CHICAGO • When President Obama leaves office in January, his legacy — in many Hispanics' minds, at least — will largely be defined by his record number of deportations.
Despite his executive actions to keep certain unlawfully present immigrants from being deported, Obama has distinguished himself by sending more than 2.5 million unauthorized immigrants back to their native lands.
Hopefully, history will also remember that Obama has done an admirable job of putting Hispanics into high-visibility positions in both his administration and in other top government posts.
He currently has four Cabinet or Cabinet-level Latino office-holders — Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, Education Secretary John King, and Small Business Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet — out of a total of 23 such positions.
Amazingly, at 17 percent, the number of the president's Latino executive department heads accurately reflects the percentage of Hispanics in the U.S. population.
Kenneth Romero-Cruz, executive director of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL), an organization representing Hispanic state legislators, wants to keep it that way. His group has vowed to act as a watchdog on the next president's administration to ensure that Latinos lose no ground.