The League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, recognized a Utah State Senator on Wednesday night at its annual awards gala in Washington DC. Here's why the organization chose to honor a local lawmaker.
Democratic Senator Luz Robles was in Washington DC last night to accept an award that recognizes leaders who have served the American Hispanic community well. Senator Robles was one of six recipients this year of awards given by LULAC, an 84-year-old organization based in the nation’s Capitol. Robles said she was honored by the recognition.
“I’m extremely honored. It’s an opportunity to highlight some of the work that many of the Latino elected officials are doing at the state level. It’s a very big organization that’s been working in the well being of Latinos for the last 84 years .”
Senator Robles, the daughter of two Mexican professors, holds Bachelors and Masters degree from the University of Utah, and is Director of the Zions Bank Business Resource Center. She sponsored legislation in 2011 that called for giving immigrants already living in Utah an “accountability card” that would allow them to work without changing their legal status, though to get the card applicants would have had to pass a criminal background check and learn English.
Though her legislation failed to pass, the approach was called “groundbreaking” by some immigration experts.
Robles says Utah has stood as a model for Federal Immigration reform, something she believes can and will pass through congress, soon.
“I mean I’m in DC right now and it’s going to happen. I don’t know that they can wait any longer. Both political parties need to do something and this is the way to start. For Utah, I think we did the best with what we have and we’re a model nationally and we’ve been waiting for this for more than 20 or 30 years.”