U.S. Latino, Jewish Leaders Recommit to Joint Action on Immigration, Foreign Policy

Apr 16, 2013, 13:40 ET from American Jewish Committee

NEW YORK, April 16, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As immigration reform gains momentum in Congress, Latino and Jewish leaders across the country have jointly declared their commitment to engaging in this cause for justice and equality. They also will expand on their efforts to other areas of common concern, including foreign policy, philanthropy and education.

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The Statement of Latino-Jewish Joint Purpose was one of the outcomes of a recent national two-day National Conversation on the State of Latino-Jewish Relations. "We consider ourselves partners and allies with whom we share common historical experiences, knowledge, challenges and successes," says the Statement. The National Conversation, organized by AJC's Latino and Latin American Institute, brought together 70 Jewish and Latino leaders from across the country.

"Today, there is a sense of urgency in both communities for a stronger and more effective Latino-Jewish collaboration to advance joint visions and goals at home and abroad," said Dina Siegel Vann, director of AJC's Latino and Latin American Institute.

Since Jews and Latinos are largely immigrant communities, and have faced similar challenges of integration, they are natural allies on the immigration reform issue.

"Together we are committed to federal comprehensive reform of the current dysfunctional immigration system," says the Statement of Latino-Jewish Joint Purpose. "We call for pragmatic common sense solutions to fix our legal immigration system so as to meet the economic and national security needs of the U.S. in the 21st century, reflecting our shared American values of justice, equal opportunity, family unification and human dignity."

The Statement addresses additional areas of concern, discussed in-depth during the Conversation, such as coalition dynamics, community development, philanthropy, and foreign policy and Homeland-Diaspora relations.

The Latino and Jewish leaders called on both communities to advocate together for "the commitment of the U.S. to the furtherance of critical bilateral relationships with the countries of Latin America and with Israel as strategic allies."

On philanthropy, aware of differing trends in community investment, leaders agreed that closer Latino-Jewish collaboration can lead to increased institutional and private giving.

"We commit to share our experiences, knowledge, challenges and successes, so as to ensure that Latinos and Jews, and all Americans, can enjoy supportive communities and attain access to quality education, economic opportunity and political empowerment," says the Statement.

The full Statement on Latino-Jewish Joint Purpose, which already has been widely endorsed by leaders of both communities, is available at www.ajc.org.

SOURCE American Jewish Committee