NATIONAL COUNCIL OF LA RAZA (NCLR)

March 30, 2011

The Following article originated at and is copied from DiscoverTheNetworks.com

Founded in 1968 as the Southwest Council of La Raza, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) is the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States. It works “to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans,” who are, in its estimation, an oppressed minority that suffers much injustice and discrimination in American society. Through its network of nearly 300 affiliated community-based organizations, NCLR is active in 41 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. To achieve its mission, NCLR conducts applied research, policy analysis, and advocacy, “providing a Latino perspective” in the following areas:  

  • Advocacy and Electoral Empowerment: In an effort “to reduce poverty and discrimination and improve life opportunities for Hispanics,” NCLR works for “increased Latino participation in the political process.”
  • Civil Rights and Justice: “Discrimination severely limits the economic and social opportunities available to Hispanic Americans. NCLR [seeks] to promote and protect equality of opportunity in voting, justice issues, education, employment, housing, and health care for all Americans.”
  • Community and Family Wealth-Building: Lamenting the Hispanic community’s “lack of access to capital,” this program aims “to measurably increase the level of … assets” held by that demographic. Toward that end, NCLR has initiated America’s largest Hispanic Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) to provide low-cost capital.  
  • Education: This program “focuses its investment in the areas of early childhood education and high-school reform, where the disparity between Latinos and other groups is greatest. NCLR [engages in] advocacy for policy outcomes that will make the nation’s public school system more responsive to the needs of Latino children.” NCLR also supports the DREAM Act, which is designed to allow illegal aliens to attend college at the reduced tuition rates normally reserved for in-state legal residents.
  • Employment and Economic Opportunities: This initiative “seeks to advance the economic well-being of Latinos by focusing its program and policy work on closing the employment and skills gaps between Latinos and other Americans … [and] in increasing access to federally-funded job training services and opportunities for Latino workers.”
  • Farmworkers: “NCLR conducts policy analyses and advocacy activities in this area in order to improve conditions and opportunities for the nation’s farmworkers. NCLR also works very closely with the Farmworker Justice Fund, Inc. a national advocacy group for migrant and seasonal workers [illegal aliens].”
  • Health and Family Support: NCLR collaborates with a variety of organizations -- state, local, and national -- to promote “reform” that would give illegal immigrants full access to taxpayer-funded health care services.
  • Immigration: NCLR strives “to encourage immigration policies that are fair and nondiscriminatory, to encourage family reunification, and to enact necessary reforms to the current immigration system.” In short, it favors amnesty for illegals already residing in the U.S., and open borders henceforth. In La Raza’s calculus, any restriction on the free movement of immigrants constitutes a violation of their civil rights, and any reduction in government assistance to illegal border-crossers is “a disgrace to American values.” Thus La Raza supports continued mass Mexican immigration to the United States, and hopes to achieve, by the sheer weight of numbers, the re-partition of the American Southwest as a new state called Aztlan -- to be controlled by its alleged rightful owners, the people and government of Mexico. La Raza is also a sponsoring organization of the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride Coalition, which seeks to secure ever-expanding rights and civil liberties protections for illegal immigrants, and policy reforms that diminish or eliminate future restrictions on immigration. At many of the “pro-immigration” rallies that NCLR members have attended in recent times, their signature slogan has been: "La Raza unida nunca sera vencida!" ("The united Race will never be defeated!")

With regard to national security concerns, NCLR has strongly opposed most of the U.S. government’s post-9/11 counterterrorism efforts, alleging that they have “undermined” the rights of “noncitizen Latinos.” For example: La Raza was a signatory to a March 17, 2003 letter exhorting members of the U.S. Congress to oppose Patriot Act II on grounds that it "contain[ed] a multitude of new and sweeping law enforcement and intelligence gathering powers … that would severely dilute, if not undermine, many basic constitutional rights"; it has endorsed the Community Resolution to Protect Civil Liberties campaign, a project that tries to influence city councils to pass resolutions to be non-compliant with the provisions of the Patriot Act; it endorsed the December 18, 2001 “Statement of Solidarity with Migrants,” which was drawn up by the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and called upon the U.S. government to “end discriminatory policies passed on the basis of legal status in the wake of September 11”; and it endorsed the Civil Liberties Restoration Act of 2004, which was designed to roll back, in the name of protecting civil liberties, vital national-security policies that had been adopted after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

NCLR’s major policy positions also include the following:

  • It supports access to driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants.
  • It opposes the REAL ID Act, which requires that all driver’s license and photo ID applicants be able to verify they are legal residents of the United States, and that the documents they present to prove their identity are genuine. According to La Raza, this law “opens the door to widespread discrimination and civil rights violations.”
  • It opposes the Clear Law Enforcement for Criminal Alien Removal Act (CLEAR), which would empower state and local police to enforce federal immigration laws. La Raza argues this would “result in higher levels of racial profiling, police misconduct, and other civil rights violations.”
  • It lobbies for racial and ethnic preferences (affirmative action) and set-asides in hiring, promotions, and college admissions.
  • It supports bilingual education and bilingual ballots.
  • It supports voting rights for illegal aliens.
  • It supports stricter hate-crime laws.
  • It opposes the Aviation Transportation and Security Act requiring that all airport baggage screeners be U.S. citizens.
  • It opposed President Bush’s signing of the "Secure Fence Act of 2006” which authorized 700 miles of new border fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border.

As columnist Michelle Malkin reports, La Raza seeks to inculcate young people with its worldview by funding a number of charter schools that advocate ethnic separatism and anti-American, anti-white attitudes. Among these schools are the following:

  • Mexicayotl Academy in Nogales, Arizona is "structured and developed around the concepts of identity, culture, and language." It supports local ethnic lobbying efforts "to right social injustices by educating the community and helping create social change." Under the heading "Greatest Achievements," the school's website lists its visit from the Marxist academic fraud Rigoberta Menchu, and its sponsorship of the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos.
  • La Academia Semillas del Pueblo is a Los Angeles public school that teaches children "Aztec math" and the Mexican indigenous language of "Nahuatl." The principal, Marcos Aguilar, is an ethnic separatist who told a UCLA interviewer: "We don't want to drink from a White water fountain, we have our own wells and our natural reservoirs and our way of collecting rain in our aqueducts. We don't need a White water fountain. … We are not interested in what they have because we have so much more and because the world is so much larger. And ultimately the White way, the American way, the neo liberal, capitalist way of life will eventually lead to our own destruction." 
  • Aztlan Academy in south Tucson seeks “to integrate a meaningful Chicano Studies program into [students’] lives, language, and academics, as a means of developing their intellects as well as their pride and self-esteem." ("Aztlan" is the separatist name for the Southwestern United States that NCLR hopes will someday reunite with Mexico.)
  • The Dolores Huerta Preparatory High School in Pueblo, Colorado is named after the Latina labor union activist who is a Board member of the Democratic Socialists of America.
  • The Academia Cesar Chavez Charter School in Saint Paul, Minnesota supports the aforementioned federal DREAM Act.

In 2007 NCLR released a report characterizing the juvenile justice system as biased and discriminatory against Latino youth. Complaining of language barriers and cultural barriers that allegedly have a disparate impact on minorities, the report exhorts those who work in the justice system to learn to communicate in a way “that conveys information in a manner that is easily understood by diverse audiences including persons of limited English proficiency, those who have low literacy skills or are not literate, and individuals with disabilities.” “Some of these changes,” says the report, “may involve the requirement of hiring bilingual staff or translating all written and verbal information in languages other than English.” The report further demands that these workers cultivate “cultural competence” enabling them to “effectively communicate with the youth and their families,” and to create a system that “values diversity.”

An eminent figure in NCLR's history is Raul Yzaguirre, who served as the organization's President and CEO from 1974 to 2004. A notable former Chairman is Jose Villareal.

The organization's current President is Janet Murquia, who worked at the White House in various capacities from 1994 to 2000, ultimately as deputy assistant to President Bill Clinton. Immediately prior to joining NCLR, she was the Executive Vice Chancellor for University Relations at the University of Kansas.

In 2005 NCLR received some $15.2 million in federal grants, of which $7.9 million was in U.S. Department of Education grants for Charter Schools; undisclosed amounts were earmarked for get-out-the-vote efforts supporting La Raza political positions.

NCLR also receives funding from the American Express Foundation; the Allstate Foundation; the AT&T Foundation; the Bank of America Foundation; the Carnegie Corporation of New York; the Annie E. Casey Foundation; the Fannie Mae Foundation; the Ford Foundation; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; the Joyce Foundation; the W. K. Kellogg Foundation; the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; the Open Society Institute; the David and Lucile Packard Foundation; the Rockefeller Foundation; and the Verizon Foundation.

In addition, as of February 2011, some 30 major corporations were officially listed as financial supporters of NCLR. Moreover, two dozen corporations were listed as members of NCLR's "Corporate Board of Advisors."

NCLR’s total revenues in 2005 were $25.3 million. Its net assets that year were nearly $52.4 million.

At the March 2008 “Take Back America” conference sponsored by Campaign for America's Future (CAF), NCLR joined CAF and five additional leftist organizations in announcing plans for “the most expensive [$350 million] mobilization in history this election season.” The initiative focused on voter registration, education, and get-out-the-vote drives. Other members of the coalition included MoveOn.org, Rock the Vote, ACORN, the Women's Voices Women Vote Action Fund, and the AFL-CIO.

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