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tv   Sen. Lujan Discusses Issues Impacting Latinos in the U.S.  CSPAN  April 26, 2021 11:31am-12:02pm EDT

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and that's creating all sorts of other problems that is still or spill into our off-line world. you know, while i think a lot of washington can agree that content moderation is something everyone is upset about they come at it from two very separate ways. >> jessica allusion night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on "the communicators" on c-span2. as he approaches his 100th day in office president biden will give his first address to a joint session of congress wednesday night, our live coverage begins at 8:00 p.m. eastern with the president's address at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, online at seesmic .org listen live on the c-span radio app. next, new mexico senator on challenges facing the latino community in the u.s. >> welcome to our virtual event on the launch of the axial's
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latino newsletter. i'm russell, the race and justice reporter for axial's. coming at you from new mexico. thank you, bank of america for making these connotations possible paired welcome to our audience and facebook, youtube, linkedin, twitter and of course, axial stock conquered during the conversation today on twitter at axial's events. onover the next 30 minutes we wl unpack the launch of the newsletter covering the latino community in the americas from voting to political representation to culture and demographic shifts. our first guest is activist and founder and president of the foundation. welcome to axios's. >> thank you for inviting me. before we get started in discussing our u.s. latino population next month you will turn 91 years young after all
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these years why do you stay active, why not go to a beach and relax? what keeps you going? >> well, we know we have a lot of work to do especially right now in a country where we have seen so much violence against people of color and of thinking in terms of the latino community and the people that were killed in el paso, texas because in the last shooting there because they just happen to be mexicans and we have seen the asian women that were killed recently in georgia and because they were asian women and of course, the jews that were killed in the synagoguen and the constant murdering of the black people. we know this has to end and so we cannot really rest, none of us can rest, not even myself until weha can really and the slaying of people of color start getting some of the justice in our society so that all people are treated equally, regardless of the color of their skin or
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their sex or their gender or, whom they love or whom they want to marry. if they are members of our lgbtq community and so we have to keep on working and we can make this happen. we know that all of us come together and we continue to work in a nonviolent way that we can educate so many people and erase the ignorance of that exists right now so people are not hitting each other just because the different. >> you are active in organizing the united farm workers with -- chavez so how has that changed from the 1960s until today what similarities do you see and how are things different? >> the wonderful thing is that everybody has their cell phones and they have social media platforms and they had the internet so that we can mobilize and educate people and bring them together very quickly and
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we have seen with women's marches and with the black lives matter marches and with the marches against gun violence by the young people in florida and this is amazing and with the internet everybody can find the truth of everything and of course it can also be deceived if we are not careful so this is or gives the organizers a great tool to be able to bring people together but in terms of educating people and erasing what i talked about earlier i think we have to sit down and have one-on-one talks of people so that we can make them understand and we have so much of the racism and sexism that exists in our society it comes with slavery and the domination of the group over the other because we know that as homo sapiens the human race, we would never have survived on planet earth had we not protected and taken care of each other and also shared the resources that we had because otherwise we would not have survived as a
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species on this planet. >> when you were organizing farmworkers in the 1960s you had said one of the big important groups that was helping assist the effort were asian americans so we've been a big advocate of coalition politics through all your life so how important were asian americans in the organizing of that event and how are they important now? >> asian americans have always been an integral part of the movement and many of these groups were brought to the united states and the very beginning to organize in agriculture and the chinese and the filipinos and the japanese ar the hindus and theus people from india and so they were very much part of the movement from the very beginning and we have always worked together in the movement and before we sign a first contract the owners and the growers they would pick one group against the other and they would pick the
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filipino crews against the black cruise and the mexican cruise and i always encourage them to but once you sign the contracts and integrated everyone well hey, it was very different, especially with the filipinos and the mexican because when we started working together, if it happened, a lot of marriages came out of that integration so we know that's always good when we can -- and as we know, as i said before we are one human race and there's no reason that we should discriminate against each other just because we have different colors of skin and different nationalities and come from different ethnic groups. >> you've also been very vocal over the last decade of the need for comprehensive immigration reform. what is at stake for the democrats and republicans and passing immigration reform and what would happen if it is not passed during the next two sessions of congress?
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>> many of the people that we are seeking immigration reform for so they can get their legal status in the united states of america are people that do so much of the heavy lifting in our society. the farmworkers that are picking our food every dayun are undocumented and then we have of course other groupsth that are doing the heavy lifting and cleaning our buildings through the construction and taking care of our elders and taking care of our children and so it is time to integratete them. i just want to say one other thing. every single immigrant who came to united states got their legal status and eventually became citizens of the united states and our first immigrants we have to remind them came from europe so when we ask for legalization and legal status for our immigrants it is something that we've always done and it's in the policy of the united states since this country was formed and so now it is time because it's been over 20 years since we
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had any kind of immigration reform in our country and we need it, especially right now in this crucial time. >> now, of course you and i have talked about the need for latino representationon whether it is congress or local bodies there in california or in texas or new mexico. there have been moments where latinos have run for office and we have endorsed the emmerich an afghan candidate in time so why is coalition building still, after all these years, so important to you and what drives you when you pick a candidate? >> we have to pick and work for representatives that really have our values and that have our record of them doing that so often it's important to have latino representation but we have to have those latinos that really are going to represent with the people need and what the people want and t every pern elected they always think
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they're a public servant or excuse me, that they are a public servant who has to do public service so we want to choose people on the values and not just on their ethnic group and c yes, we do need latino representation we need representation of more women bua you know, not all women support reproductive rights for women and often are not somebody who looks like they're going to represent our values. >> after all these years you've seen the mexican american pop elation grow and you seem latinos grow and evolve to become one of the biggest groups of color in the united states. what is some of the misconceptions that you still see after all these years when the media covers latino communities? >> rule number one, often they do not know the history of the united states of america because if you look at a map of the united states between 1848 you will see that the united states was mexico and when they think
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that we don't belong here we were here before the united states of america and so we have to and that disco nation that we have against latinos and against other people of color and not in now is the time to do it. >> here in new mexico a place where you are born it's an abandoned lot and there have been many activists that say we need to do something and you and i have talked about this before and you said you are okay but you feel that they should remember the miners killed at this town so why is that and why should we remember that labor history? >> new mexico was one of the biggest coal mining towns in the united states of america and they had their own accident counsel and hospital in a theater and many people, like myself, who had that heritage want to see if it is remembered and remembering the minors that were killed there are my own
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uncle who was only 18 years old at the time and k [inaudible] ad my dad's father is buried there and it's time to member the service they gave to our country and it erects a monument for them but also to really, we need to name that as a historical science for the statement of new mexico and for america because those workers sacrifice their lives in many to make the world a better place and it's time to remember them and keep them in our minds and in our hearts and make that annoying monument. >> just with a few minutes i have left a few this is something i've asked you in the past and you were on stage with robert kennedy and 1968 where he thanks you after winning the caledonia primary and called you his good friend. you saw that coalition before you soak there was excitement in a few months later he was
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shocked. how did you continue and why did you not give up and say this is not worth it? what kept you going after all the heartbreak and tragedy in your activism and in your work? >> the best way to remember robert kennedy are his words. we have responsibilities and obligations to our fellow citizens in these words were a few minutes before he was killed and we had that obligation so everyone in our society to get involved and make the world a better place and this is the best way to remember robert kennedy and all of the other heroes that came before us like chavez and martin luther king jr. and nelson mandela and othersso who spend their lives making the world a better place. >> is there a particular political leader you feel that is building upon the coalition that he saw in 1968 today? >> we have our own governor gavin newsom who was just name the first filipino-american to
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be attorney general of california and i think we do see an awakening and the leaders and i also want to include our president joe biden and i would i like him choosing kamala harris and that was a major step to try to address some of the wrongs that have been in this is people of color in the past. >> many people don't know this but you did not always want to become an activist but you wanted to become a dancer. what drew you to dancing and music? >> i love dancing particularly flamenco dancing and i was able to take dancing lessons when i was young and i started a little bit to be a professional dancer but i still love to dance and i want to encourage everyone to dance. right now during the pandemic we can dance at home and after the pandemic is over we need to go out and dance because it's physically healthy and also mentally healthy for everyone to get that exercise of dancing and
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of course the needs that come with it which regenerates our souls and keeps us compare and happier. >> dolores, it's been an honor and a pleasure. thank you for joining x euros. >> thank you very much, appreciate it. >> our final guest is the u.s. senator from new mexico and joining us from mexico. senator, thank you for joining us. >> it's always an honor to get a chance to chat with you and congratulations on your responsibilities at x euros. >> thank you. we appreciate it. before we get started on your a first term as a u.s. senator you wore the first senator from new mexico of hispanic descent in a generation since joseph montoya was the senator from new mexico. new mexico is of course the most hispanic state in the country with a long tradition of electing latinos to office. why does itpa take so long for this state to finally get a hispanic senatoror in a
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generation? >> you remind me that it's been over 40 years since we had an hispanic united states senator representing the state of new mexico and we had incredible senators along the way. senator is a republican that rose in his responsibilities of leadership in the united states senate and jeff being a man, jeff udall and one of my colleagues are senior senator from mexico and look, i think that election you have to go out and earn the trust of voters and reach out to them and connect with them and i was so honored to be able to do that and i know that in so many small committees throughout mexico that i certainly appreciated the advice and guidance that i received, especially from the older generation of new mexicans that have been so active but gave me
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the guidance necessary to be able to now serve proudly as new mexico's newest united states senator. >> now, i talk to your father and of course the latest speaker of the house he was very the windchill in her life and you mentioned it before so one of the things he is mentioned when i talk to him was that new mexico has struggled with poverty for generations. especially in our hispanic communities and it kept him up and night. what keeps you up at night as a u.s. senator from one of the poorer states in the country but with a lot of potential? >> well, it is actually in that question because similar to my father and my mom who is still with us and my mom carmen retired after 33 years from a local public school district and my father wrests but served as a state representative and speaker of the house and was a welder but he was an iron worker, union ironworker. i shared those same concerns that my father had an new mexico
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has so much potential and the contributions that we provide to the country when it comes to national security and to innovation with our national satellite operations in a special operations for the air force in the western part of , cannon air force base and the importance of missile range and other assets we have in our beautiful state but especially our people. i know that when it comes to our beautiful landscapes the canopy of stars and those sunrises and sunsets which lay claim to different canopies for people to be inspired from like georgia o'keefe or the late -- new mexico i know has all that potential but we need to make sure that those investments are reaching people and especially future generations and one of the areas that i am hoping that we can continue to transform our beautiful state that recently we passed the american rescue plan, 95% of families with children and new mexico will benefit from
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the new child tax credit and that's an investment in them and in their futures. we also need to connect ourew states and i am probably now i'm chairing the subcommittee on the commerce committee which has jurisdiction over broadband and internet connectivity and stopping the spread of misinformation and that is one area we need to get this right. we know people want to move to beta for places where they can have high quality of life and new mexico represents the very best of that and been able to attract more opportunities, businesses and investors in our state getting 100% conductivity in rural and urban part of new mexico i know that can be a transformational change and i know our brightest days are in front of us. there were many announcements whether it comes to films or other satellite operation companies denouncing thousands of jobs in new mexicot and i am looking forward to seeing how we can grow from that and create more opportunities for every generation of new mexico especially those that are not with us yet.
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>> you've been very active and open about climate change. you mentioned this during your campaign environmental justiceac is something that you've talked about a number of times. yet, new mexico relies on oil and gas revenues for its budget. how can we diversify a state like new mexico and its economy but at the same time keep those high-paying jobs for some of our have in oil workers places like hobbes and southeastern part of the state? >> there is not a person i have spoken to in new mexico that doesn't agree that we have to diversify our economy. new mexico should not depend on just one source of revenue and just look at what happened to the oil and gas industry when the russians started playing games with supply and with the prices of oil per barrel. it crashed to the point where it went into the negative and oil producers are having to pay people to take their oil and it devastated the future of more
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projections with our budget outlook and that is not something that sits well withk anyone i know and look, as it pertains to the future and being innovative and not just with diversifying our economy but diversifying how we can generate power and how we will move people and how we will provide electricity and connectivity to homes, even the major oil and gas producers across america are making those changes and we are now seeing the big automakers making announcements that they are moving to all electric leases and we need to meet smart but are planning in new mexico because if we don't these other changes fight the nature of oil and gas and also we did auto manufacturers it will leave new mexico behind and heard us in the long run so we have to attract more economic opportunities back home and i believe getting into the supply chains with fortune 500 entities will be one of those paths forward and we seen an explosion and expansion when it comes to film production in new mexico and we will put more people to
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workhe and looking at every job that and what i appreciated is during covid companies across america are looking to where they can spread out a little bit and have an incredible quality of life in new mexico is perfectly situated so i am optimistic that we can create those jobs here in the future and in the long run and then we can diversify our economy and then in the short term we have to look at what can be done in new mexico just instituted new rules when it comes to methane and even though we are not the number one oil and gas producer in the country we have the worst plumes in the united states and that does not bode well formb anyone so now with the new rule changes we will take quite a few jobs to be able to go plug those leaks, stop those methane leaks and prevent the stop the ending and also getting more dollars to be able to a go and plug those
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abandoned oil wells and gas wells and those are job opportunities on the horizon coupled with manufacturing and i know we can get there and especiallye once we connect new mexico it will only attract more opportunities to our states, including those that will be home grown. >> who are also in the u.s. senate for the first time and one of the first hispanics in 40 years but you are also going at a historic moment when we finally have six senators in the u.s. senate who are hispanic, three are mexican-american. have you had any conversations about your unique roles and what you plan to do as the first and largest hispanic caucus we've ever had in the senate and have you had any of those discussions? >> i have introduced myself and chatted a few times and ted cruz and marco rubio and i've had more substantive conversations with senator menendez and alex padilla and alex and i are the newest members of the united
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states senate and are hispanic. i look forward to working with them. it is not just in areas thatha traditionally have been sought after with folks working with congress, mainly immigration reform which i have a big response ability and i know we can get these legislative initiatives across the finish line. how sweetly passed the dream and promise act and the former modernization expert senator menendez introduced the citizens act which will be an important platform for companies of immigration reform that we are all focused to get across the finish line but it's also creating job opportunities and investment opportunities and access to education and looking to see what we can do to get to poverty and prosperity, homeownership and in every one of those areas we have the responsibility now that we are at the table to ensure the latino community and the hispanic community will not be left out. >> the legendary u.s. senator
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dennis chavez from new mexico held these amazing hearings in 1946 and talking to latino returning world war ii veterans and systemic racism they face you are now there and more than 75 years later in this body and systemic racism is still an issue in the united states so what is your concerns around systemic racism especially as it pertains to that latinos and native americans in new mexico and the american southwest. >> as you said, dennis chavez who served in the 40s and 50s and into the timeframe when they were taking place and the provisions that dennis chavez authored which was now became title vii of the voting rights act and what concerned me is that a we still have not made the progress that he saw that we needed to make and that for everyone martin luther king knew we had to make and that my friend the late john lewis knew we had to make and while things have improved a bit we have now seen legislators across the country discriminating and
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making it harder for people to vote our black brothers and sisters and her native american brothers and sisters and it's absolutely wrong and that is why i fully support adopting h.r. 1 and senate bill one which would restore the voting rights act and would protect people but we also need to make sure that we are looking at the mistreatment of people based on the color of their skin m or their face and t is wrong for us we all have to be speak out about these injustices and make a difference everywhere we can and again from the work that dennis chavez did and as well my friend or in our late colleague john lewis there is so much more work to do but i'm encouraged and optimistic that we can get more things done and make progress and we can come together to get these initiatives adopted in this congress. >> in the last 60 seconds together we spoke earlier to dolores the legendaryst civil rights leader who was born in
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new mexico and she was born in -- and there's no plaque or anything to signify that she was from new mexico, born here and raised here. should the states and the federal government to anything to help and to bring sites that have historical to latinos to light and do something really in a national park service to celebrate these icons of civil rights, especially here in new mexico? spirit short answer is yesla. i appreciate your risk reporting on these issues as well, not just interviewing the iconic, the incredible, dolores from dawson, new mexico so we need to get work here at the state level in better level to make sure that everyone will know whether dolores was born and how proud we are to have her in new mexico andas also as you have written e contributions of hispanic new mexicans who stopped the confederacy in new mexico from spreading out to california and
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what would've happened is they would have the access gold or other areas of wealth and there are so many areas of contribution in new mexico and i'm so proud to be called dolores a friend, mentor and we need to get to work and it is about time that everybody knows more about dolores but these committees also you can work with them to help tell the story. >> senator, thank you for joining us for that first historic axios latino event. we really appreciate it. >> my absolute honor. thank you again for the work you do and especially for this new program which will report and highlight contributions of the spanish latinos across america, thank you. >> why does this matter? why are we doing axios latino at this moment for axios? we know this population is 61 million strong. it spread across the american southwest, the midwest, new york and the pacific northwest. now we are seeing mexican
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immigrants moved to the south. places like alabama and dash. this population is growing and yet we in the media have not covered it justly. the preparation, as it expands, poses new questions about what it means to be an american and what it means to have a diverse country. this population pose questions about the nation and ourselves. as i mentioned, with the stinterview with senator 75 yeas ago senator dennis chavez pose questions to united states senate are returning world war ii veterans who are latino and they were facing determination after putting their lives on the line. anothere becausein my grandfathr was a world war ii veteran and he went to germany and fought and came back and was denied the opportunity to buy a home. this angered him. in the 1950s no one asked him about it and we here at axios and axios latino will be posing these questions in 2021.
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we hope you join us for this journey as we try to cover this population, not only to see what we can find out but more importantly, find out about ourselves. thank you to all for joining us this afternoon for another virtual conversation that has made everyone smarter faster. for more information to sign up or axios latino visit axios .com / newsletters or go to our axios app. thank you again for joining us and we will see you soon. ... i'm asking you this question, some of the retaliation you thought he felt you experienced
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coming forward. have you had any examples of retaliation for coming forward? >> senator, we have had outreach with respect to our coming forward. >> by you? >> by google. >> what happened? >> they called us last night after our testimony became public to ask is what our testimony was different than what was said about the situation in our earnings call earlier this year. >> is it different? >> we said in a earnings call earlier this year that we believe we would be able to work through the issue of google and posing 30% on us which we been working very hard at over the last few years meeting with regulations and others to try and change these practices and ensure this is that happening. google first threatened 7 that they would roll out this en

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