Tags: Trump | Team | Meets | Latino | Leaders

Trump Team Meets With Latino Leaders for 'Listening Session'

Image: Trump Team Meets With Latino Leaders for 'Listening Session'

U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Javier Palomarez. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

By    |   Wednesday, 11 Jan 2017 08:39 AM

President-elect Donald Trump's transition team met with leaders of Latino groups for a "listening session" on Tuesday, to talk about issues relevant to their community, NPR reports.

"The listening session with Hispanic organizations was extremely well-attended and consisted of a wide ranging, frank discussion on areas of both agreement and concerns," a Trump transition official told NPR in an email.

"This is the beginning of a conversation that will continue throughout the Trump administration. The Hispanic community will play a central role in our engagement going forward."

More than 50 people attended the event, including progressive and conservative groups.

Progressive Latino community advocates included National Council of La Raza, the League of United Latin American Citizens, and the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda.

Representing conservative, evangelical, and pro-business organizations were the LIBRE Initiative, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, and regional Latino chambers of commerce, according to NPR.

Some of those in attendance told NPR that the groups in the meeting did not properly take into account the needs of the broader Latino population in the U.S.

"I think that when you put a focus on conservative organizations, you're going to get the perspective of the conservative Latino community. I think they got that pretty good, but this was not a representative meeting of the larger Latino population, " a self-described progressive told NPR about the meeting.

Laura Murillo, president of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, told NPR she thought the meeting was a good accounting of Latinos' viewpoints, although she said the meeting "did lean heavier on the conservative side."

"That's the Hispanic community. We all differ. There's not one organization, Hispanic or not, that represents all the views of this country. That was the important part of this meeting, that in fact, even among the Hispanic community, we have conservatives, moderate, and independents," Murillo said.

According to NPR, most of the leaders agreed that Trump should protect children of undocumented immigrants. Leaders also pointed out the need for Trump to select a Latino or Latina for one of his Cabinet positions.

One thing they all agreed on was that Trump's tone toward Latinos must change, according to several of those who attended the meeting.

"We want to make sure that we are part of this country's fabric, and not just a thread," Murillo said, according to NPR.

Javier Palomarez of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said after the meeting that Trump's transition team has proven they are willing to listen.

"To me, you don't change the dialogue until you have a dialogue," Palomarez said.

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President-elect Donald Trump's transition team met with leaders of Latino groups for a "listening session" on Tuesday, to talk about issues relevant to their community, NPR reports.
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