The Chicano movement challenged the political status quo in San Antonio, and felt that Henry B. Gonzalez did not speak for them. Youth Activist Jose Angel Gutierrez organized school walk outs, and he blamed gringos for bringing Chicanos down. He organized the community and they started exercising their political will at the ballot box.
There are more than 11 million undocumented Latinos living in the U.S. Many are people who have been here many year and their children are U.S. Citizens. Education is the way to opportunity, and as Latinos are 1/6 of the country, it is vital to make sure the Latino Youth are educated and able to reach their goals.
If HR 4437 had past the Senate 12 million undocumented immigrants would have been declared felons. The protests of 2006 marchers turned out across the nation to rally against the bill. The protesters were heard and the bill failed to pass the Senate.
By the late 1970s Central America became a battleground of the cold war. In rural El Salvador, Carlos Vaquerano's friends and family members were killed by death squads. He was forced to flee to the United States in 1980.
Dolores Huerta, a labor leader and civil rights activist who, along with Cesar Chavez founded the National Farmworkers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers. (UFW)
Maria Elena Salinas began as a reporter in 1981 in Los Angeles, in Spanish Language Media. She interviewed California Governor Pete Wilson in 1994 who was pushing Prop 187 in his reelection campaign. It severely restricted health care and other government services for undocumented immigrants.
From Cuba a second wave of refugees to United States – the Mariel exodus – floods Miami . The same decade sees the sudden arrival of hundreds of thousands of Central Americans (Salvadorans, Guatemalans, and Nicaraguans)
Hector Garcia was a Mexican-American doctor who served in World War II. After returning home he dedicated his life to helping Hispanic Veterans receive the benefits they deserved. He founded the American G. I. Forum.
By the end of the 1950s the GI Forum had expanded to 30 chapters across the country. Hector Garcia changed the lives of Latinos by the ballot box. Garcia's friendship with LBJ helped Kennedy carry Texas with his Viva Kennedy clubs.
In the early years of the great depression New York offered a way out for Puerto Ricans. In the late 1940's Puerto Rico rolled out, "Operation Bootstrap" that lured American companies to the island to set up production for cheaper labor. Many people still left for better opportunities in New York.
Until World War II, Latino immigration to the United States was overwhelmingly Mexican-American. Now three new waves bring large-scale immigration from Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic.
Luis and Carlos Capo left Cuba for the United States with their father in 1966, fleeing Castro and leaving their mother and three younger brothers behind. After being detained by the border patrol their journey brought them to Miami.
Gustavo Perez Firmat left Cuba in 1960 at age 11. The Castro govenment had nationalized the family business, prompting the family to leave the country.They came to Miami to wait for the fall of Castro and had every intention of moving back to Cuba once it was safe.
Guy Gabaldon was a Mexican American U.S. Marine who at the age of 18, captured 1,500 Japanese during the Battle of Saipan in World War II. The U.S. Government awarded him the silver star and the Navy Cross and was nominated for the Medal of Honor.