The Leadership Conference is working diligently to see that Tom Perez is confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Labor. Perez is an eminently qualified public servant and consensus builder who has dedicated his career to ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly and have the opportunity to succeed. He has served with integrity and distinction at the local, state and national level, compiling an outstanding record of achievement.
Civil Rights 101 Table of Contents
- Law and Policy
- The Supreme Court and Civil Rights
- School Desegregation
- Employment Discrimination
- Affirmative Action
- Criminal Justice
- Civil Rights Expanded
- People with Disabilities
- Gays and Lesbians
- Native Americans
- Civil liberties
- Labor movement
Latinos, too, have long experienced discrimination in housing, employment, education, voting, and the administration of criminal justice as discussed above. Other civil rights issues of great importance for the Latino and the Asian American community as well) include those related to immigration. Although most Latinos are native-born Americans, the fastest-growing segments of the rapidly-increasing Latino community are either immigrants themselves or the offspring of immigrants.
Yet despite the United States' reliance on the contributions of immigrants to economic growth - for example, immigrants contribute $10 billion a year to the economy - America has a history of anti-immigrant sentiment. Such bias too often infects public policy, as seen, for example, by the passage of Proposition 187 in California, a state referendum that would have denied health care, education, and social services to undocumented immigrants (a federal district court struck it down as unconstitutional).
Similarly, two federal laws enacted in 1996 (the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act) cut back on immigrants' rights in several important ways. Although some of these bills' more egregious measures have since been modified, Latino and other civil rights advocates continue to advocate to remove unnecessary barriers to the reunification of families, automatic deportation of legal residents who long ago committed minor offenses and have since paid their debt to society, limits on health and nutritional services available to legal immigrant children, protection for refugees fleeing persecution, and basic guarantees of due process and fairness.
Additional issues of concern to Latino advocates include election reform and voting rights, addressing the needs of LEP individuals in accessing government services, and the rights of farmworkers who too often live and work under deplorable conditions.