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LULAC leaders say much accomplished, but more work ahead

Reported by: Sergio Avila
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Updated: 6/21/2013 10:54 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- They represent one of the fastest growing populations in the country. As the League of United Latin American Citizens wraps up its weeklong convention in Las Vegas, the group says it believes it accomplished part of its mission.

LULAC is pressing Washington on key issues like immigration reform and says it won't stop until reform is accomplished.

News 3's Sergio Avila spoke with some of the leadership at LULAC to find out their plans moving forward.

As LULAC’s 2013 convention wraps up the leadership here is telling me they feel they did a lot of show Washington the Hispanic community is standing strong and together.

LULAC's annual convention covered a wide range of issues spanning from a new study on gay Latino youth, to education, health care and jobs.

During most of those conversations the issue linking them all was immigration reform.

"This is the civil and human rights issue of our time," said Congressman Steven Horsford.

Horsford was just one of the many politicians to speak at the LULAC conference. The keynote speaker was vice president Joe Biden.

"We pass this immigration reform bill it will significantly improve our economy," Biden said in his keynote address.

Rodolfo Martinez came from Texas to watch Biden speak and took the vice president's message to heart since he feels accomplishing reform is so close.

“You're playing football 90 yards is fine, but those last ten yards are very important, these last 10 yards through July are very important for all Hispanics,” Martinez said.

Activists like Luis Torres are trying to get those issues across the goal line.

Torres is director of education policy for LULAC. He thinks their efforts this week have shown washington the hispanic community is growing stronger.

"The take away is that the Latino community is very much vibrant and very much aware and attentive to what is being discussed both in Washington and here in the state," Torres said.

Capitol hill is the main focus, these activists are demanding an answer to what they say is a broken immigration system.

The oldest and largest hispanic civil rights organization says their leadership and their members are ready to back those who work for the issues they're hoping are resolved.

"Washington has to listen. We showed that we have the votes and we make a difference," Martinez said.

"We definitely want to make sure that our respresentatives and are senators are listening to the message of the latino community and hopefully we're getting our message across here through our convention," added Torres.

As of right now the leadership at LULAC said their priority is immigration reform if that moves forward and it is accomplished they’ll move on to other issues like education and health care.

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