Nine influential Hispanic advocacy groups are uniting in a new effort to push pro-immigration presidential candidates and derail the campaigns of Donald Trump and Latino Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
"We are not going to be a punching bag," said Janet Murguía, president of National Council of La Raza.
"In November, when Latinos go to the voting booths, they're going to look at the future of what our America looks like, not necessarily a last name," added Cristóbal Alex, president of the Latino Victory Project, in a shot aimed at Cruz and Rubio.
Ostensibly the organizing plan by the nine groups is non-partisan, but at a press conference announcing the creation of the National Latino Civic Engagement Table, the leaders left no doubt that they plan to torpedo Trump, Cruz, Rubio and others who have criticized illegal immigrants and comprehensive immigration reform.
"United, we will also push against border suppression and any efforts that will make it harder for Latinos to participate in the Democratic process," said chief organizer, Hector Sanchez, chairman of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.
Several of the nine leaders at a National Press Building press conference said that the GOP race, and Trump's disparaging comments about illegal immigrants, has angered and energized Hispanic voters.
"When the Latino community is outraged, we step up to the cause," said María Teresa Kumar, founding president and CEO of Voto Latino.
She announced that the movement is partnering with Google, Fuze, Instagram, YouTube, and others to urge Hispanics to register to vote and vote.
"The idea is to go on tour, to be on the airwaves, to speak their language, which happens to be English, in culturally adaptable ways," said Kumar. For example, at the upcoming South by Southwest mega concert in Austin, Texas, they are launching an app to let Latinos register to vote on their phone.
"Our time is now. They have our backs against the wall," she said.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.