The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of 39 preeminent national Latino organizations, has responded to President Barack Obama’s most recent nominations designating Latino leaders to serve in key posts in his Administration.
Especially noteworthy for the coalition is the President’s nomination of current U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, Sarah R. Saldaña, to serve as Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the Department of Homeland Security. Our NHLA coalition members at the Hispanic National Bar Association named Sarah R. Saldaña as their 2011 Latina Attorney of the Year. If a majority of U.S. Senators vote to support her confirmation, she’ll become the first Latina to lead ICE — the government’s second biggest investigative agency and an agency that will be critical to whatever executive action the President may call for in terms of immigration reform.
Additional Latino appointments and nominations announced by the White House yesterday include:
- Gilberto de Jesús – Nominee for Chief Counsel for Advocacy, Small Business Administration
- Danny Marti – Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, Executive Office of the President
- Carlos Monje, Jr. – Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, Department of Transportation
- Carlos Torres – Deputy Director, Peace Corps
“NHLA is proud to congratulate U.S. Attorney Sarah Saldaña and the President’s most recent Latino nominees and appointees — each of whom will bring to the Administration a strong professional record,” said Hector Sanchez, NHLA Chair and Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. “Though much work remains when it comes to bringing parity to the government, the President’s recent nominations and appointments, along with the fact that there are now three Latinos serving in Cabinet-level posts, mark important steps in the right direction. It is imperative that government leaders — as well as local and state-level organizations and individuals — build on this progress to ensure that the diversity of America is fully represented in key policy-making positions, particularly in positions in areas like the Department of Homeland Security that directly impact Latino and immigrant communities in the U.S.”
“Sarah Saldaña is an outstanding choice for one of the nation’s most difficult jobs,” stated LULAC National Executive Director Brent Wilkes. “As the first Latina to head the agency that enforces federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration; Ms. Saldaña brings a wealth of law enforcement and community engagement experience to the government’s second biggest investigative agency. We look forward to her swift confirmation by the Senate.”
“The HNBA commends President Obama for his selection of Sarah Saldaña to serve as Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the Department of Homeland Security,” said Hispanic National Bar Association National President Miguel Alexander Pozo. “Ms. Saldaña’s impeccable career and diverse experience, both in private practice and as a civil servant, will be tremendous assets to Ms. Saldaña in her new role. In particular, her expertise and significant accomplishments as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas will be particularly useful as the unaccompanied children crisis at our Southern border continues to unfold.”
“The HNBA also applauds the nomination of HNBA member, Danny Marti, to serve in the important role of Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator,” said Mr. Pozo. “Mr. Marti has had a distinguished career as an IP practitioner and law firm partner. His wealth of experience and practical approach to solving complex problems will be of tremendous value to him in this critical role. We look forward to seeing great progress in protecting intellectual property rights under his leadership.”
“NALEO applauds President Obama’s nomination of U.S. Attorney Sarah Saldaña to head Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the government’s second largest investigative agency,” said NALEO Executive Director Arturo Vargas. “Ms. Saldaña’s distinguished career combines extensive experience as a federal prosecutor and a private litigator with a solid record of community and civic service. Since 2011, Ms. Saldaña has served as the chief federal prosecutor in the Northern District of Texas, making her the state’s first Latina U.S. Attorney. The appointment of Ms. Saldaña as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas brought much needed diversity to an office where no Latinos and only one woman had ever served in the District’s 130-year history. If appointed as head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement she would be the nation’s first Latina to oversee the agency. We congratulate Ms.Saldaña on her nomination and look forward to supporting her through the confirmation process.”
Since creating its Latino Appointments Program in January 2013, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda has worked tirelessly to increase the representation of Latinos in the Administration. The coalition is active in calling for the inclusion of Latinos in entry-level to Cabinet-level political appointments. For more information, please visit www.latinoappointments.org and follow @NHLAgenda.