act326 to provide opportunities for equal access for Latinos
to the franchise, as well as to improve the opportunity for Latinos to select candidates of their choice.
Latino candidates and voters have sued when state and local officials have acted to deny or obstruct
voter participation, and, on occasion, the federal government has also acted to prevent practices
that violate Latino voting rights. While efforts to undermine Latino voter participation are all too
common, recent efforts have been especially pernicious, and range from statutory obstacles affecting
voter registration and election-day voting, to aggressive voter intimidation tactics. This section
describes three types of vote suppression efforts: voter identification laws, purging of eligible voter
lists, and voter harassment.
a. Voter identification laws
Voter identification laws require prospective voters to present some type of government accepted
identification in order to exercise their right to vote.327 These voter identification laws have a
negative disproportionate impact on people who lack the type of identification required under
the laws, including a driver’s license.328 The strictest versions of this legislation, such as those that
exist in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Georgia, require voters to provide a state or federally-issued
photographic identification.329 Less restrictive statutes, such as those passed in Connecticut and
Delaware, allow voters to waive the identification requirement by signing a statement or affidavit
attesting to their identity.330 In Idaho, a person who knowingly provides false information on such
an affidavit is guilty of a felony.331 Other laws have attempted to require proof of citizenship to
register to vote.332 b. Purging of voter registration lists
Voter suppression efforts have been employed to disenfranchise the Latino Community by striking
eligible Latino voters from the voter registration rolls.333 Recently, the Department of Justice
threatened to sue Florida if the state did not halt its purge of the voter rolls, done in part by
challenging the citizen status of approximately 182,000 listed voters.334 The DOJ informed the
state that the voter purging violates the Voting Rights Act because it has a disproportionate effect on
minorities, and because the purge exceeds the statutorily permissible cut–off date set forth in the
National Voter Registration Act.335
c. Voter harassment
Harassment of Latino voters includes same-day challenges to eligibility at the polls, denial of
Spanish-language ballots, and physically and verbally threatening behavior to discourage voting.336
Aggressive and targeted inquiries focused on Latinos’ eligibility to vote are not unusual, including
demands to establish timely voter registration, citizenship, and competence to vote. For example,
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Challenges Facing the Latino Community in the United States continued
although Latinos are entitled to bilingual ballets in accordance with the requirements of the Voting
Rights Act,337 in federal and state elections Latinos complain that they have been denied ballots in
Spanish,338 either through a direct denial to such a ballot, or by harassment efforts to discourage
voting using such a ballot.
Some Latinos have a well-founded fear of violence or of being arrested if they try to vote, and face
intimidation and harassment at their polling sites. Election-day voter harassment tactics occur
despite statutory prohibitions on various forms of election-day harassment and misconduct,
and despite efforts to educate voters on their rights and lawful responses to voter harassment.
Harassment can and does reduce voter turnout and voter participation.
4. Legal framework
Legal challenges to anti-voter legislation and government action have relied predominantly on the
Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibits government action that denies access to the ballot based
on race, color and linguistic minority status.339 The VRA prohibits voter dilution, and provides for
federal preclearance of certain state and local policies, practices or procedures that may adversely
impact on voters.340 The VRA also mandates the provision of bilingual ballots in accordance with
the statute.341 There are also challenges based on redistricting, and challenges that may rely on state
constitutional and statutory provisions related to the voting process.
G. Media and Latino Images
“The network news audience continues to learn little about the Latino
community by watching the evening news. Latinos also rarely see
themselves or their issues covered by these media outlets.”
National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Network Brownout Report 2006: The Portrayal of Latinos and
Latino Issues on Network Television News, 2005342
“Poor coverage of communities of color has real consequences for our society.”
* * *
“It is unfortunate that such a significant portion of stories [in 2005] portrayed
Latinos as criminals. This coverage reinforces a negative stereotype and when
stories about other topics involving Latinos are not covered, this type of coverage
paints an unbalanced picture of the contributions Latinos make to our society.”
National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Network Brownout Report 2006: The Portrayal of Latinos and Latino Issues
on Network Television News, 2005343
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Challenges Facing the Latino Community in the United States continued
“We believe the lack of newsroom diversity at these networks is the
primary reason for their poor coverage of Latinos. Unfortunately,
the nation’s news media have historically failed to ensure that their
newsrooms, as well as their news coverage, reflect the communities
they serve.”
National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Network Brownout Report 2006: The Portrayal of Latinos
and Latino Issues on Network Television News, 2005344
1. Stereotyping of Latinos
Media images of Latinas and Latinos influence community perceptions as well as policy.345 With
some notable exceptions, the depiction of Latinos has been limited to negative portrayals and
caricatures. These include stereotypes that Latino males are “macho” and Latinas are sexually
provocative; that Latinos are inherently lazy individuals involved in violent gangs or other criminal
behavior; and that Latinos are undocumented immigrants who take jobs from “real Americans.”346
These portrayals go hand in hand with assumptions about how Latinos are responsible for all sorts
of problems in U.S. society, ranging from economic downturns to increased drug trafficking. Today
there are few positive popular media images of Latinos, and the few that exist must compete with the
negative portrayals for screen time, which outnumber the positive images.
The popular culture images have significant impact on American “pop culture,” but they are not
the only images influencing popular discourse on “Latinos in the U.S.” The media portrayals in
news programming are similarly few in number and
unbalanced. The National Association of Hispanic
Journalists’ analysis of network news in 2005 found that
a mere .83%, or 105, of the 12,600 stories aired on ABC,
CBS, and NBC were exclusively about Latinos or Latinorelated issues.347 The report found that the top five
topics in Latino stories were on domestic government,
crime, human interest, immigration, and sports.348 There
was an increase from the prior year of Latinos portrayed
in crime stories, and in most of the stories they were
portrayed as perpetrators.349 Moreover, Latinos were
nearly absent from general news coverage and “remain
practically invisible on the evening news.”350
Tony Plana
Recent media coverage is also heavily focused on
issues related to immigration, with many portraying
Latino immigrants in a negative light.351 Although of
tremendous importance to the Latino community, the
current coverage of immigration issues presents several
concerns. First, the overwhelming focus on Latino
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Challenges Facing the Latino Community in the United States continued
immigrants as a “problem” is not only inaccurate, but it also provides “cover” for those who seek
to demonize Latino immigrants. Second, this coverage presents Latinos as “outsiders” which is
an inaccurate depiction of the history and contributions of Latinos in the United States. Third, it
suggests that other political and social issues are of limited or no significance to Latinos, a wholly
incorrect presentation of the range and depth of substantive matters discussed and debated within
the Latino Community. The testimony and research available to the Commission presents a wide
range of political and social issues that capture the hearts and minds of Latinos in their professional
and personal lives. Certainly media can make room for additional coverage of a full range of areas
of concern to the largest ethnic/racial population group in the country. Fourth, to the extent that the
immigration coverage presents Latino immigrants negatively, the coverage further limits the range of
positive images for Latinas and Latinos at a time when the Latino Community is growing in size and
impact on the U.S. economy, and is helping to define the Country’s political future.
A report on coverage of Latinos in U.S. news magazines succinctly described the impact of
presenting Latinos as “problem[s] for U.S. politics, culture and society in general.”352
Such narrowly focused stereotypical representations of the Latino community make
it difficult for the society to see the broader array of Latino roles and contributions
in American communities. Sadly, such representation may often make it difficult for
Latinos to also see themselves beyond these one-dimensional depictions.353
2. Underemployment in the English-language media industry
These media portrayals are only part of the problem. Latinas and Latinos are underrepresented
in the English-language media; they are completely shutout or represent a small number of
professionals in front of and behind the camera, and are rarely in decision-making or managerial
positions in all parts of the media industry. As a general matter, Latinos are a small percentage
of employees within the various media outlets.354 According to a special report by the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission, Latinos were a mere 10.5% of employees in the Cable
Network and Program Distribution industry group, 8.5% in the Radio & Television Broadcasting
group, and 6.3 % in the Newspaper/Periodicals/Book/Database Publishers industry group.355 In every
category of industry groups, the percentage of Latino office and clerical workers was at least double
the number of Latino officials/managers.356 As noted in the report, in the publishing industry,
Latinos and African Americans “are more highly represented in the lower paying jobs.”357
A 2011 survey by the Association of Black Journalists found that People of Color were only 12% of
the newsroom management positions—the people “who set the news agenda and make coverage and
personnel decisions”-- at the 228 television stations surveyed.358 Of the 1,157 managers, 1,017 were
White, 81 were Black, 42 were Hispanic, 16 were Asian, and one was Native American.359 According
to the survey, over half of the stations had no diversity in the management positions, and many were
in television markets with a significant population of people of color.360 In its 2006 Report, the
National Association of Hispanic Journalists scrutinized coverage during a sample two week period
and found that with one exception, Latino journalists were nearly nonexistent during the sample
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Challenges Facing the Latino Community in the United States continued
3. Mistreatment of Latinos within the media industry
Even when Latinos are hired to work in media outlets, they often face difficult workplaces which
undermine their success. Typical challenges include unequal treatment compared to non Latino
peers, blatant stereotyping of Latinos and the Latino Community, and a general hostile work
environment where employees face discrimination based on a combination of race, national origin,
and gender. It is no surprise that Latinos in these workplaces find it difficult to come forward and
tell their stories. Indeed, litigation is rare.362
4. Hate speech
Hate speech against Latinos through media outlets has increased over the past years. According
to a 2009 Petition for Inquiry filed by the National Hispanic Media Coalition to the Federal
Communications Commission, “hate speech targeting Latinos and other vulnerable populations
is widespread across the media and is on the rise.”363 The Petition further noted that talk show
hosts on radio, television and cable “habitually editorialize against immigration by attacking the
character and morality of the immigrants themselves.”364 A pilot study of talk radio published in
2011 concluded that the qualitative analysis of broadcast segments that were the subject of the study
revealed “a significant incidence of speech that incorporates targeted statements, unsubstantiated
claims, divisive language, and indexical terms related to political nativism.”365 In addition, a
recurring pattern defined vulnerable groups “as antithetical to core American values...,” and framed
Latino immigrants “as criminals and, by extension, as an imminent threat to the American public.”366
5. Legal framework
Federal statutes and guidelines that have provided some protections to Latinos for discrimination
in employment in various media outlets include Title VII, prohibiting discrimination by certain
employers, based on inter alia, race, national origin, and sex;367 Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission Guidelines, including, §1604.11 (sexual harassment),368 §1606.1 (national origin
definition), §1606.2 (disparate impact applies to national origin), §1606.7 (English-only rules),
§1606.8 (harassment based on national origin); and 42 U.S.C. § 1981, which prohibits racial
discrimination in the making and enforcing of contracts.369
H. Diversity and Latinos in the Legal Profession
“If race, gender, and social class are determinants for entry into the profession
and for the attainment of certain positions within the profession, it may imply
that these same attributes affect the sorts of treatment individuals will receive by
legal institutions, in part because they do not have access to lawyers who share
a similar social background.”
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Special Report, “Diversity in Law Firms, 2003370
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Challenges Facing the Latino Community in the United States continued
“The importance of the legal profession in today’s society is unquestionable.
Lawyers are often powerful players in social, economic and political circles
and as women and minorities become an increasing part of this profession,
their ability to obtain public and private influence is increasing.”
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Special Report, “Diversity in Law Firms, 2003371
“[W]orkplace diversity encompasses and goes beyond the traditional
concept of equal employment opportunity. In its broadest sense,
diversity adds differing skills, family structures, educational levels,
ages, and cultural and social backgrounds. An emphasis on diversity
encourages organizations to address more thoughtfully and thoroughly
the needs of their employees from all groups, as well as the public they
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Report on Hispanic Employment Challenge in the
Federal Government372
[L]awyers are very often key players in
designing and activating the institutional
mechanisms through which property is
transferred, economic exchange is planned
and enforced, injuries are compensated,
crime is punished, marriages are dissolved
and disputes are resolved. The ideologies
and incentives of the lawyers engaged
in these functions directly influence the
lived experience of Americans, including
whether they feel fairly treated by legal
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Special
Report, “Diversity in Law Firms,” 2003373
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The ABA has worked to diversify the legal
profession, recognizing the moral imperative
and practical need to better represent the
diverse communities that constitute the
United States population. 374 It has also
worked to address diversity within its own
ranks.375 While we can point to some
success in increasing diversity and improving
the opportunities for advancement and
success within the legal profession, there is
still much work to be done. Lawyers of color
continue to face obstacles to professional
success, and women of color in the legal
profession continue to experience sexism and
gender-related obstacles to equality.
Challenges Facing the Latino Community in the United States continued
1. Underrepresentation in the legal profession
Latinos are a small percentage of the legal profession—a
reality across all sectors, public and private. Latinos
constitute a mere 3.3% of all lawyers,376 4.5% of judges,
magistrates and judicial workers,377 and 3.1% of law
professors.378 Despite the strides women have made
in the legal profession, Latina lawyers continue to be
underrepresented, and account for a mere 1.2% of lawyers
and approximately 2% of judges.379
Capt. David Iglesias, JAGC USN (Ret.)
The number of Latino law students is disproportionately
small, and unless admission rates change dramatically,
they cannot meet the increased need for Latino lawyers.
For example, according to fall 2011 data from the Law
School Admissions Council, Hispanics constituted 8.9%
of applicants, and 7.6% of matriculants to ABA-approved
law schools.380 Hispanics earned 7.1% of JD degrees in
2009-2010.381 Thus, as the ABA has recognized through
its institutional commitment to educational pipeline
programming, there is a great need for educational pipeline
programs that provide guidance and encouragement to
prospective Latino law students and lawyers.382
The underrepresentation of Latinos in the legal profession is
a contributing factor to the under provision of legal services
to Latino clients. The last decade’s growth of the Latino
population emphasizes the urgent need to address this
underrepresentation within all sectors of the profession.
2. Workplaces tainted by bias and stereotype
There is limited data on the professional workplace and
career experiences of Latino legal professionals. There is
“…the ABA’s ability to serve its members,
improve the profession, eliminate bias, and
advance the rule of law hinges on its ability
to integrate Latinos in all aspects of its
Janet Murguia, President and CEO, National Council of La Raza,
Midwest Hearing, Chicago, IL, November 12, 2010, Tr. 34.
“[I]f the ABA accepts
that law schools have
the obligation to prepare
students for the practice
of law, it then follows
that laws schools must
account for the changing
demographics in our
country when fulfilling
this obligation. The
growing need for Spanishspeaking lawyers cannot
be ignored and must be
addressed by our law
Adria D. Maddaleni, Wisconsin
Hispanic Lawyers Association, Midwest
Hearing, Chicago, IL, November 12,
2010, Tr. 150
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some data on the experiences of Latina lawyers, and it suggests that they face obstacles in their
professional careers, including overcoming stereotypes and biases about their competence and
leadership abilities.383 A 2009 nationwide study of over 600 Latina attorneys by the Hispanic
National Bar Association Commission on Latinas in the Legal Profession, found that the Latinas
in the study “believe their legitimacy, qualifications, and abilities as attorneys are often questioned
or devalued by their employers, coworkers, clients, and the general population.”384 These lawyers
reported that, “they are often mistaken for someone other than the attorney (e.g. court reporter,
interpreter, or paralegal) both in the workplace and in court….[and] their accomplishments are
attributed to undeserved ‘affirmative action’ benefits, rather than achievements based on merit and
ability.”385 The study found that the intersection of gender, ethnicity and race had a significant
impact on these Latinas.
As ethnically and racially diverse females, the Latinas [in this study] appear to have encountered a
multilayered glass ceiling that acts as a three-way threat to their careers. Although gender, ethnicity,
and race are intertwined, gender bias and stereotyping appear to be the greatest obstacle to their
retention and career advancement. At their workplaces, the Latinas have confronted gender and
cultural expectations and assumptions about their roles as attorneys. They have been subjected to
overt sexism, lacked influential mentors, and struggled with the conflicting demands of career and
A follow up HNBA study of Latinas in the public interest sector found Latinas working in this sector
of the profession faced similar challenges, and faced the additional challenge of the devaluation
of public interest work and public interest sector jobs.386 This finding is particularly troubling
because attorneys working in the public interest sector provide much needed legal services to Latino
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Recommendation & Conclusion
ased on the information presented to the Commission during its public hearings and its
review of the available data, the Commission recommends that the ABA establish the
Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities as a Standing Committee,
charged with continuing to explore and promote solutions, for the ABA’s consideration,
to the myriad of issues impacting on the Latino Community’s access to social justice and the
This Report presents preliminary information for the ABA’s consideration, with the goal of
providing a foundation upon which to expand on the work that has been started during the
past two years. The witnesses and stakeholders who provided valuable information to the
Commission expect that their hopes were not misplaced that the ABA would take the lead in
addressing these difficult issues. These individuals and organizations candidly described the
challenges facing Latino lawyers, clients, and members of the broader Latino Community. The
Commission recommends Standing Committee status as a concrete response to the need for
immediate and continued action.
he history of Latinos in the United States is one of significant contributions to our
legal system, economy and civic life. It is a vibrant and multilayered history. Today’s
Latinos are proud descendants of Latino pioneers, as well as beneficiaries of the
sacrifices and hard work of those who struggled for equality under the law.
At present, the anti-Latino sentiments that fuel legislation and violent actions against Latinos
threaten the ability of Latinos to engage equally in the political and social life of the United
States, and to share equally in the American Dream. The ABA must act now and must act
forcefully to ensure that Latinos can participate in our democratic society, equally, and with
confidence that they will be treated justly under the law.
The United States is at a crossroads. As the number of Latinos exceeds the 50 million mark,
and Latino participation in all aspects of American life expands daily, the future of the U.S. is
inextricably intertwined with, and dependent upon, the success of this large and growing Latino
Community. Swift and comprehensive action is necessary to end unjust treatment of Latinos
within our legal system and our broader communities. Nothing less will do.
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Press Release, American Bar Association, ABA Comm’n on Hispanic
Legal Rights & Responsibilities Premiere Hearing to Address the
State of Latinos in the United States (Nov. 5, 2010), http://www.
Throughout this Report, the terms “Latina,” “Latino,” and “Hispanic”
are used interchangeably and refer to persons living in the United
States who are of Hispanic descent. The term “Latino,” unless stated
otherwise, applies to all persons of Hispanic descent, regardless
of gender identification. References to “Latino Community” and
“Hispanic Community” are to the associational group of persons of
Hispanic descent living in the United States, connected by shared
heritage, cultures, countries of national origin and the Spanish language.
NILP Guest Commentary: Alex Nogales, “Holding the Television
Networks Accountable to the Latino Community,” The National Hispanic
Media Coalition, posted January 13, 2011, at
Pew Research Ctr., Census 2010: 50 Million Latinos: Hispanics
Account for More Than Half of Nation’s Growth in Past Decade
See generally Richard Delgado et al., Latinos and the Law: Cases and
Materials 8-106 (Thompson West 2008); Juan F. Perea, et al., Race
and Races: Cases and Resources for a Diverse America, 285-396
(Thomson West 2d ed. 2007).
This information includes census data, federal and state government
data, ethnographic reports, policy statements, and testimony to
the Commission from a broad range of the U.S. population, such
as lawyers, advocates, and individuals from various backgrounds,
experience, and age groups.
See discussion infra Substantive Legal Issues.
Pew Research Ctr., A Year After Obama’s Election Blacks Upbeat
about Black Progress, Prospects 39 (2010), http://www.
Id. at 37.
A comprehensive history of Latinos in the United States, including
recent immigrants, and their contributions to America’s economic,
social, and political life, is beyond the scope of this Report or the
Commission’s mandate. Such history, however, is significant. See
Cecilia Garcia, Hispanic Trends in the United States. Available at
html. The Commission acknowledges that Latinos have been
and continue to be vital members of U.S. society, and that their
contributions have helped define legal and political rights in this country.
Nat’l Latino Media Council, 2010 NLMC Network Diversity Report
Card Narrative (2010),
Heidi Beirich and Marck Potok, Countering Anti-Immigration
Extremism: The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Strategies, 12 N.Y.
City L. Rev. 405 (2009); Christina Iturralde, Rhetoric and Violence:
Understanding Incidents of Hate Against Latinos, 12 N.Y. City L. Rev.
417 (2009).
See Pew Research Ctr., Hispanics and Arizona’s New Immigration Law
4 (2010),
(stating that less than half (45%) of Latinos said “they had a great deal
or fair amount of confidence that police officers in their communities
would treat Latinos fairly”); see also Letter from the Department of
Justice Civil Rights Division Technical Assistance to Steve Levy,
Executive, Suffolk County Police Department (Sept. 13, 2011), http://
TA_9-13-11.pdf (discussing the preliminary recommendations
based on its ongoing joint investigation with the U.S. Attorney’s
Office for the Eastern District of New York, of the Suffolk County
Police Department, pursuant to the Violent Crime Control and Law
Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141 and stating that the
Suffolk County Police Department’s policy on the collection and
use of information on immigration status was vague, did not provide
guidance to officers, and therefore was subject to abuse, and that
the policy for investigation of hate crimes was inconsistent with the
duty to provide services to limited English proficient Individuals);
S. Poverty Law Ctr., Climate of Fear: Latino Immigrants in Suffolk
County, N.Y. (2009),
publications/climate-of-fear-latino-immigrants-in-suffolkcounty-ny (discussing actions and statements by officials that
contribute to anti-immigrant hate violence); S. Poverty Law Ctr.,
Voices From the Shadows (2009),
publications/climate-of-fear-latino-immigrants-in-suffolkcounty-ny/voices-from-the-shadows (discussing Latino
immigrants’ fear and distrust of law enforcement in Suffolk County,
New York based on officials’ perceived inaction and complicity in antiimmigrant violence).
See Guillermo J. Grenier, et al., There Are Cubans, There Are
Cubans, and There Are Cubans: Ideological Diversity among Cuban
Americans in Miami, in LATINOS IN A CHANGING SOCIETY 92111 (Martha Montero-Sieburth & Edwin Melendez eds., Praeger
2007); Edwin Melendez, Changes in the Characteristics of Puerto
Rican Migrants to the United States, in LATINOS IN A CHANGING
SOCIETY, 112-31 (Martha Montero-Sieburth & Edwin Melendez
eds., Praeger 2007); Nicholas De Genova, The Legal Production of
Mexican/Migrant `Illegality’, in LATINOS AND CITIZENSHIP: THE
DILEMMA OF BELONGING 61-90 (Suzanne Oboler ed., Palgrave
Macmillan 2006); Richard Delgado, supra note 7 at 8-106; Juan F.
Perea, supra note 7 at 285-396.
Seth Motel, Eileen Patten, Pew Research Ctr., The 10 Largest
Hispanic Origin Groups: Characteristics, rankings, top counties 10
(2012), (74% of Latinos are
U.S. Citizens). The Latino subgroups with the largest percentage of
U.S. citizens are Puerto Ricans (99%), Cubans (75%) and Mexicans
(73%), who also account for the three largest Latino subgroup
populations, totaling 77.8% of the total Latino U.S. population.
See generally How the United States Racializes Latinos: White
Hegemony and its Consequences (Jose A. Cobas et al. eds., Paradigm
Publishers 2009); Jose Luis Morin, Latino/A Rights and Justice in the
United States 11-15 (2d ed. 2009); Critical Race Theory: the Cutting
Back to TOC
Endnotes continued
Edge (Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic eds., 2d ed. 2000), at 375
(“Race should be used as a lens through which to view Latinos/as in
order to focus our attention on the experiences of racial oppression.”);
Jorge Duany, Race and Racialization, in 3 The Oxford Encyclopedia
of Latinos and Latinas in the United States 535-44, Suzanne Oboler &
Deena J. Gonzalez, eds., University Press 2005).
Sharon R. Ennis et al., U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanic Population:
2010 (2011),
c2010br-04.pdf. The Census data collection process has been
criticized for resulting in an undercount of the Latino population.
Clara E. Rodriguez, Changing Race: Latinos, the Census, and the
History of Ethnicity (New York University Press 2000); Jim Forsyth,
Texas Group’s Lawsuit: Census Undercounted Hispanics, Reuters,
May 9, 2011,; Duane L. Steffy,
A Review of the Census Undercount Issue (1997), http://www.csus.
Latino Leaders Use Churches in Census Bid, N.Y. Times, (Dec. 22,
html. The Commission’s Report refers to the data, despite the data’s
potential limitations, confident that the Latino population’s impact on
U.S. legal and political systems is no less significant, and may be
greater, than represented in this Report, based on an undercount.
statistical-portrait-of-hispanics-in-the-unitedstates-2010/#7. The category included within the subgroup
listings labeled, “All other Spanish/Hispanic/Latino,” with an estimated
population of 1.6 million, is not included in the text as one of the
largest subgroups because it is a consolidated category, and does
not provide numbers for a discreet national origin subgroup.
The 10 Largest Hispanic Origin Groups, supra note 16 at 10. Ninety
nine percent of Puerto Ricans, 74% of Cubans, and 73% of Mexicans
are U.S. citizens.
Seth Motel, Pew Research Ctr., Statistical Portrait of Hispanics in
the United States, 2010, supra note 30, references for “native born”
includes persons born in Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories, and
“foreign born” includes naturalized citizens and noncitizens.
Id. at Table 4,
Id. at Table 5,
Paul Taylor et al., Unauthorized Immigrants: Length of Residency,
Patterns of Parenthood 6 (2011),
Pew Research Ctr., Census 2010: 50 Million Latinos, supra note 4.
Id. at 5. This population also constituted 5.2% of the U.S. labor force.
Id. at 2, 6. The population numbers in parentheses are based on
the data in Table 6 of the document, and rounded off to the nearest
hundred thousandth.
Id. at 6 (based on population data by state set forth in Table 6 of the
Id. at 7; Jeffrey S. Passal & D’Vera Cohn, Pew Research Ctr.,
Unauthorized Immigrant Population: National and State Trends, 2010,
9, 15, 17 (2011),
Id. (based on population data by state set forth in Table 6 of the
Seth Motel et al., Statistical Portrait, supra note 30 at Table
Paul Taylor et al., Unauthorized Immigrants: Length
supra note 37 at 3.
Id. at 3.
Id. at 6.
Seth Motel, Statistical Portrait of Hispanics in the United States,
supra note 30, at Table 20,
Id. at 1.
Id. at Appendix Table 3.
Seth Motel, Pew Research Ctr., Statistical Portrait of Hispanics in
the United States, 2010, Table 8 (2012), http://www.pewhispanic.
org/2012/02/21/statistical-portrait-of-hispanics-in-theunited-states-2010/#8. For all references to this report, “native
born” includes persons born in Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories,
and “foreign born” includes naturalized citizens and noncitizens.
Id. at Table 10,
The data in this section of the Commission’s Report discussing
language status and English-speaking ability are based on U.S.
Census data and Pew Hispanic Center reports analyzing American
Community Survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Hyon B.
Shin and Robert A. Kominski, U. S. Census Bureau, Language Use in
the United States: 2007, 3 n.1 (2010),
Robert Kominski, U.S. Census Bureau, How Good Is How Well? An
Examination of the Census English-Speaking Ability Question (1989),
use.html) (“[s]elf-reported data on English-speaking ability have
demonstrated the measure to be highly reliable and usable”).
Id. at Table 7,
Seth Motel, Statistical Portrait of Hispanics in the United States, supra
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Endnotes continued
note 30, at Table 21,
Pew Research Ctr., When Labels Don’t Fit: Hispanics and Their
Views of Identity 24 (2012),
files/2012/04/PHC-Hispanic-Identity.pdf (stating that 75%
of Latinos said it is “very important” and 20% said it is “somewhat
important” for future generations in the U.S. to speak Spanish, for a
total of 95% of the survey respondents).
The Pew Survey found that while the majority of survey respondents
stated that “Latinos in the U.S. have many different cultures rather
than a common culture,” the majority “expressed a strong, shared
connection to the Spanish language.” Id. at 2.
Chandasi Pandya et al., Migration Police Institute, LEP Data Brief:
Limited English Proficient Individuals in the United States: Number,
Share, Growth, and Linguistic Diversity 6 (December 2011), http://
pdf (explaining that Spanish-speaking Limited English Proficient
(LEP) persons account for 66% of the 25.2 million LEP persons in the
U.S.). This statistic may include non Latino Spanish speakers, but
the overwhelming population reflected in this statistic is Latino.
Letter from Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney Gen., U.S. Dep’t of
Justice, Civil Rights Div., to Honorable John W. Smith, Dir. of North
Carolina Admin. Office of the Courts (Mar. 8, 2012) (stating that
indigent parties were treated differently; and that the AOC policy
denied interpreter services in certain civil cases where the party
was represented by private counsel, and court staff and judges
inconsistently provided interpreter services to indigent defendants
represented by private counsel; however, the AOC had a policy to
provide sign language interpreter services regardless of indigence).
The Commission’s concern reflects more a pragmatic realism, and
commitment to statutory interpretation that ensures access, than
a philosophical difference of opinion, or an exercise in abstract
theorizing. Given the budgetary challenges faced by the states,
and in some cases the many demands placed on our judiciary to
provide a range of services with limited resources, the Commission is
concerned that language access services will fall victim to competing
financial demands.
See;; http://;;
See Hispanic, Top 25 Hispanic Non Profits,
top25nonprofits2012.asp (last visited June 30, 2012).
W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Cultures of Giving: Energizing and
Expanding Philanthropy by and for Communities of Color 5 (2012),
U.S. Office of Pers. Mgt., 2010 Hispanic Employment Annual Report
1 (2012),
See Hispanic, 2011 Hispanic Business Directory, Hispanic
Business 500: Largest US Hispanic-Owned Companies, http://www.;
Hispanic, Hispanic Women Profile, 2005, https://
Fiscal Policy Institute, Latino Small Business Owners in the United
States 1 (2012), See also Rohit Arora, 4
Resources for Hispanic Business Owners, http://smallbusiness.
Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility, 1020 HACR
Corporate Inclusion Index 12 (2010),
Doris Nhan, National Journal, Buying Power of Hispanics Worth
$1 Trillion, Report Says,
Immigration Policy Ctr., Unauthorized Immigrants Pay Taxes Too:
Estimates of the State and Local Taxes Paid by Unauthorized Immigrant
Households (2011) (estimates based on study by the Institute for
Taxation and Economic Policy), http://www.immigrationpolicy.
Id. See Figure 1 and Table 1.
Latino Patriots in American Military History, The Civil War (18611865) La Guerra Civil (1861-1865) 53,
Id. at 37, 43.
See e.g. Congressional Hispanic Caucus Inst., Hispanic Heritage Month
Honorees, 1985-2011, at
chcis-highest-honors-2; Nat’l Ass’n of Hispanic Journalists, Hall
of Fame Honorees, 2000-2011, at
Mark Hugo Lopez, Paul Taylor, Pew Research Ctr., Latino Voters
in the 2012 Election, 4-6 (2012),
final_11-09.pdf; Paul Taylor, et al., Pew Research Ctr., An
Awakened Giant: The Hispanic Electorate is Likely to Double by
2030, 5 (2012),
The discussions throughout this Report of gender and gender-related
issues are intended to provide information and analyses specific to
the experiences of persons who are of Hispanic heritage. However,
the Commission recognizes that there are ABA entities that address
gender issues within a broader community framework. See The
ABA Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence, which seeks to
“increase access to justice for victims of domestic violence, sexual
assault and stalking by mobilizing the legal profession,” http://;
the Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, which
“seeks to promote full and equal participation in the legal profession
by persons of differing sexual orientations and gender identities,”
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Endnotes continued
html; and the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, which
serves as “the national voice for women lawyers.” http://www. The Commission on
Women in the Profession has published several important documents
focused on issues impacting women, including its groundbreaking
report on Women of Color in law firms. See ABA Commission on
Women in the Profession, Visible Invisibility: Women of Color in Law
Firms 2006,
Peter Schrag, Immigration Policy Ctr., The Unwanted: Immigration
and Nativism in America (2010) (discussing anti-immigrant
See e.g. U.S. Department of Homeland Security News Releases,
William Arrocha, From Arizona’s S.B. 1070 to Georgia’s H.B. 87 and
Alabama’s H.B. 56: Exacerbating the Other and Generating New
Discourses and Practices of Segregation, 48 Cal. W. L. Rev. 245 (2012).
See National Conference of State Legislators, 2012 Immigrationrelated laws, Bills and Resolutions in the States: Jan.1-Mar. 31,
2012 (May 2012) (reviewing proposed and enacted immigrationrelated state legislation in 2012),; National Conference of State Legislators,
Immigrant Policy Project (Apr. 18, 2012) (reviewing omnibus state
legislation and legal challenges to the legislation), http://www.ncsl.
National Conference
laws supra note 79.
Arizona v. United States, 567 U.S. ___, 132 S.Ct. 2492 (2012). For
the Ninth Circuit decision, see United States v. Arizona, 641 F.3d 339
(9th Cir. 2011).
See generally, Jennifer C. Pizer, Evidence of Persistent and Pervasive
Workplace Discrimination Against LGBT People: The Need for
Federal Legislation Prohibiting Discrimination and Providing for Equal
Employment Benefits, 45 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 715 (2012); Jaime M.
Grant et al., National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Injustice at Every
Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey
(2011), 50-70,
reports/ntds_full.pdf. See also, Martinez v. L.A. Desserts, Inc.,
Case No. BC481758 (Cal. Superior Court, Los Angeles County, filed
March 29, 2012) (complaint alleging disability discrimination against
gay, Latino, immigrant, HIV-positive busser at Ivy Restaurant); Pena
v. Burger King Corp., Case No. 2:12cv248 (U.S. Dist. Ct., E.D. Va.,
filed May 2, 2012) (complaint alleging disability discrimination against
gay, Latino, HIV-positive district manager). of
State Legislators, 2012 Immigration-related
Fed. Reg. 5662 (Feb. 3, 2012).
See note 204 infra.
Arizona v. United States, 132 S.Ct. 2492 (2012).
See Julia Preston, Same-Sex Couples Granted Protection in
Deportations, N.Y. Times, Sept. 28, 2012, at A1 (discussing Department
of Homeland Security’s decision to treat family relationships under its
guidelines in deportation-review cases to include long-term same-sex
Id. at 2498.
Id. at 2510.
During its fact-gathering process, the Commission received extensive
testimony and information on the status of Latino immigrants,
and problems with U.S. immigration policy. The Commission’s
discussion of immigrants and the attack on immigrants presented
in several sections of this Report reflects the information presented
to the Commission, and the impassioned voices of advocates for
immigration reform. These portions of the Report are not intended
to, and do not, serve as an analysis of existing immigration law
or proposals for change. Instead, the Commission recognizes
the work done by the ABA’s Commission on Immigration, which
“directs the Association’s efforts to ensure fair treatment and
full due process rights for immigrants and refugees within the
United States.” See
The Commission on
Immigration’s recent publication, Reforming The Immigration System:
Proposals to Promote Independence, Fairness, Efficiency, and
Professionalism in the Adjudication of Removal Cases, provides a
comprehensive, extensively well researched, and thoughtful review
of the current system for determining whether to deport or remove
Id. at 2507 (citing Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 11-1051(B) (West 2012)).
Id. at 2510.
See discussion infra note 310 (citing several Amicus Curiae Briefs on
behalf of Respondent United States arguing S.B. 1070 will result in
profiling of Latinos, regardless of citizenship status).
See discussion infra notes 122-124, and accompanying text;
Increased Violence: Sara A. Martinez, Declaring Open Season: The
Outbreak of Violence Against Undocumented Immigrants by Vigilante
Ranchers in South Texas, 7 Scholar 95, 96-107 (2004).
Pew Hispanic Ctr., 2007 National Survey of Latinos: As Illegal
Immigration Issue Heats Up, Hispanics Feel A Chill 1 (2007), http://
Id. at 35.
coi_complete_full_report.authcheckdam.pdf. It is one
example of the ABA’s institutional work on immigration matters. The
Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities hopes
that, in the future, it will be able to work on issues of mutual interest
with the Commission on Immigration.
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Endnotes continued
Secure Communities,
Id. See also Shadi Masri, ICE’s Initiation of Secure Communities
Program Draws More Criticism Than Praise, 25 Geo Immigr. L.J. 533
See e.g., California Assembly Bill 1081 (2011-12 session)
(pending bill to restrict honoring of ICE detainers statewide).
See also Julia Preston, Despite Opposition, Immigration
Agency to Expand Fingerprint Program, N.Y. Times, May 12,
2012, at A10.
Unanswered Questions and Continuing Concerns, Immigration Policy
Center (Nov. 29, 2011),
Aarti Kohli et al., The Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute On Law
and Social Policy, Univ. Of California Berkeley Law School, Secure
Communities by the Numbers: An Analysis of Demographics and Due
Process 4-5 (2011),
Id. at 5-6.
Id. at 13.
Homeland Security Advisory Council, Task Force on Secure
Communities Findings and Recommendations 4 (2011), https://
www . dhs . gov / xlibrary / assets / hsac - task - force - on - secure communities.pdf. The Homeland Security Advisory Council “is
comprised of leaders from state and local government, first responder
agencies, the private sector, and academia, provides advice and
recommendations to the Secretary on matters related to homeland
security.” Id. The Task Force is a volunteer group composed of
“local and state law enforcement and homeland security officials,
attorneys with expertise in immigration practice and criminal law,
labor union officials who represent federal immigration enforcement
workers, academics, social service agency leaders, and others.” The
Task Force “was asked to consider how Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) may improve the Secure Communities Program,
including how to address some of the concerns about the program
that ‘relate to [its] impact on community policing and the possibility
of racial profiling,’ and `how to best focus on individuals who pose a
true public safety or national security threat.’” The Task Force “was
specifically charged with making recommendations `on how ICE
can adjust the Secure Communities program to mitigate potential
impacts on community policing practices, including whether and
how to implement policy regarding the removals of individuals
charged with, but not convicted of, minor traffic offenses who have
no other criminal history.’” Id. See also, Dept. of Homeland Security,
Protecting the Homeland: ICE Response to the Task Force on Secure
Communities Findings and Recommendations (2012)(setting forth
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s response to Task Force
recommendations which were adopted by the Homeland Security
Advisory Council in November 2011),
Homeland Security Advisory Council, supra note 102 at 11.
Id. at 12.
Id. at 16. See also Michele Waslin, The Secure Communities Program:
Homeland Security Advisory Council, supra note 102 at 16.
Id. at 25.
Id. at 29.
S. Poverty Law Ctr., Anti-Latino Hate Crime Up for Fourth Year
(2008) (“The FBI’s latest report also found, as it has in most years,
that schools and colleges were the third largest venue for hate crimes
(with 11.3% of the total reported on campuses), after `in or near
residences or homes’ (30.5%) and `on highways, roads, alleys, or
streets’ (18.9%)”),
See U.S. dept. of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Hate
Crime Statistics 2010,
California Dept. of Justice, Hate Crime in California 2010 1
See also, S. Poverty Law Ctr., Anti-Latino Hate Crimes Spike in
California (2011) (noting that while FBI numbers indicated a drop in
hate crimes during 2008 and 2009, California’s numbers may be a
better indicator of a possible rise in hate crimes because, national
hate crime numbers are “notoriously sketchy, providing only a rough
indication of trends”),
Lynn Langton and Michael Planty, U.S. Dept. Of Justice, Bureau of
Justice Statistics, Hate Crime, 2003-2009 1 (2011), http://bjs.ojp.
Id. at 9.
Id. at 1.
Id. at 3, 9.
Id. at 9.
U.S. dept. of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime
Reports, UCR General FAQs,
The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports and the National Crime Victimization
Survey data cannot easily be compared because of differences
in methodology and crime coverage, but according to the NCRS
once the data are restricted to the same types of violent crimes,
the discrepancy in the number of hate crime victimizations can be
accounted for, in part, by the fact that 54% of victims in the NCVS
did not report to the police. Lynn Langton and Michael Planty, U.S.
Dept. Of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Hate Crime, 2003-2009
2 (June 2011),
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Endnotes continued
Id. at 3.
Id. at 8.
See Immigration, Mitt Romney Campaign Website (stating that “[a]
porous border allows illegal immigrants to enter the United States,
violent cartel members and terrorist possibly among them. Certain
states and municipalities grant benefits to illegal immigrants that act
as magnets that draw illegal immigrants across the border”), http://; Rick Santorum
Campaign Website (stating, “[t]he policies of the Obama administration
have left us today with a serious problem: an exposed border and a
nation vulnerable to drug cartels, violent criminals, and terrorists”),; Mark Smith, The Guardian, John
McCain Blames Illegal Immigrants for Arizona Wildfires (June 20,
2011), (Senator McCain (R-AZ) stated that substantial evidence
exists that some Arizona wildfires were caused by “persons who
crossed our border illegally. The answer to that part of the problem
is to get a secure border.” Senator Jon Kyl and Representative Paul
Gosar said they too had heard that illegal immigrants start fires, but
could not point to any evidence in support),
co . uk / world /2011/ jun /21/ john - mccain - blames - immigrants wildfires; Scott Rothschild, (Mar. 14, 2011), Kansas
Legislator Suggests Using Hunters in Helicopters to Control
Illegal Immigration, Likens Immigrants to Feral Hogs, (Kansas State
Representative Virgil Peck (R-Tyro) said his comment, made during
a House Appropriations Committee on state spending for controlling
feral swine, that “it might be a good idea to control illegal immigration
the way the feral hog population has been controlled: with gunmen
shooting from helicopters…” was a joke, but that it reflected
“frustration with the problem of illegal immigration”), http://www2.; Tennessee Lawmaker Calls Some Illegal
Immigrants “Rats”, (Nov. 12, 2010) (during fiscal review
committee meeting of lawmakers and state officials, Tennessee State
Representative Curry Todd reacted to an answer to his question
regarding proof of citizenship for access to state assistance, that
“[t]hey can go out there like rats and multiply.” http://www.cnn.
see also Lozano v. Hazleton, 496 F.Supp. 2d 477, 507-510, (M.D. Pa.
2007)(in federal lawsuit finding unlawful local ordinances seeking to
regulate immigrant access to housing and employment opportunities,
court grants certain plaintiffs right to proceed anonymously based, in
part, on court’s determination that “record of hostility to the plaintiffs
in the lawsuit and the climate of fear and hostility surrounding the
debate over the ordinances creates a justified fear about revealing
the anonymous plaintiffs’ identities.”), aff’d in part, vacated in part, 620
F.3d 170 (3d Cir. 2010), cert. granted, judgment vacated sub nom,
City of Hazleton, Pa. v. Lozano, 131 S.Ct. 2958, 180 L.Ed.2d 243
(2011)(judgment vacated, and case remanded to the United States
Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit for further consideration in light
of Chamber of Commerce of United States of America v. Whiting, 563
U.S. ––––, 131 S.Ct. 1968, 179 L.Ed.2d 1031 (2011))).
Kevin R. Johnson, It’s the Economy, Stupid: The Hijacking of the
Debate Over Immigration Reform by Monsters, Ghosts, and Goblins
(or the War on Drugs, War on Terror, Narcoterrorists, Etc.), 13 CHAP.
L. REV. 583, 612 (2010); Armando Navarro, The Immigration Crisis:
Nativism, Armed Vigilantism, and the Rise of Countervaiikng Mass
Movement (AltaMira Press 2009). See Leadership Conf. on Civ. & Hum.
Rts., The State of Hate: Escalating Hate Violence Against Immigrants
Back to TOC
(June 2009) (“increase in violence against Hispanics correlates closely
with the increasingly heated debate over Comprehensive Immigration
Reform and an escalation in the level of anti-immigrant vitriol on radio,
television, and the Internet”); Pew Hispanic Ctr., 2007 National Survey
of Latinos: As Illegal Immigration Issue Heats Up, Hispanics Feel A
Chill 35 (2007) (“Latinos who say their local officials have focused
a lot on the issue of illegal immigration in recent months are more
likely than other Hispanics to report being the victim of some types
of discrimination. For example, nearly one-in-five (19%) of those who
perceive a heavy local government focus on illegal immigration report
having been treated poorly in government offices very or fairly often.
By contrast, just one-in-nine Hispanics (11%) who perceive that illegal
immigration has not been a priority of local officials report receiving
poor service in government offices very often or fairly often”), http://
Mark Potok, S. Poverty Law Ctr., The ‘Patriot’ Movement Explodes
(2012), See State and Federal Law Enforcement Attack on
Immigrants, supra notes 77-93 and accompanying text, on statebased legislative efforts that seek to punish immigrants deemed to
be “undocumented,” as well as persons who provide services to such
immigrants within their borders.
National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, Hate Violence Against
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and HIV-affected
Communities in the United States in 2011 9 (2011),
Id. at 24 (cautioning figures may reflect a higher percentage of people
of color living in regions covered by the report as well as the results of
the dedicated outreach to communities of color).
Id. at 27.
See discussion infra, Part A2.; National Latina Institute for
Reproductive Health, Sexual Harassment a Problem for Latinas
(2011),; Southern Poverty Law Ctr.,
Injustice on Our Plates (finding 77% of participants said sexual
harassment is a major problem on the job), http://www.splcenter.
EEOC v. Willamette Tree Wholesale, Inc., CV -09-690-PK , http:// (Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission alleged sexual violence
and harassment and retaliation against Latina female employees,
including rape of one employee by company foreman. Case settled
for $150,000 and employer’s agreement to comply with federal
cfm); Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Human Trafficking
Prosecution Unit (listing select human trafficking cases, including
cases of Latina victims),
Pew Hispanic Ctr., When Labels Don’t Fit: Hispanics and Their Views
of Identity 6 (2012) (Social Science Research Solutions conducted
survey interviews for the Pew Hispanic Center), http://www.
Id. at 9.
Endnotes continued
Id. at 10.
Mark Hugo Lopez, Rich Morin, Paul Taylor, Pew Hispanic Ctr., Illegal
Immigration Backlash Worries, Divides Latinos 7 (2010), http://
Id. at 8.
Id. at 9.
When Labels Don’t Fit, supra note 47 at 18.
The Commission’s first year covered September 2010 to August
2011, which ended at the close of the ABA Annual Meeting.
In May 2011, ABA President-elect William T. Robinson reappointed
the Commission for the 2011-2012 bar year. The Commission’s
second year covered September 2011 to August 2012, and ended at
the close of the ABA Annual Meeting.
The substantive considerations and results of the Commission’s
deliberations during its second year are set forth infra, in the Report’s
section titled, Challenges Facing the Latino Community in the United
States: Substantive Legal Issues.
To the extent technologically feasible, information about the hearings
have been made available on line at the Commission’s page on the
Association’s website,
The Latino Community in the United States is heterogeneous and
consists of members from many countries and regions, including
Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Central and
South America.
fueled by a progressive coalition-building approach to addressing the
legal issues affecting Latinos around the nation.” See http://www.
The Education Division of LatinoJustice PRLDEF has provided
services to prospective law students and law students for 37
years. Among its many programs the Education Division hosts
an annual Law Day for prospective law students attended by law
school representatives, provides LSAT preparation, and presents
information workshops on law school for admitted students. See
The Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) has a long
history of working on programs to increase diversity in the profession,
including weeklong programs that prepare accepted students
for law school. For more information on CLEO, see http://www.
The HNBA Mentoring Program Committee “was created to address
the dearth of Latino lawyers and the pipeline problems faced by
young Hispanics. The Committee created and oversees the HNBA’s
National Mentoring Program, a joint project with the Hispanic National
Bar Foundation, which is designed to help increase the number of
Hispanics who go to law school and to support their successful
transition into legal careers.” See
Commission Members Francisco Angones, Jose Astigarraga and
Commission Members and Forum Co-chairs Jenny Rivera and Diana
Sen participated in the program.
Mr. Landry returned to serve as the Head Master Lafayette Charter
School after he was appointed the New Head Master of Esperanza.
Commission Member and Reporter Jenny Rivera and Commission
Director Aracely Muñoz Petrich attended these meetings.
Actual name withheld to protect the witness and ensure her privacy.
These descriptions relate the witnesses’ testimony regarding the
nature of incidents they experienced and described before the
Commission Member and Reporter Jenny Rivera and Commission
Director Aracely Muñoz Petrich attended these meetings.
infra note 157 and accompanying text.
The Commission cosponsored the Standing Committee’s Resolution
122, which was withdrawn from submission at the 2011 Midyear
meeting, and subsequently submitted with revisions for adoption at
the 2012 Annual Meeting as Resolution 133.
ABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights Rights and
Responsibilities. 303 (Adopted 2011),
files/303.pdf. See also American Bar Association Adopts Policy
In Defense of 14th Amendment Citizenship Clause, http://www.
Legal advocates have relied on several federal and state constitutional
and statutory provisions to address the myriad legal issues discussed
in this Report. The legal framework presented for each substantive
area provides a brief reference to the most significant statutory
legal bases of protections, and is not exhaustive of the provisions
supporting the range of legal claims and rights implicated by the
issues discussed in these substantive areas. General constitutional
references are not included with the exception of the discussion of the
The co-chairs of the Forum were HNBA President and ABA
Commissioner Diana Sen, and Professor Jenny Rivera, ABA
Commissioner and Reporter.
The Hispanic National Bar Association Law Student Division (HNBALSD) is part of the Hispanic National Bar Association. The HNBALSD is a national organization governed by its members. Its mission
“is to increase the number of Latino/a law students involved with
the HNBA and HNBA-LSD, to encourage the participation of Latino
[sic] students in developing and remaining responsive to the social,
political, and academic promotion of the Latino/a community and to
encourage and promote the recruitment, academic achievement, and
retention of Latino/a law students.” See
The National Latina/o Law Student Association (NLLSA) is an
organization run by and for Latina/o law students and provides
a forum for national discussion on issues affecting the Latina/o
community. “Founded on principles of social, ethnic, racial, gender
and sexual equality, NLLSA is focused on advancing Latina/o
academic success and commitment to community service. NLLSA is
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Endnotes continued
criminal justice legal framework.
Each substantive area merits a fuller discussion than the Commission
is able to present in this Report at this time. It is the hope of the
Commission that its recommendation for Standing Committee
status will be adopted, and that in the near future ABA members will
determine whether to provide more extensive discussion of these and
other issues.
U.S. Dep’t of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Labor Force
Characteristics by Race and Ethnicity, August 2010 7, http://www.
National Center for Education Statistics, Status and Trends in the
Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups (2010),
Id. at
Id. at
asp. Numbers were unavailable for Latinas with a doctorate or first
professional degree, but Latinas with a Master’s degree earned a
median income of $52,000 compared to $55,000 for White females.
U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Statistics, Household Data
Annual Averages, January 2011 12 (2011),
Id. (race/ethnic and gender breakdown for these occupations were:
15.3% of Latinos work in management related positions compared
with 34.8% of White males; 24.1% of Latinas worked in management
related positions compared with 41.5% of White females; 21.8%
of Latinos worked in service occupations compared with 13.6% of
White males; and 33.2% of Latinas worked in service occupations
compared with 20% of White females).
Cruz v. Coach Stores, Inc. 202 F.3d 560 (2d Cir. 2000)(supervisor’s
remarks about women, use of racially derogatory language and
statement that “the only other job you [Hispanic] people can do
is sweep the floors in McDonald’s” supported plaintiff’s claim of
discrimination under Title VII based on a hostile work environment
due to racial and sexual harassment); Southern Poverty Law Center,
Injustice On Our Plates Immigrant Women in the U.S. Food Industry 42
(2010) (report based on interviews with 150 immigrant women from
Mexico, Guatemala, and other Latin American countries, who worked
in the agriculture and farming industries in several states, including
Florida, California, North Carolina, New York, Iowa, and Arkansas,
describing unfettered sexual harassment, and sexual violence against
Latina farm workers, noting that “[s]exual predators view farmworker
women and other undocumented women as `perfect victims’ because
they are isolated, thought to lack credibility, generally do not know their
rights, and may be vulnerable because they lack legal status”), http://
Injustice_on_Our_Plates.pdf; Maria Ontiveros, Lessons from
the Fields: Farmworkers and the Law, 55 Maine L. Rev. 157, 169
(2003)(discussing use of gender control and sexual harassment of
farmworker women)(citations excluded). See, e.g., Herrera v. Lufkin
Indus., Inc., 474 F.3d 675 (10th Cir. 2007) (reversing summary
judgment for employer in relation to Hispanic employee’s hostile
work environment claim that included a supervisor referring to him as
“the Mexican” or “that f***ing Mexican”); Perez v. N.J. Transit Corp.,
341 Fed. Appx. 757 (3d. Cir 2009) (upholding denial of defendant’s
summary judgment motion in relation to national origin discrimination
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by Hispanic police officer); EEOC v. RJB Properties, Inc., 2012 WL
1405728 (N.D. Ill. 2012) (rejecting defendant’s summary judgment
motion in relation to three Hispanic janitors alleging national origin
discrimination); Albuja v. Nat’l Broadcasting Co. Universal, Inc., 2012
WL 983566 (S.D.N.Y. 2012) (rejecting defendant’s summary judgment
motion in relation to Hispanic employee alleging discrimination);
Gutierrez v. City of New York, 756 F. Supp. 2d. 491 (S.D.N.Y. 2010)
(denying defendant’s summary judgment in relation to Hispanic police
detectives’ hostile work environment claims). See, e.g., Lucero v.
Nettle Creek School Corp., 566 F.3d 720 (7th Cir. 2009) (concerning
allegations by Hispanic female teacher of hostile work environment
based on sexual and ethnic-based harassment); Juarez v. Utah, 263
Fed. Appx. 726 (10th Cir. 2007) (concerning Hispanic female dental
assistant alleging racially and sexually hostile work environment);
Matires v. Conn. Dep’t of Transp., 596 F. Supp. 2d 425 (D. Conn
2009) (concerning employee of Hispanic origin alleging hostile work
environment based on sexual and race-based harassment).
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Charge Statistics
FY 1997 through FY 2011,
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, EEOC Charge Receipts
by State (includes U.S. Territories) and Basis for 2011, http://
See Annette Bernhardt et al., National Employment Law Project,
UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Broken Laws,
Unprotected Workers: Violations of Employment and Labor Laws
in America’s Cities (2009) (report on survey of workers in low-wage
industries in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City finding various
labor violations, including wage theft),
Id. at 42.
Id. at 43.
Id. at 50.
See U.S. Dept. of Labor, OSHA Office of Communications, OSHA,
National Council of La Raza Forum Alliance, OSHA Trade News
Release (May 2011) (according to Assistant Secretary of Labor for
Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels, “[a]bout 12
Latino workers die on the job every week while doing the most difficult,
unhealthful and dangerous jobs in America”), http://www.osha.
RELEASES&p_id=19914; U.S. Department of Labor, Secretary
of Labor Hilda L. Solis Convenes 1st Ever National Action Summit on
Health and Safety of Latino Workers, News Release (April 14, 2010)
(“Latino workers are killed and suffer work-related injuries at higher
rates than all other workers”),
id=17358; Kushik Jaga and Chandrabhan Dharmani, Sources of
Exposure to and Public Health Implications of Organophophate
Pesticides, 14(3) (2003),
v14n3/a04v14n3.pdf; Southern Poverty Law Ctr., Injustice On
Our Plates Immigrant Women in the U.S. Food Industry 4 (2010)
(interviews with 150 immigrant women from Mexico, Guatemala,
and other Latin American countries, who worked in the agriculture
Endnotes continued
and farming industries in several states, including Florida, California,
North Carolina, New York, Iowa and Arkansas, describing harsh
working conditions, inhumane treatment and illegal harassment,
and which concludes that the “laws that protect these workers are
grossly inadequate”),
files/downloads/publication/Injustice_on_Our_Plates.pdf. The
adverse health consequences of these dangerous and unhealthy
workplace environments fall particularly harshly upon the Latino
community because many heavily Latino-populated neighborhoods
face environmental pollution problems and are battlegrounds for
environmental justice struggles.
Southern Poverty Law Ctr., Injustice On Our Plates Immigrant Women
in the U.S. Food Industry 23 (2010),
Human Rights Watch, Fields of Peril: Child Labor in U.S. Agriculture
Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York, Burned: High Risks and
Low Benefits for Workers in the New York City Restaurant Industry
Civil Rights Act of 1991, 42 U.S.C. § 2000(e) et seq. (1991).
Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S. § 121111 et seq. (2009).
Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S. § 621 et seq. (1967).
U.S. §§ 6101-6107 (1975).
Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 215-218.
U.S.C. § 1324b (IRCA nondiscrimination provisions).
C.F.R. § 1604, Part 1604 (Title VII guidelines on national origin).
See, e.g., Cal. Gov’t Code § 12940 (prohibiting unlawful
employment practices based on, inter alia, “national origin”); D.C.
Code § 2-1402.11 (prohibiting “unlawful discriminatory practice”
in employment based on numerous factors); Fla. Stat. § 760.10
(prohibiting unlawful employment practices based on discrimination);
Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/2-102 (prohibiting “civil rights violations” in
employment); Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 151B, § 4 (prohibiting unlawful
employment practices); Mich. Comp. Laws § 37.2202 (prohibiting
employment discrimination); N.Y. Exec. Law § 296 (prohibiting
unlawful discriminatory practices in employment); N.Y. City Admin.
Code § 8-107 (prohibiting unlawful discriminatory practices in
employment); Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 4112.02 (prohibiting unlawful
discriminatory practices in employment); Tex. Lab. Code Ann. §
21.051 (prohibiting discrimination by employers); Wash. Rev. Code §
49.60.180 (prohibiting unfair practices of employers).
See, e.g., 29 U.S.C. § 213(a)(15) (excluding individuals in “domestic
service employment” from minimum wage requirements); 29 U.S.C. §
213(b)(21) (excluding individuals “employed in domestic service” from
maximum hour limitations).
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Live Free: Annual
Report on Fair Housing FY 2010 7 (citing Rugh, J., and Massey, D.,
Racial Segregation and the American Foreclosure Crisis, American
Sociological Review (2010),
Poverty & Race Research Action Council & National Fair Housing
Alliance, Residential Segregation and Housing Discrimination in the
United States, Violations of the International Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination 2 (2008) (citing
John Logan, Lewis Mumford Ctr. for Comparative Urban & Reg’l
Research, Ethnic Diversity Grows, Neighborhood Integration Lags
Behind 1 (2001),
WPreport/MumfordReport.pdf). See also, United States v. GFI
Mortgage Bankers, 12 CV 2502 (S.D.N.Y.) (complaint against GFI for
violations of fair lending laws by charging Hispanic borrowers “higher
interest rates and fees on home mortgage loans because of their race
or national origin, not based on their creditworthiness”).
Algernon Austin, Economic Policy Institute, Subprime Mortgages are
Nearly Double for Hispanics and African Americans (2008), http://;
Algernon Austin, Economic Policy Institute, A Good Credit Score Did
Not Protect Latino and Black Borrowers (2012), http://www.epi.
org/publication/latino-black-borrowers-high-rate-subprimemortgages. See also, United States v. Countrywide Financial Corp.,
11 CV 10540 (C.D. Cal.) (settlement of case involving allegations
that Countrywide “engaged in widespread pattern or practice
against qualified . . . Hispanic borrowers in their mortgage lending
from 2004 through 2008”),
documents/countrywidesettle.pdf; United States v. Summerhill
Place, 10 CV 01150 (W.D. Wash. 2010)(Department of Justice
enters consent decree in action alleging Fair Housing Act violations,
including discouraging Hispanics and Hispanics with children from
living at Summerhill Place, different rental rates based on race and
national origin, and asking prospective Hispanic tenants whether
they were legal residents),
Center for Responsible Lending, A National Tragedy: HMDA Data
Highlight Homeownership Setbacks for African Americans and Latinos
Debbie Gruenstein Bocian et al., Center for Responsible Lending
Research Report, Foreclosures by Race and Ethnicity: The
Demographics of a Crisis 2 (2010), http://www.responsiblelending.
Id. at 3.
U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, Annual Report, supra
187 at 20, Table 1.
Id. at 7 (citing Rugh, J., and Massey, D., Racial Segregation and the
American Foreclosure Crisis. American Sociological Review (2010),
Nancy McArdle et al.,, Issue Brief, Segregation Falls
for Black Children in Most Metro Areas But Remains High; Fewer
Metros Experience Declines for Latinos,(2011), http://diversitydata.
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Endnotes continued
106, 801 N.E. 2d 326 (2003); Serrano v. Priest, 5 Cal. 3d 584, 487
P.2d 1241 (1971).
Id. (citing D. Acevedo-Garcia et al.,, Children Left
Behind: How Metropolitan Areas are Failing America’s Children (2007),
left_behind_final_report.pdf (footnote omitted) (emphasis in original)).
See e.g., Villas at Parkside Partners v. City of Farmers Branch, No.
10-10751 (5th Cir. March 21, 2012) (striking down one such ordinance).
Susan Aud et al., National Center for Education Statistics, Status
and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups (2010)
(percentages do not include numbers from Puerto Rico), http://nces.
Id. (percentages do not include numbers from Puerto Rico).
Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended by the Fair
Housing Amendments Act of 1988, 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq.
Id. at
U.S.C. §§ 1691-1691f, § 1691 (1991).
U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.; 42 C.F.R. 104(b)(2).
U.S.C. § 5309(a).
National Council of La Raza, Missing Out, supra note 205 at 5
(citing U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education
Statistics, The Nation’s Report Card: America’s High School
Graduates (2007), Figures 26 and 27).
See e.g., Cal. Civ. Code § 51 and Cal. Gov’t Code § 12955; Haw. Rev.
Stat. Ann. § 515-3; Iowa Code Ann. § 216.8; N.J. Stat. Ann. § 10:5-4;
N.M. Stat. Ann. § 28-1-7-G; N.Y. Exec. Law § 296(2-a)(a); and R.I.
Gen. Laws § 34-37-2.
Gary Orfield, Civil Rights Project, supra note 209 at 16.
National Women’s Law Ctr. & Mexican American Legal Defense
and Educational Fund, Listening to Latinas:
Barriers to High
School Graduation 6-9 (2009),
National Center for Education Statistics, Status and Trends in the
Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups, supra note 214 at http://
National Center for Education Statistics, Status and Trends in
the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups,
Id. at
Id. at
National Council of La Raza, Missing Out, supra note 205 at 10 (citing
U.S. Department of Education, The Condition of Education 2006 60
(2006) (Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics,
Id. at
See e.g. National Conference of State Legislatures , In-State Tuition
and Unauthorized Immigrant Students, (November 22, 2011), http://
See Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003)(upholding admissions
process which considers race and ethnicity because law school had
a compelling interest in attaining a diverse student body); Gratz v.
Bollinger, 539 U.S. 244 (2003)(university’s undergraduate admissions
policy which takes race into consideration violated Equal Protection
Clause. See also Fisher v. Univ. of Texas at Austin, 631 F.3d 213 (5th
Cir. 2011), cert. granted, 132 S.Ct. 1536 (2012)(university admission
policy supported by compelling interest in diversity).
Aud, S., et al., U.S. Department of Education, National Center for
Education Statistics, The Condition of Education: 2012 (2012), http:// The definition for ELL
students is adopted from the report’s definition, Appendix D-Glossary,
p. 317.
See e.g. Southern Poverty Law Center and Advocates for Children’s
Services Title VI complaint to the U.S. Department of Education’s
Office of Civil Rights charging discrimination by North Carolina’s Wake
National Council of La Raza, Missing Out: Latino Students in America’s
Schools 2 (2009),
Gary Orfield, Civil Rights Project/Proyecto De derechos Civiles at
UCLA, Reviving the Goal of an Integrated Society: A 21st Century
Challenge 12 (2009),
Id. at 13.
Id. at 15.
National Council of La Raza, Missing Out, supra note 205 at 8, Figure 5.
Id. at 8 (citing The Funding Gap 2008 (Washington, DC: The
Education Trust, 2008)). There has been significant litigation to
address fiscal inequity in education and its impact on educational
opportunities. Latinos have been noticeable participants in these
cases, and have served as named plaintiffs in several. See e.g. San
Antonio Sch. Dist. v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1 (1973); Campaign for
Fiscal Equity v. State of New York, 100 N.Y. 2d 893, 769 N.Y.S. 2d
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Endnotes continued
County Public School System, dated June 12, 2012 (discriminating
against Latino Students with Spanish-speaking parent), http://
MediaReleases/legal-aid-of-north-carolina-complaint-againstwake-county-schools.pdf; see also
U.S. 202 (1982).
Press Release, Migration Policy Institute, As Many as 1.4 Million
Unauthorized Immigrant Youth Could Gain Relief from Deportation
under Obama Administration Grant of Deferred Action, (June 15,
php (approximately 800,000 undocumented students currently
attend school in grades K-12); Migration Policy Institute, DREAM
vs. Reality: An Analysis of Potential DREAM Act Beneficiaries 6
Migration Policy Institute, DREAM vs. Reality, supra note 231 at 2.
See e.g. New York State Dream Act, S.4179/A.6829; California
DREAM Act AB 131 (passed October 2011).
Memorandum from Janet Napolitano, Sec’y of Homeland Security
to David V. Aguilar, Acting Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border
Protection, Alejandro Mayorkas, Director U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Services, and John Morton, Director U.S. Immigration
and Customs Enforcement, (June 15, 2012)(discussing exercising
prosecutorial discretion with respect to Individuals who came to
the United States as children),
assets/s1-exercising-prosecutorial-discretion-individualswho-came-to-us-as-children.pdf. According to the Secretary’s
memorandum, individuals who meet the following criteria are eligible
for deferred status: persons who came to the U.S. under the age
of 16, continuously resided in the U.S. for at least five years, are in
school, or received a high school diploma or GED or were honorably
discharged from the armed forces or the Coast Guard, have not
been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor offense, multiple
misdemeanor offenses, or pose a threat to national security or public
safety, and are not older than 30 years of age.
Press Release, Pew Hispanic Ctr., Up to 1.4 Million Unauthorized
Immigrants Could Benefit from New Deportation Policy (June 15,
2012),; Press Release, Migration Policy Institute, As
Many as 1.4 Million Unauthorized Immigrant Youth Could Gain Relief
from Deportation under Obama Administration Grant of Deferred
Action, supra note 231.
See Matea Gold and Lisa Mascaro, Supporters praise
immigration order, call for permanent solution, l.a. times, June
15, 2012, at,0,5803693.story; Member Advisory of
the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities HACU
Praises the Obama Administration for Immigration Relief for
Undocumented Youth (June 15, 2012),
Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Thomas
A. Saenz Responds to the President’s Decision to Provide Relief
to Undocumented Youth (June 15, 2012), http://www.maldef.
org/news/releases/youth_relief; Press Release, National Council
of La Raza, NCLR Hails President Obama’s Act of Commonsense
Compassion for Dreamers (June 15, 2012),
Romero, A Lifeline for DREAMers, American Civil Liberties Union Blog
(June 15, 2012),
Memorandum from Janet Napolitano, supra note 235 (stating the
memorandum “confers no substantive right, immigration status or
pathway to citizenship” which remains solely the purview of the U.S.
Congress) (June 15, 2012),
U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.; 42 C.F.R. 104(b)(2).
U.S.C. §§ 1681-1686.
U.S.C. § 1400 et seq.
U.S.C. § 794.
The 2002 No Child Left Behind Act, renamed the Bilingual Education
Act to the English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement,
and Academic Achievement Act, focuses on achieving language
acquisition. 20 U.S.C. §§ 6801-7014.
See e.g., Keyes v. School Dist. No. 1, Denver, Colorado, 413 U.S.
189 (1973)(Latinos are an identifiable class for purposes of the 14th
Amendment and schools with predominant population of blacks
and Latinos may properly be classified as “segregated”); Mendez
v.Westminster Sch. Dist. of Orange Cnty, 64 F.Supp. 544 (S.D. Cal.
1946), aff’d, 161 F.2d 774 (9th Cir. 1947)(affirming lower court decision
that segregation of Latino children was unconstitutional).
See e.g., Serna v. Portales, 499 F.2d 1147 (10th Cir. 1974)(failure to
provide appropriate instruction to ensure Spanish surnamed students
“receive a meaningful education” violates Title VI); Bilingual Education
Act, Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1968.
See e.g. Riley v. Ambach, 668 F.2d 635 (2d Cir. 1981).
See e.g., Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982)(undocumented children
denied access to free public education violates equal protection
under the 14th Amendment).
See e.g., San Antonio Independent Sch. Dist. v. Rodriguez, 411
U.S. 1 (1973)(education is not a fundamental right under the U.S.
Constitution, wealth is not a suspect classification and Texas public
school financing system based, in part, on property values is not
unconstitutional); Campaign for Fiscal Equity, Inc. v. State of New
York, 86 N.Y.2d 307 (1995); Campaign for Fiscal Equity, Inc. v. State
of New York, 100 N.Y.2d 893, 801 N.E.2d 326, 769 N.Y.S.2d 106
(2003)(NY constitution provides a right to a “sound basic education”);
Serrano v. Priest, 5 Cal.3d 584, 96 Cal. Rptr. 601, 487 P.2d 1241
(1971)(wealth is a suspect classification , education is a fundamental
right, and California public school financing based on property values
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Endnotes continued
violates the federal and California constitutions), aff’d, 18 Cal. 3d 728,
135 Cal. Rptr. 345, 557P.2d 929 (1976).
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 26 U.S.C. § 1312 (f)(2)
Fact Sheet, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, Hyde
Amendment (2011) (citing U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population
Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2008, http://www., http://latinainstitute.
Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities, Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, Highlights in Minority Health & Health
Disparities September/October 2010 (citing Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics
(NCHS), Health, United States, 2009, table 137),
Id. (citing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Health, United States,
2009, table 137).
National Council of La Raza, 2009 Profiles of Latino Health: The Top
Twelve Questions About Latinos and Health Care, Question 3: In what
ways do Latinos access health insurance? (based on National Council
of La Raza’s calculations using U.S. Bureau of the Census, “2007
Annual Social and Economic Supplement”),
Id. (based on National Council of La Raza’s calculation using data
from U.S. Bureau of the Census, “2007 Annual Social and Economic
Supplement,” Current Population Survey. Conducted by the Bureau
of the Census for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington, D.C.,
Id. (based on National Council of La Raza’s calculation using data
from U.S. Bureau of the Census, “2007 Annual Social and Economic
Supplement,” Current Population Survey. Conducted by the Bureau
of the Census for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Washington, DC,
Question3.pdf. Medicare is limited to legal permanent residents
who have been in the United States for at least five years. See 8
U.S.C. § 1613(a) (2000). See also Matthews v. Diaz, 426 U.S. 67, 67
(1976) (Congress may condition immigrant’s eligibility for participation
in a federal medical insurance program on continuous residence in
the U.S. for a five-year period); Tamara Forys, Left Out in the Cold:
How the United States’ Healthcare System Excludes Immigrants, 17
Annals of Health Care 351 (2008); Marguerite Angelari, Access to
Health Care for Elderly Immigrants, 17 Annals of Health Care 279 (2008).
National Council of La Raza, 2009 Profiles of Latino Health: The
Top Twelve Questions About Latinos and Health Care, Question 5:
What are the main reasons behind high levels of uninsurance among
Latinos? (based on National Council of La Raza’s calculation using
U.S. Bureau of the Census, “2007 Annual Social and Economic
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Id. (based on National Council of La Raza’s calculation using data
from U.S. Bureau of the Census, “2007 Annual Social and Economic
Supplement,” Current Population Survey. Conducted by the Bureau
of the Census for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Washington, DC,
In 2009, Congress amended the law and permitted states under section
214 of the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization
Act (CHIPRA), Pub L. 111-3, “to cover certain children and pregnant
women in both Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance
Program (CHIP) who are `lawfully residing in the United States’.” As
a result of this change, states were able to choose to cover lawfully
residing certain pregnant women and children lawfully residing in
the U.S. See Center for Medicaid, CHIP and Survey & Certification,
Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Medicare &
Medicaid Services, Letter from Cindy Mann, Deputy Administrator
and Director, to State Health Officials (July 1, 2010)(guidance letter
on implementation of CHIPRA, informing state health officials that
section 214 “may be applied to pregnant women in Medicaid and
CHIP and/or to children up to age 19 for CHIP or up to age 21 for
Medicaid (including targeted low-income children described in section
1905(u)(2)(B) of the [Social Security Act].)), http://ccf.georgetown.
National Council of La Raza, 2009 Profiles of Latino Health: The
Top Twelve Questions About Latinos and Health Care, Question 6:
Do Latinos have adequate access to health care?(citing Agency for
Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), 2007 National Health
Disparities Report (Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services, 2008), Table 216b,
C. Annette DuBard and Ziya Gizlice, Language Spoken and
Differences in Health Status, Access to Care, and Receipt of
Preventive Services Among U.S. Hispanics, American J. of Pub.
Health 98, 2021-2028 (2008),
See e.g., Arch G. Mainous, III, PhD et al., Acculturation and Diabetes
Among Hispanics: Evidence from the 1999-2002 National Health
and Nutrition Examination Survey, Pub. Health Rep. 2006 JanFeb; 121(1):60-66,
PMC1497789/?tool=pubmed (researchers analyzed National
Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 1999-2002
data, to evaluate data on Latino adults and concluded, in part, that
“[f]or ethnic groups that have language and cultural differences from
the majority of English speaking U.S. population, ensuring cultural
competence among providers is warranted”).
National Council of La Raza, 2009 Profiles of Latino Health: The Top
Twelve Questions About Latinos and Health Care, Question 10: How
does patient-provider communication affect the quality of Latinos’ health
care?(citing U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency
for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), 2007 National Health
Disparities Report Table 193C_b, (2008), http://www.nhdrnet.ahrq.
Code=2&genTable_flg=Y&tableYearld=2071933200), http://
Endnotes continued
Id. (citing Leo S. Morales et al., Are Latinos Less Satisfied with
Communication by Health Care Providers?, J. of Gen’l Internal
Medicine 14, 409-417(1999),
Id. (citing Elizabeth Wilson et al., Effects of Limited English Proficiency
and Physician Language on Health Care Comprehension, J. of Gen’l
Internal Medicine 20, 800-806 (2005).
See e.g., Press Release, Attorney General’s Office of the State of
New York, Cuomo Announces Agreement With Major Pharmacies
To Provide Customers With Prescription Medication Instructions In
Their Primary Language, (April 21, 2009) (New York State Attorney
General entered agreement with several large pharmacies and stores
requiring them to provide consultation services about prescriptions
in customers’ primary language and written prescription information
in certain languages, including Spanish),
National Council of La Raza, 2009 Profiles of Latino Health: The
Top Twelve Questions About Latinos and Health Care, Question 11:
How many Latino health professionals are practicing in the United
States? (citing Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population
Survey, Household Data Annual Averages, Table 11: Employed
persons by detailed occupation, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino
Latinos are a mere 4.7% of registered nurses, 7.1% of licensed
practical and licensed vocational nurses, 9.3% physician assistants,
and 5.9% of pharmacists, but a 20.2% of health care service and
support occupations professionals. See also id. (citing Kaiser Family
Foundation,, Distribution of Medical School
Graduates by Race/Ethnicity, 2008,
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, The Affordable
Care Act (ACA): Securing health, dignity, and justice for [email protected]
See generally Lambda Legal, When Health Care Isn’t Caring: Lambda
Legal’s Survey on Discrimination Against LGBT People and People
Living with HIV (2010),
when-health-care-isnt-caring. See e.g. N. Coast Women’s Care
Med. Group, Inc., v. San Diego County Superior Court, 44 Cal. 4th
1145 (2008)(denial of healthcare to Lesbian patient is impermissible
under state constitution and not protected by First Amendment free
exercise of religion clause).
National Council of La Raza, 2009 Profiles of Latino Health: The
Top Twelve Questions About Latinos and Health Care, Question 1:
Which health conditions disparately impact Latinos?(citing Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Diabetes Translation,
2007 National Diabetes Fact Sheet (2008),
Id. (citing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of
Diabetes Translation, 2007 National Diabetes Fact Sheet (2008),
Id. (citing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of
Diabetes Translation, 2007 National Diabetes Fact Sheet (2008),
Center for Disease Control and Prevention Health Data Interactive
System using data from the “national Health Interview Survey,”
Id. (citing H.I. Hall et al., Estimation of HIV Incidence in the United
States, JAMA 300, 520-529, Table 1 (2008)),
Id. (citing Fact Sheet: HIV/AIDS Among Hispanics/Latinos in the
United States (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and
factsheets/hispanic.htm#3; Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, vol.18 (Atlanta, GA:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2008),
National Council of La Raza, 2009 Profiles of Latino Health: The Top
Twelve Questions About Latinos and Health Care, Question 2: In what
ways does the Hispanic community show signs of good health? (citing
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV/AIDS Surveillance
Report, vol.18 (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, 2008),
National Council of La Raza, 2009 Profiles of Latino Health: The Top
Twelve Questions About Latinos and Health Care, Question 1: Which
health conditions disparately impact Latinos? (citing National Cancer
Institute, “Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results, Statistics
Stratified by Race/Ethnicity” (U.S. Mortality data type, Age-Adjusted
Rates statistic type),
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, The Affordable
Care Act, supra note 269.
Fact Sheet, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, The
Reproductive Health of Latina Immigrants (2005) (citing Scarinci I.,
Beech B., & Kovach K., An Examination of Sociocultural Factors
Associated with Cervical Cancer Screening Among low-Income Latina
Immigrants of Reproductive Age, J. of Immigrant Health 119-128
See Angela Hooton, A Broader Vision of the Reproductive Rights
Movement: Fusing Mainstream and Latina Feminism, 13 Am. U.J.
-85Back to TOC
Endnotes continued
Gender Soc. Pol’y & L. 59, 70-71 (2005)(discussing history of forced
sterilization of Latinas, specifically Puerto Rican, Dominican and
Mexican American women during 1950s-70s) ; Alexandra Minna
Stern, Sterilized in the Name of Public Health Race, Immigration,
and Reproductive Control in Modern California, American J. of Pub.
Health, Vol. 95, No. 7 (2005).
Abraido-Lanza AF et al., Do healthy behaviors decline with greater
acculturation? Implications for the Latino mortality paradox. Soc
Sci Med 973-986 (2004),
article/pii/S0277953605000523. POVERTY, HEALTH AND LAW:
(eds. Elizabeth Tobin Tyler, Ellen Lawton, Kathleen Conroy, Megan
Sandel, Barry Zuckerman) (Carolina Academic Press 2011).
National Council of La Raza, 2009 Profiles of Latino Health: The
Top Twelve Questions About Latinos and Health Care, Question 2: In
What ways does the Hispanic community show signs of good health?
(citing Joyce Martin et al., Births: Final Data for 2005, National Vital
Statistics Reports, vol. 56, no. 6 (Hyattsville, MD: National Center
for Health Statistics, 2008),
nvsr56_06.pdf, Table 32 (National Center for Health Statistics data
includes 50 states and District of Columbia)),
For example, according to data from 2003-2006, Mexican American
men ages 20-74 had a 77.3% prevalence of overweight and 30.4%
obesity. Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities, Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, “Highlights in Minority Health &
Health Disparities September/October 2010 (citing CDC, NCHS,
Health United States, 2009, table 72),
Highlights2010/HSeptOct10.html. See also Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, Health of Mexican American Population,
health risk factors,
National Council of La Raza, 2009 Profiles of Latino Health: The
Top Twelve Questions About Latinos and Health Care, Question 7:
Which health care services do Latinos have trouble obtaining? (citing
Gulner Scott and Catherine Simile, Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Access to Dental
Care Among Hispanic or Latino Subgroups: United States, 2000-03
(2005),, http://
C. Annette DuBard and Ziya Gizlice, Language Spoken and
Differences in Health Status, Access to Care, and Receipt of
Preventive Services Among U.S. Hispanics, American Journal of
Public Health 98, 2021-2028 (2008) (“Low chronic disease prevalence
among Spanish speakers may be attributable to a `healthy migrant’
effect, in that the Spanish-speaking population includes those who
have most recently immigrated to the United States, a subgroup
generally recognized to be in more robust health than the general
population…..A characteristic rise in obesity and chronic disease
associated with assimilation to Westernized dietary and exercise
patterns has been previously recognized….”)(citing Abraido-Lanza
AF, Chao MT, Florez KR. Do healthy behaviors decline with greater
acculturation? Implications for the Latino mortality paradox, Soc.
Sci. Med. 59:973-986 (2004)),
pmc/articles/PMC2636430; Abraido-Lanza AF, Chao MT, Florez
KR., Do healthy behaviors decline with greater acculturation?
Implications for the Latino mortality paradox, Soc. Sci. Med., 59:973986 (2004),
Back to TOC
U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.; 42 C.F.R. § 104(b)(2).
Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English
Proficiency, 65 Fed. Reg. 50,121 (Aug. 11, 2000).
U.S. Department of Justice, Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance
Recipients Regarding Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin
Discrimination Affecting Limited English Proficient Persons, 67 Fed.
Reg. 41,455, 41, 457 (June 18, 2002).
C.F.R. §§ 80.1-80.13.
Department of Health and Human Services, Guidance to Federal
Financial Assistance Recipients Regarding Title VI Prohibition
Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Limited English
Proficient Persons, 68 Fed. Reg. 47311 (Aug. 8, 2003).
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 26 U.S.C. § 1312 (f)(2)
National Fed’n of Indep. Bus. et al. v. Sebelius, et al., 567 U.S. ___ ,
132 S.Ct. 2566 (2012).
See Robert Pear, Repeal of Health Care Act, Again, Approved
by House, N.Y. TIMES , July 11, 2012, at http://www.nytimes.
com/2012/07/12/health/policy/house-votes-again-to-repealhealth-law.html?_r=1 (House bill approved by 244 to 145 votes,
and noting the House has voted numerous times to repeal the
Act); Manny Fernandez, Rick Perry Declares Texas Rejects Health
Care Law` Intrusions,’ N.Y. TIMES, July 9, 2012, at http://www. ; Robert Pear,
Republican Governor of Florida Says State Won’t Expand Medicaid,
N.Y. TIMES, July 3, 2012,
Jacob I. Stowell, Romero Martinez, Jr., and Jeffrey M. Cancino,
Latino Crime and Latinos in the Criminal Justice System: Trends,
Policy Implications, and Future Research Initiatives, Race and
Social Problems (published online, February 25, 2012) (citing West
and Sabol 2009), at
q007m80h1x5h6174/fulltext.pdf. See also Sourcebook of
Criminal Justice Statistics Online, Table 6.33.2010, estimated
number and rate (per 100,000 U.S. resident population in each
group) of sentenced prisoners under jurisdiction of State and Federal
correctional authorities, By sex, race, Hispanic Origin, and age group,
United States, 2010, at
t6332010.pdf, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics Online,
Table 6.17.2010, jail inmates, By sex, race, Hispanic Origin, and
conviction status, United States, 1990-2010, at http://www.albany.
Jacob I. Stowell, Latino Crime and Latinos in the Criminal Justice
System, supra note 296.
U.S. Dept Of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2010
26 Appendix 12 (December 2011),
U.S. Dept. Of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Federal Justice
Statistics, 2009 1 (December 2011),
Endnotes continued
Id. at 2.
Id. at 3.
Id. at 10.
Id. at 12.
Id. at 8.
See e.g., Ligon et al., v. City of New York et al., (S.D.N.Y. March
28, 2012),
See e.g., Chavez v. Illinois State Police, 27 F.Supp.2d 1053 (N.D.
Ill. 1998)(class certification denied and claims dismissed in action
alleging Illinois state troopers stop, detain and search Latinos and
African Americans based on race and ethnicity), aff’d, 251 F.3d 612
(7th Cir. 2001); Brown v. City of Oneonta, 221 F.3d 329 (2d Cir. 2000)
(suspect’s description is a legitimate classification where it is based
on victim’s description and race is not the sole characteristic used
by police); U.S. v. Montero-Camarga, 208 F.3d 1122, 1134-1135
(9th Cir.), cert. denied, Sanchez-Guillen v. United States, 531 U.S.
889 (2000)(Court holds in challenge to Border Patrol conduct that
although “racial or ethnic appearance may be one factor relevant to
reasonable suspicion or probable cause where a particular suspect
has been identified as having a specific racial or ethnic appearance,”
Hispanic appearance “may not be considered as a relevant factor
where particularized or individualized suspicion is required”); Ligon,
supra note 308 (class action complaint alleging Operation Clean
Halls results in unlawful stops, searches, summons and arrests with
a disparate impact on blacks and Latino private residential apartment
complaint_3.28.12.PDF; Floyd et al. v. The City of New York, et al.,
___ F.R.D. ___, 2012 WL 1868637 (S.D.N.Y.)(SAS) (class certified
in case challenging New York City’s “stop and frisk” program, alleging
profiling based on race and national origin); Rodriguez v. California
Highway Patrol, 89 F.Supp.2d 1131, 1137 (N.D. Cal. 2000)(class
action complaint alleging racial profiling integral to drug interdiction
program involving targeting of African American and Latino motorists
for stops, detentions, interrogations and searches); Martinez v. Village
of Mt. Prospect, 92 F.Supp.2d 780 (N.D. Ill. 2000)(in employment
discrimination case Latino police trainee alleged command personnel
told him to target Latinos for traffic stops); U.S. v. New Jersey, No.
99-5970 (MCL)(D.N.J. December 30, 1999)(consent decree in
case where United States alleged racial profiling by New Jersey
State Troopers resulting in stop and searches of African American
motorists),; Congress for
Puerto Rican Rights v. The New York City, 191 F.R.D. 52 (S.D.N.Y.
1999)(alleging racial and ethnic profiling by New York City’s Street
Crime Unit officers); New Jersey v. Soto, 324 N.J. Super. 66, 734 A.2d
350 (1996)(policy of targeting Blacks for investigation and arrest).
See also Amy Farrell, Jack McDevitt, Lisa Bailey, Carsten Andresen,
Erica Pearce, Northeastern University Institute on Race and Justice,
Massachusetts Racial and Gender Profiling Final Report 3 (May 2004)
(finding 249 out of 366 Massachusetts law enforcement agencies had
substantial racial and gender disparities in one of the following four
categories discussed in the report, citations to residents, citations to
drivers, searches and written warnings), http://www.policeforum.
Massachusetts_final_may_2004[1].pdf; Ian Ayres and Jonathan
Borowsky, ACLU of Southern California, A Study of Racially
Disparate Outcomes in the Los Angeles Police Department 8 (October
2008)(“results suggest that African Americans and Hispanics are
over-frisked and over-searched relative to whites”), http://www. For a comprehensive resource on racial
profiling legislation, litigation and data collection see http://www.
Arizona v. United States, 132 S.Ct. 2492 (2012). See Brief of the
American Bar Association as Amicus Curiae in Support of the
Respondent, at 10-18 (arguing Section 2 will result in wrongful
detention of persons lawfully present in the United States); Brief of
Former Arizona Attorneys General Terry Goddard and Grant Woods,
and Forty-Two Other Former Attorneys General as Amicus Curiae in
Support of Respondent, at 14-20 (arguing SB 1070 will lead to racial
profiling); Brief of Amicus Curiae National Council of La Raza, United
States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, The Hispanic National Bar
Association, and National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed
Officials in Support of Respondent, at 18-26 (arguing Arizona law
will result in unconstitutional policing and profiling of Latinos); Brief
of State and Local Law Enforcement Officials As Amicus Curiae in
Support of Respondent, at 16 (“The [Section 2B] statutory standard
of `reasonable suspicion’ of unlawful presence in the United States
will thus as a practical matter produce a focus on minorities, and
specifically Latinos.”); Brief for the Leadership Conference on Civil and
Human Rights, Southern Poverty Law Center, League of United Latin
American Citizens, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association,
National Congress of American Indians, Legal Momentum, LAMBDA
legal Defense and Education Fund, African American Ministers in
Action, American Jewish Committee, Leadership Conference of
Women Religious, and Other Civil Rights, Faith, and Community
Organizations as Amicus Curiae in Support of Respondent, at 12-13,
26-28 (arguing people of color will be profiled under the law and that
Arizona has a track record of failing to safeguard civil rights); Brief of
the Rutherford Institute as Amicus Curiae in Support of Respondent
at 9-17 (arguing S.B. 1070 will result in law enforcement “using race
as a proxy for immigration status” resulting in profiling of Latinos).
See discussion of Arizona v. United States, supra notes 83-89 and
accompanying text.
Letter from Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General, Department
of Justice, Civil Rights Division to East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo,
Jr., 1-2 (December 19, 2011),
Id. at 2.
Investigation of the Puerto Rico Police Department, United States
Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, 12 (September 5, 2011),
Id. at 19.
Id. at 5.
Id. at 21.
-87Back to TOC
Endnotes continued
Id. at 45. For another recent report on the PRPD, see American Civil
Liberties Union, Island of Impunity Puerto Rico’s Outlaw Police Force
(June 2012),
U.S. Const. amend. IV.
U.S. Const. amend. V.
U.S. Const. amend. XIV.
U.S.C. § 1983.
According to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed
Officials, the Latinos serving in the 112th Congress were: Sen. Marco
Rubio [R-FL], Sen. Robert Menendez [D-NJ], Rep. Joe Baca [DCA43], Rep. Xavier Becerra [D-CA31], Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler
[R-WA3], Rep. Francisco Canseco [R-TX23], Rep. Henry Cuellar [DTX28], Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart [R-FL21], Rep. Bill Flores [R-TX17],
Rep. Charlie A. Gonzalez [D-TX20], Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva [D-AZ7],
Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez [D-IL4], Rep. Rubén Hinojosa [D-TX15], Rep.
Raul R. Labrador [R-ID1], Rep. Ben R. Lujan, Jr. [D-NM3], Rep.
Grace Flores Napolitano [D-CA38], Rep. Ed Pastor [D-AZ4], Rep.
Silvestre Reyes [D-TX16], Rep. David Rivera [R-FL25], Rep. Ileana
Ros-Lehtinen [R-FL18], Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard [D-CA34], Rep.
Linda T. Sánchez [D-CA39], Rep. Loretta Sánchez [D-CA47], Rep.
José E. Serrano [D-NY16], Rep. Albio Sires [D-NJ13], and Rep. Nydia
Velazquez [D-NY12].
See e.g., League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry, 548 U.S.
399 (2006); Garza v. County of Los Angeles, 918 F.2d 763 (9th Cir. 1990).
Voting Rights Act of 1965, in particular, § 2 (dilution), § 5 (preclearance),
42 U.S.C. § 1973aa-1a (bilingual voting materials/ballots). See
(listing Voting Rights Act cases brought by the Department of Justice,
Civil Rights Division).
Kansas: Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 25-2908, 25-1122, 25-3002, 8-1324(g)
(2) (Westlaw, WestlawNext through Chapter 135 (End) of the 2011
Regular Session); Kentucky: Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 117.227 (Westlaw,
WestlawNext through the end of 2011 legislation); Louisiana: La.
Rev. Stat. Ann. § 18:562 (Westlaw, WestlawNext through the 2011
First Extraordinary and Regular Sessions); Michigan: Mich. Comp.
Laws Ann. § 168.523 (Westlaw, WestlawNext through P.A. 2012,
No. 153, of the 2012 Regular Session, 96th Legislature); Missouri:
Mo. Ann. Stat. § 115.427 (Westlaw, WestlawNext through April
2, 2012, of the 2012 Second Regular Session of the 96th General
Assembly); Montana: Mont. Code Ann. § 13-13-114 (Westlaw,
WestlawNext with all 2011 laws, Code Commissioner changes,
and 2010 ballot measures); North Dakota: N.D. Cent. Code Ann. §
16.1-05-07 (Westlaw, WestlawNext through the 2011 Regular and
Special Session); Ohio: Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §§ 3503.16(B)(1)(a),
3505.18(A)(1) (Westlaw, WestlawNext through all 2011 laws and
statewide issues and 2012 Files 70 through 107 of the 129th GA
(2011-2012)); Oklahoma: Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 26, § 7-114 (Westlaw,
WestlawNext through Chapter 264 of the Second Regular Session
of the 53rd Legislature (2012)); Pennsylvania: 25 Pa. Stat. Ann. §§
2626, 3050 (Westlaw, WestlawNext through 2012 Regular Session
Act 33); Rhode Island: R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 17-19-24.2 (Westlaw,
WestlawNext through chapter 25 of the 2012 Regular Session); South
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Carolina: S.C. Code Ann. § 7-13-710 (Westlaw, WestlawNext through
End of 2011 Reg. Sess.); South Dakota: S.D. Codified Laws § 12-186.1 to 6.2 (Westlaw, WestlawNext through the 2011 Special Session,
Executive Order 11-1, and Supreme Court Rule 11-17); Tennessee:
Tenn. Code Ann. § 2-7-112 (Westlaw, WestlawNext with laws from
the 2012 Second Reg. Sess., eff. through March 31, 2012); Texas:
Tex. Elec. Code Ann. § 63.001-.012 (Westlaw, WestlawNext through
the end of the 2011 Regular Session and First Called Session of the
82nd Legislature); Utah: Utah Code Ann. §§ 20A-1-102(76), 20A-3104 (Westlaw, WestlawNext through 2011 Third Special Session);
Virginia: Va. Code Ann. § 24.2-643(B) (Westlaw, WestlawNext through
End of the 2011 Reg. Sess. and 2011 Sp. S. I. and includes 2012 Reg.
Sess. cc. 1 to 3, 85, 166, 190, 210, 231, 239, 289, 306, 314 and
315); Washington: Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 29A.44.205 (Westlaw,
WestlawNext with all Legislation from the 2011 2nd Special Session
and 2012 Legislation effective through July 1, 2012); Wisconsin: Wis.
Stat. Ann. §§ 5.02(6m), 6.79(2)(a) (Westlaw, WestlawNext through
2011 Act 117, Acts 119 to 124, Acts 126 to 128, Acts 130 to 149, Acts
151 to 156, Acts 158 to 159, Acts 161 to 163, Acts 165 to 166, Acts
169 to 172, Acts 174 to 180, Acts 183 to 188, Acts 191 to 193, Acts
195 to 199, Act 201, Acts 203 to 205, Act 207, Acts 210 to 216, Acts
218 to 232, Act 234, Acts 236 to 242, Acts 244 to 246, Acts 248 to
255, Acts 257 to 261, Acts 263 to 265, and Acts 267 to 286, published
See e.g., Crawford v. Marion, 553 U.S. 181 (2008)(upholding photo
identification requirement); Gonzalez v. Arizona, 677 F.3d 383 (9th
Cir. 2012)(naturalized citizen denied opportunity to vote despite
providing driver’s license and naturalization certificate number);
Frank v. Walker, No. 2:11-cv-01128 (E.D. Wis. Dec. 13, 2011)(photo
identification requirement challenge).
Pa. Stat. Ann. §§ 2626, 3050 (Westlaw, WestlawNext through 2012
Regular Session Act 33); Ind. Code Ann. §§ 3-5-2-40.5, 3-10-1-7.2,
3-11-8-25.1 (Westlaw, WestlawNext through legislation effective May
31, 2012); Ga. Code Ann. § 21-2-417 (Westlaw, WestlawNext through
2011 Regular and Special Sessions).
Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 9-261 (Westlaw, WestlawNext with Public
Acts enrolled and approved by the Governor on or before May 14,
2012 and effective on or before June 1, 2012); Del. Code Ann. tit. 15,
§ 4937 (Westlaw, WestlawNext through 78 Laws 2012, chs. 204 - 234).
Idaho Code Ann. §§ 34-1106(2), 34-1113, 34-1114 (Westlaw,
WestlawNext through (2012) Chs. 1, 2, 9, 10, 13, 14, 17, 33, 38, 40,
42, 47, 52, 55, 57, 59, 61, 71-73, 79, 82-85, 98, 111, 115, 138, 149,
165, 180, 183, 184, 187, 192, 194, 200, 202, 204, 211, 214, 217, 222,
227, 233, 255, 264-267, 272, 291, 300, 310, 321, 323, 326, 333, 334,
339 that are effective on or before July 1, 2012).
See e.g., Gonzalez v. Arizona, No. 08-17094 (9th Cir. April 17, 2012)
(en banc) (striking down Arizona Proposition 200 requirement of proof
of citizenship to register for federal elections).
See e.g., Ortiz v. City of Philadelphia Office of the City Commissioners
Voter Registration Division, 28 F.3d 306 (3d Cir. 1994); Arcia v.
Dentzner, 1:12cv 228882 (Fl. June 19, 2012) (lawsuit against State
of Florida for violations of voters’ rights due to purging of State’s
voter lists),
complaint.pdf. See U.S. Census data, http://factfinder2.census.
See Marc Caputo and Patricia Mazzei, Hispanics, NPAs more likely
Endnotes continued
to face noncitizen voter purge than Whites, GOP, The Miami Herald
(May 12, 2012), Latinos are
disproportionately affected by this purge and it is estimated that
approximately 58% of voters on this purge list are Latinos. See
Editorial, Florida’s Discriminatory Voter Purge, The N.Y. Times (May 31,
2012), These voters were identified
by matching voter rolls against lists maintained by the Florida
Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (“DHSMV”). See
Marc Caputo, supra. However, citizenship documentation is not
required to procure a Florida driver’s license. When voters “match”
individuals whose DHSMV or juror forms indicate they are noncitizens they are removed from the voter roll if they do not respond to
notification within 30 days.
Jean Marie Brown, Maynard Media Center on Structural Inequity,
Immigration Issues Dominate Media Focus on Latinos (2012), http://; Dina Gavrilos, National Association of Hispanic
Journalists, U.S. News Magazine Coverage of Latinos: 2006 Report
12 (June 2006),
Id. at 19.
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Comm’n, Diversity in the Media:
A Chart Book for Selected Industries (data from EEO-1 reports filed in
2002, and last modified on August 5, 2004),
statistics/reports/media/index.html. Spanish-language media
provides a different set of opportunities and challenges for Latinos
but is the source of broad employment opportunities.
See e.g., Vargas v. Hudson Cnty Bd. of Elections, 949 F.2d 665 (3d
Cir. 1991); Perez-Santiago v.Volusia County, 2010 WL 917872 (M.D.
Fla 2010).
Voting Rights Act of 1965, in particular, § 2 (dilution), § 5 (preclearance),
42 U.S.C. § 1973aa-1a (bilingual voting materials/ballots).
See e.g. Perez-Santiago v. Volusia County, 2010 WL 917872 (M.D.
Fla. 2010)(denial of Spanish language ballots and assistance).
National Association of Black Journalists, 2011 NABJ Diversity
Census, Volume 1: An Examination of Television Newsroom Management
1-2 (2011),
Id. at 1.
Id. at 2.
Network Brownout Report 2006, supra note 342 at 18-19, http://
See Guzman v. News Corp. et al., 09 Civ. 9323 (BSJ) (S.D.N.Y. 2010)
(Latina’s complaint alleging numerous and detailed examples of
discriminatory conduct based on race, national origin and gender);
Fenner and Livingston v. News Corp. et al., 09CV9832, (S.D.N.Y.
2009)( African Americans’ complaint alleging discrimination and
retaliation based on race and gender).
In the Matter of Hate Speech in the Media, Petition for Inquiry Filed on
Behalf of the National Hispanic Media Coalition (“NHMC”), January
28, 2009, at 7 (NHMC Counsel Institute for Public Representation,
Georgetown Law, and Media Access Project), at http://www.
Id at 8 (also noted that similar attacks “permeate the Internet”).
Chon A. Noriega and Francisco Javier Iribarren, University of
California at Los Angeles, Chicano Studies Research Center,
Quantifying Commercial Hate Speech on Talk Radio: A Pilot Study
10 (November 2011),
U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and the Civil Rights Act of 1991.
C.F.R. § 1604, Part 1604 (Title VII guidelines on national origin).
See Associated Press, Florida:
Voter Purge Results in
Countersuits, The N.Y. Times (June 11, 2012), http://www.
U.S.C. §§ 1973 et seq.
U.S.C. §§ 1973 et seq.
U.S.C. §§ 1973aa-1a.
Nat’l Assoc. of Hispanic Journalists, Network Brownout Report 2006:
The Portrayal of Latinos and Latino Issues on Network Television
News, 2005 19 (2006),
Id. at 3, 14.
Id. at 20.
Id. at 6 (“Accurate news coverage of Latinos is a crucial issue since 27
million people watch the evening news each night and are influenced
by these programs.”).
Id. (historically the Network Brownout Reports have found Latinos
“too often portrayed as criminals or undocumented immigrants … [A
focus which] becomes unfair when it comprises an overabundance of
the network’s coverage of the Latino community.”).
Id. at 4. Only five of these stories were reported by Latino journalists.
Id. at 11.
Id. at 4.
Id. at 5, 7.
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Endnotes continued
U.S.C. §1981.
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Comm’n, Diversity in Law Firms
(2003) (citing Robert L. Nelson, Partners with Power: The Social
Transformation of the Large Law Firm 368 (Berkeley: University
of California Press 1988)),
Id. (citing Hagan J. and F. Kay, Gender in Practice: A Study of
Lawyers’ Lives 3, New York: Oxford Press, 1995), http://eeoc.
U.S. Employment Opportunity Comm’n, Report of the Federal Hispanic
Work Group (2008),
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Comm’n, Diversity in Law Firms,
supra note 370 (citing Robert L. Nelson, The Futures of American
Lawyers: A Demographic Profile of a Changing Profession in a
Changing Society, 44 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 345-46 (1994)), http://
The ABA’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the
Profession seeks to address the lack of racial and ethnic diversity
in the legal profession by increasing diversity in all areas of the legal
profession. See
The ABA’s Center for Racial and Ethnic Diversity “serves as the
leading advocate for diversity within the ABA ….[and] provides the
framework for effective utilization of ABA resources committed to
diversity, and helps to maintain racial and ethnic diversity as a priority
issue for the ABA.” See
U.S. Census, Employed Civilians by Occupation, Sex, Race
and Hispanic Origin: 2010, 4 (2010),
h t t p : / / w w w. c e n s u s . g o v / c o m p e n d i a / s t a t a b / 2 0 1 2 /
tables/12s0616.pdf. The Census data does not identify the number
of Latina or Latino judges, but they constitute less than the 7.8% total
for this category. Association of American Law Schools, 2008-2009
AALS Statistical Report on Law Faculty,
Association of American Law Schools, 2008-2009 AALS Statistical
Report on Law Faculty,
U.S. Census Data 2000, Tables 18 – 20; Jill L. Cruz, Melinda S.
Molina, and Jenny Rivera, La Voz de la Abogada Latina: Challenges
and Rewards in Serving the Public Interest, Hispanic National Bar
Association, Commission on Latinas in the Legal Profession (2010),
The ABA Council for Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Educational
Back to TOC
Pipeline is an incubator for activities that foster educational pipelines
leading to the legal profession,
Jill L. Cruz and Melinda S. Molina, Few and Far Between: The Reality
of Latina Lawyers, Hispanic National Bar Association, Commission on
Latinas in the Legal Profession (2009)(national study of Latina lawyers
reporting the participants’ experiences and professional challenges,
including facing gendered and race based stereotypes about Latina
lawyers, as well as individual feelings of isolation), http://www.; La Voz de la Abogada Latina, supra note 379,(study of
Latina lawyers working in the public interest sector, describing the
participants’ experiences and professional challenges, including
facing gendered, race and ethnic-based stereotypes about Latina
lawyers, and colleagues’ doubts about Latina lawyers’ competence
and abilities as professionals).
Few and Far Between, supra note 383 at 8.
Id. at 9.
La Voz de la Abogada Latina, supra note 379 at 9.
Id. at 19. The report summarizing the study noted that, [p]ublic
interest lawyers provide critically needed legal services to our
diverse communities. They advocate on behalf of the poor and
those with limited access to legal counsel. They help shape judicial
interpretation of civil rights and civil liberties and have made creative
arguments for expanding the rights of people of color and women of
all colors. Id. (internal footnote omitted).
The ABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities wishes to thank the following leadership
and entities for their support.
Stephen N. Zack, President 2010-2011, American Bar Association
Jack L. Rives, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, American Bar Association
Pedro Juan Windsor, Jr., Senior Advisor and Deputy Diversity Officer, American Bar Association
ABA Commission on Domestic Violence
ABA Commission on Immigration
ABA Commission on Racial & Ethnic Diversity in the Profession
ABA Commission on Women in the Profession
ABA Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice
ABA Division for Public Education
ABA Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities
ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants
American Bar Association Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities
321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654
[email protected]