Everyone at the Walmart store in Doral, Florida loves Jose Martinez.
At 83 years old, Jose’s extraordinary energy rivals that of his younger coworkers and his spirits are as high as the first day he started with us– more than 15 years ago!
Everyone at the Walmart store in Doral, Florida loves Jose Martinez.
At 83 years old, Jose’s extraordinary energy rivals that of his younger coworkers and his spirits are as high as the first day he started with us– more than 15 years ago!
My fellow Americans, tonight, I’d like to talk with you about immigration.
For more than 200 years, our tradition of welcoming immigrants from around the world has given us a tremendous advantage over other nations. It’s kept us youthful, dynamic, and entrepreneurial. It has shaped our character as a people with limitless possibilities – people not trapped by our past, but able to remake ourselves as we choose.
But today, our immigration system is broken, and everybody knows it.
Families who enter our country the right way and play by the rules watch others flout the rules. Business owners who offer their workers good wages and benefits see the competition exploit undocumented immigrants by paying them far less. All of us take offense to anyone who reaps the rewards of living in America without taking on the responsibilities of living in America. And undocumented immigrants who desperately want to embrace those responsibilities see little option but to remain in the shadows, or risk their families being torn apart.
It’s been this way for decades. And for decades, we haven’t done much about it.
When I took office, I committed to fixing this broken immigration system. And I began by doing what I could to secure our borders. Today, we have more agents and technology deployed to secure our southern border than at any time in our history. And over the past six years, illegal border crossings have been cut by more than half. Although this summer, there was a brief spike in unaccompanied children being apprehended at our border, the number of such children is now actually lower than it’s been in nearly two years. Overall, the number of people trying to cross our border illegally is at its lowest level since the 1970s. Those are the facts.
Meanwhile, I worked with Congress on a comprehensive fix, and last year, 68 Democrats, Republicans, and Independents came together to pass a bipartisan bill in the Senate. It wasn’t perfect. It was a compromise, but it reflected common sense. It would have doubled the number of border patrol agents, while giving undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship if they paid a fine, started paying their taxes, and went to the back of the line. And independent experts said that it would help grow our economy and shrink our deficits.
Had the House of Representatives allowed that kind of a bill a simple yes-or-no vote, it would have passed with support from both parties, and today it would be the law. But for a year and a half now, Republican leaders in the House have refused to allow that simple vote.
Now, I continue to believe that the best way to solve this problem is by working together to pass that kind of common sense law. But until that happens, there are actions I have the legal authority to take as President – the same kinds of actions taken by Democratic and Republican Presidents before me – that will help make our immigration system more fair and more just.
Tonight, I am announcing those actions.
First, we’ll build on our progress at the border with additional resources for our law enforcement personnel so that they can stem the flow of illegal crossings, and speed the return of those who do cross over.
Second, I will make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy, as so many business leaders have proposed.
Third, we’ll take steps to deal responsibly with the millions of undocumented immigrants who already live in our country.
I want to say more about this third issue, because it generates the most passion and controversy. Even as we are a nation of immigrants, we are also a nation of laws. Undocumented workers broke our immigration laws, and I believe that they must be held accountable – especially those who may be dangerous. That’s why, over the past six years, deportations of criminals are up 80 percent. And that’s why we’re going to keep focusing enforcement resources on actual threats to our security. Felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mother who’s working hard to provide for her kids. We’ll prioritize, just like law enforcement does every day.
But even as we focus on deporting criminals, the fact is, millions of immigrants – in every state, of every race and nationality – will still live here illegally. And let’s be honest – tracking down, rounding up, and deporting millions of people isn’t realistic. Anyone who suggests otherwise isn’t being straight with you. It’s also not who we are as Americans. After all, most of these immigrants have been here a long time. They work hard, often in tough, low-paying jobs. They support their families. They worship at our churches. Many of their kids are American-born or spent most of their lives here, and their hopes, dreams, and patriotism are just like ours.
As my predecessor, President Bush, once put it: “They are a part of American life.”
Now here’s the thing: we expect people who live in this country to play by the rules. We expect that those who cut the line will not be unfairly rewarded. So we’re going to offer the following deal: If you’ve been in America for more than five years; if you have children who are American citizens or legal residents; if you register, pass a criminal background check, and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes – you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily, without fear of deportation. You can come out of the shadows and get right with the law.
That’s what this deal is. Now let’s be clear about what it isn’t. This deal does not apply to anyone who has come to this country recently. It does not apply to anyone who might come to America illegally in the future. It does not grant citizenship, or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive – only Congress can do that. All we’re saying is we’re not going to deport you.
I know some of the critics of this action call it amnesty. Well, it’s not. Amnesty is the immigration system we have today – millions of people who live here without paying their taxes or playing by the rules, while politicians use the issue to scare people and whip up votes at election time.
That’s the real amnesty – leaving this broken system the way it is. Mass amnesty would be unfair. Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character. What I’m describing is accountability – a commonsense, middle ground approach: If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. If you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported. If you plan to enter the U.S. illegally, your chances of getting caught and sent back just went up.
The actions I’m taking are not only lawful, they’re the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican President and every single Democratic President for the past half century. And to those Members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill. I want to work with both parties to pass a more permanent legislative solution. And the day I sign that bill into law, the actions I take will no longer be necessary. Meanwhile, don’t let a disagreement over a single issue be a dealbreaker on every issue. That’s not how our democracy works, and Congress certainly shouldn’t shut down our government again just because we disagree on this. Americans are tired of gridlock. What our country needs from us right now is a common purpose – a higher purpose.
Most Americans support the types of reforms I’ve talked about tonight. But I understand the disagreements held by many of you at home. Millions of us, myself included, go back generations in this country, with ancestors who put in the painstaking work to become citizens. So we don’t like the notion that anyone might get a free pass to American citizenship. I know that some worry immigration will change the very fabric of who we are, or take our jobs, or stick it to middle-class families at a time when they already feel like they’ve gotten the raw end of the deal for over a decade. I hear these concerns. But that’s not what these steps would do. Our history and the facts show that immigrants are a net plus for our economy and our society. And I believe it’s important that all of us have this debate without impugning each other’s character.
Because for all the back-and-forth of Washington, we have to remember that this debate is about something bigger. It’s about who we are as a country, and who we want to be for future generations.
Are we a nation that tolerates the hypocrisy of a system where workers who pick our fruit and make our beds never have a chance to get right with the law? Or are we a nation that gives them a chance to make amends, take responsibility, and give their kids a better future?
Are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of ripping children from their parents’ arms? Or are we a nation that values families, and works to keep them together?
Are we a nation that educates the world’s best and brightest in our universities, only to send them home to create businesses in countries that compete against us? Or are we a nation that encourages them to stay and create jobs, businesses, and industries right here in America?
That’s what this debate is all about. We need more than politics as usual when it comes to immigration; we need reasoned, thoughtful, compassionate debate that focuses on our hopes, not our fears.
I know the politics of this issue are tough. But let me tell you why I have come to feel so strongly about it. Over the past few years, I have seen the determination of immigrant fathers who worked two or three jobs, without taking a dime from the government, and at risk at any moment of losing it all, just to build a better life for their kids. I’ve seen the heartbreak and anxiety of children whose mothers might be taken away from them just because they didn’t have the right papers. I’ve seen the courage of students who, except for the circumstances of their birth, are as American as Malia or Sasha; students who bravely come out as undocumented in hopes they could make a difference in a country they love. These people – our neighbors, our classmates, our friends – they did not come here in search of a free ride or an easy life. They came to work, and study, and serve in our military, and above all, contribute to America’s success.
Tomorrow, I’ll travel to Las Vegas and meet with some of these students, including a young woman named Astrid Silva. Astrid was brought to America when she was four years old. Her only possessions were a cross, her doll, and the frilly dress she had on. When she started school, she didn’t speak any English. She caught up to the other kids by reading newspapers and watching PBS, and became a good student. Her father worked in landscaping. Her mother cleaned other people’s homes. They wouldn’t let Astrid apply to a technology magnet school for fear the paperwork would out her as an undocumented immigrant – so she applied behind their back and got in. Still, she mostly lived in the shadows – until her grandmother, who visited every year from Mexico, passed away, and she couldn’t travel to the funeral without risk of being found out and deported. It was around that time she decided to begin advocating for herself and others like her, and today, Astrid Silva is a college student working on her third degree.
Are we a nation that kicks out a striving, hopeful immigrant like Astrid – or are we a nation that finds a way to welcome her in?
Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger – we were strangers once, too.
My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too. And whether our forebears were strangers who crossed the Atlantic, or the Pacific, or the Rio Grande, we are here only because this country welcomed them in, and taught them that to be an American is about something more than what we look like, or what our last names are, or how we worship. What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal – that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will.
That’s the country our parents and grandparents and generations before them built for us. That’s the tradition we must uphold. That’s the legacy we must leave for those who are yet to come.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless this country we love.
Dear NAHP member,
On behalf of Chevrolet, one of the NAHP sponsors for the 2014 Annual Convention, we would like to share the following release. Attached is a photo; you’ll find the photo caption at the end of the release.
If you are interested in an interview with Chad Lyons Chavez, Chevrolet Communications Manager, at the conference in Chicago or via phone, please contact Nadia Moya at email@example.com or (212) 878 5108.
CHEVROLET TO HIGHLIGHT TRUCK SAFETY AT THE 2014 NAHP CONVENTION
Chevrolet, one of the world’s most iconic car brands, will participate as a sponsor at the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP) Annual Convention and Business Expo to be held September 24-27, 2014 in Oak Brook, Illinois. Chevrolet has a long history of supporting NAHP and its mission as a non-partisan trade organization that advocates for Spanish language publications in the United States. On this occasion, Chevrolet is leveraging the event to increase awareness among Hispanics for the award-winning safety features of its 2015 Silverado and Colorado pick-up trucks.
Hispanics represent a priority consumer for Chevrolet. Not only are Hispanics driving new vehicle sales in the U.S., they are also the key consumer segment behind Chevrolet’s brand growth. This is particularly reflected in the sales of the Silverado, Chevrolet’s best-selling truck among Latinos in the United States.
Truck safety features can be a key selling point for Latinos, particularly since trucks and SUV’s are among their preferred vehicles. And this is critical because according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for Hispanics.
“Our Hispanic Chevy owners rely on their trucks to earn a living and take care of their families,” said Chad Lyons Chavez, Chevrolet Communications Manager. “We value all our Hispanic customers and are proud to offer vehicles with innovative safety features, designed to protect occupants before, during and after a collision.”
Chevrolet has incorporated many new safety features in both its full and mid-sized trucks. The 2015 Silverado 1500 series crew cab recently received the highest possible 5-star Overall Vehicle Score for safety as part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s New Car Assessment Program. When they were introduced last year, the Silverado and its sister, the GMC Sierra 1500 series crew cabs became the first pickup trucks to receive this safety distinction since the NCAP program was revised to become more stringent starting with the 2011 model year.
And Like Silverado, the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado extensively uses lightweight, high-strength steels, which make the most of the strength, safety and refinement of the truck. Overall, over 71 percent of the Colorado structure is comprised of high- or ultra-high strength steels.
In addition to using high-strength steels, Silverado and Colorado offer a full array of segment-exclusive available safety features, including Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning. In addition, a Safety Alert Seat is available on the Silverado, a patented warning approach that alerts the driver of potential traffic danger using directional vibration pulses from the seat cushion.
Chevrolet will display the 2015 Colorado at the NAHP Business Expo, where attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about truck safety and the brand’s unique safety features.
For more information on Chevrolet, please visit http://www.chevrolet.com/
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.9 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
2015 Chevrolet Colorado
The Chevrolet Colorado makes extensive use of high-strength steels and aluminum to shave pounds from the new midsize truck while preserving true pickup capability.
From HACR’s headquarters in Washington, DC.
After decades on Wall Street, Cid Wilson joined the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) as president and CEO. HACR is one of the most influential advocacy organizations in the country, with a mission to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in Corporate America. In this exclusive interview, Wilson describes his background, struggles and victories, and professional ascent in the financial services.
I grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey, a very diverse town. The dominant ethnic groups were African American and Orthodox Jewish. The next town over, Hackensack, is also diverse: predominately Colombian, Ecuadorian, African American, and Italian. I was just five miles from Washington Heights which is predominately Dominican. So growing up, I was surrounded by diverse communities and it wasn’t long before I realized the value of diversity. From my own professional and personal experiences, I have seen that embracing diversity can be very positive for companies and institutions, and the consumers they serve. While Wall Street had diversity among their entry level positions, there was very little diversity at the Managing Director level and above. I believe that with improved workforce diversity at the senior and executive levels, companies can better serve their consumers and improve workforce retention.
My first job was at the age of 13. I was a paper delivery boy for the Bergen Record. From this experience, I learned good customer service skills, how to manage a business and how to meet the needs of a diverse customer base. Over the years, as I took jobs in college and later in my professional career, I was surrounded by diversity. It encouraged me to not only learn more about our own diverse Latino community, but also other ethnic and religious diversities. This has allowed me to learn from the teachings of great leaders, whether it’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Cesar Chavez, or Dolores Huerta.
Speech disfluency was a major problem in my childhood and teenage years. I was told in college that I was not fit to work on Wall Street because of the disfluency. Instead of accepting that recommendation, I decided to conquer it. I got support from The Ohio State University speech fluency program and later joined Toast Masters International. It wasn’t long before I went from someone who was shy and speaking publicly, to someone that speaks publicly on a frequent basis. I deliver, on average, two to four graduation speeches per year and I speak at dozens of conferences and galas as well. I was motivated to overcome my disfluency because I knew that a path towards leadership would certainly require public speaking.
I was deeply disappointed when I enrolled at the Ohio State University and learned that the local cable company did not carry Univision or Telemundo. Instead of complaining about it, I took action to change it and built a coalition of students, university administrators, elected officials, and other community leaders, empowered to make a change. We circulated petitions to show the cable company that they need to include Spanish language television in their 150-channel cable line up. They were resistant at first but we finally prevailed. My advice to others who may be in similar situations is to take action, build coalitions, create awareness, start a petition, and keep up the activism. If you do that, you will prevail.
I am a proud alumnus of the HACR/Harvard Business School Executive Education Program on Corporate Governance. It opened my eyes to the ‘ins-and-outs’ of serving on a corporate board. I was successful in expanding my advisory board service to two Fortune 500 companies. Additionally, the program enhanced my Wall Street career by helping me better assess how the board of directors can have an impact on the valuation of a company. I am very thankful that I was able to participate in the program.
I live by a personal standard that “when you succeed, you give back; and when you give back, you succeed.” As I continued to rise up the corporate ladder on Wall Street, I felt a personal obligation to share my success with the community. As a proud Dominican American, I first got involved within the Dominican community in the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area. Soon after, that expanded to leadership roles in national Dominican American organizations, which then led to serving on boards such as LatinoJustice PRLDEF, NCLR, and my appointment to the National Museum of the American Latino Commission. I believe that it’s important to not only stay connected with the Hispanic community, but to be engaged and active. All of us can make a difference but we must be willing to be a catalyst for positive change. Together as a community, we can solve the challenges we face and achieve our common goals of empowerment.
At HACR, we focus on our four pillars that help measure a company’s commitment to the Hispanic community: Employment, Procurement, Philanthropy, and Governance. These are key areas of investment for companies if they are to be fully inclusive of Latinos. At HACR, we put heavy focus on governance because a company’s corporate culture starts with the board of directors. Only 3% of all Fortune 500 board seats are held by Latinos, less than 1% by Latinas. We believe that more can be done to improve Hispanic inclusion at the corporate board level.
We measure success for HACR using a simple measurement: Have we come closer to achieving and accomplishing our mission, using the HACR four pillars as a measurement? Our HACR staff is dedicated to increasing Hispanic inclusion in Corporate America at a level that is commensurate to our $1.3 trillion in economic contributions to the U.S. economy.
The biggest challenge we face is changing corporate culture at the board level. If you have a board that is not diverse and you ask a non-diverse board to fill vacancies, they are likely to fill it with another non-diverse board member. We are on a mission to change that corporate culture so that companies can be more strategic about their board appointments. A diverse board that includes Latinos is a board that can better meet its corporate mission.
I believe that you must be an inclusive leader. When you are inclusive, you foster a corporate culture that embraces and celebrates diversity. You also need to be willing to learn about the different cultures and traditions that come with those groups. By embracing those traits, you will become a leader within your company.
I have very simple but empowering advice for recent college graduates: FEAR NOT YOUR AMBITION. If you believe you can do it, that is all that matters. Don’t let others tell you that you can’t do it when you know that you can. Remember to set goals, be passionate about your game plan, and move forward towards those goals. Don’t be afraid of failure as this will be your learning foundation for future success.
To learn more about HACR, please visit: hacr.org
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