An NLLSA Chair's Comments On the 2017 Presidential Inauguration

Dear NLLSA Friends:

Two days ago, our country took part in an American tradition as old as our Constitution: the peaceful transition of power from one freely elected president to another. As NLLSA celebrated this moment, we also recognized the end of a tremendous and consequential presidency. We are grateful to President Barack Obama and Former First Lady Michelle Obama for their service to our nation and wish them and their family nothing but success in their future endeavors.

Looking forward, NLLSA welcomes the next chapter in America’s story with cautious optimism. Now is the time to put an end to the harmful rhetoric that has vilified our communities for the past two years. It is time to begin working for ALL Americans. NLLSA believes that a good start would have been the appointment of a Latino to the U.S. Cabinet. Unfortunately, President Trump failed to nominate a single Latino to the Executive for the first time since 1988. This is a worrisome start; one we hope will not be a sign of things to come.

Our President must dedicate the next four years to representing all of America. This means representing Latinos and demonstrating a commitment to advancing the policies that are of great significance to our community.

For NLLSA, there are a myriad of issues that are of great concern. Issues such as (1) securing equal opportunity for academic achievement, (2) maintaining President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), (3) enforcing an immigration policy that respects the dignity of the individual, (4) protecting the right to vote, (5) maintaining affordable healthcare, especially for lower-income families, (6) reforming our criminal justice system, and (7) building an economy that works for all.

As we await the agenda of the President’s first 100 days, we encourage every NLLSA Chapter across the nation to work with neighboring chapter schools and organizations in preparation for the policy debates that lie ahead. We are on the front lines of defending our democracy. As future lawyers, we must never take this responsibility for granted.

In the coming months, the NLLSA Executive Board will be here for you as a resource and as a partner. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter as we roll out information on relevant policy issues, executive orders, congressional legislation, state actions, and opportunities to get involved in the legal community.

We look forward to working with YOU as we advocate for the legal rights and needs of all Latinos and our communities at large. As Thomas Jefferson once said, “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”

It is NLLSA’s privilege to stand beside you.


Alex Peña
National Chair | National Latina/o Law Student Association
V: 845.721.4560 |

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