Latinos are a diverse community, and hundreds of individuals and organizations have aimed to represent each one of them. While many Latino-based organization may agree on an issue, political beliefs may ultimately dwindle opportunities of cooperation.

At the National Council of La Raza's (NCLR) annual conference in early July, groups with different political biases were present but had common ground that their mission is to support Latinos. In attendance were the right-leaning LIBRE Initiative, supported by the Charles and David Koch, and the left-leaning Latino Victory Project. Reports circulated that the aforementioned groups discussed on the need for congressional immigration reform.

According to BuzzFeed News, NCLR President Janet Murguia acknowledged LIBRE Initiative made the outreach in "trying to find a place in the debate on immigration," but she recognized the groups have different views on the issue.

Last April, LIBRE Executive Director Daniel Garza spoke to Latin Post about LIBRE's stance on immigration and President Barack Obama's deferred action programs of 2012 and 2014. Garza said he supports the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, but only the 2012 guidelines. Despite the support, he voiced a concern about the program because it was enacted from the executive branch and not through congressional action.

Garza said undocumented immigrants have "in good faith" applied for DACA, and his organization is against withdrawing the program. The 2014 executive actions, however, that saw expanded DACA guidelines and the creation of the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) are not supported by LIBRE.

Most Latino groups have supported Obama's 2014 immigration executive actions.

Latino Victory Project President Cristóbal Alex released a statement clarifying his group's commitment to work on immigration reform, but only with partners and allies that support both DACA and DAPA.

"Latino Victory Project has no intentions of working with any organization on immigration reform that believes we should get rid of DACA or DAPA. Unfortunately, despite Daniel Garza's claim that he would like to work with Latino Victory Project on this issue, LIBRE Initiative's stances on this issue are unacceptable and they do not represent the best interest of the Latino and immigrant communities," Alex stated.

"The fact is, LIBRE is trying to find their voice in this space because they know it is key to winning in November and are unable to do so based on the rhetoric they assert within our community," Alex added.

The Latino Victory Project president said his organization will work with groups with "a proven record" on advancing immigration reform and not seeking political gain.

In a statement to Latin Post on Monday, Garza responded to the criticism, reiterating the need for immigration reform through Congress.

"Leaders on both sides recognize that a real solution to our immigration reform requires legislative action. That will be impossible to achieve until Republicans and Democrats in Washington can put politics aside and work together. For that to happen, liberals and conservatives must find common ground," Garza said. "So LIBRE is ready to partner with those who are genuinely interested in moving the ball forward -- regardless of ideology."

Garza continued, "If others refuse to work together on matters of consensus, you have to ask yourself whether they're really committed to helping this community and solving the problem, or whether they're more interested in politics. Our community deserves more than that."

"We continue to call on Republicans in Congress, and the White House, to begin a serious effort to find bipartisan compromise that build on areas of agreement to fix the broken system," said Garza.


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