Washington DC — This week, President-elect Trump’s transition team confirmed that U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President Javier Palomarez would be joining its national diversity coalition as an advisor. Please see below for a statement from Cristóbal J. Alex, President of Latino Victory Project.

“Javier and the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce had always been our friends. However, in doing what he claims is best for his organization, he seems to be falling into the trap of paying lip service to the Trump administration instead of looking out for the wellbeing of our community as a whole.

“We understand the need for diversity within the administration and the importance of being a part of the conversation, but there are non-negotiable issues for our community that Latino leaders must keep in mind, like the Affordable Care Act that provided over 4 million Latinos with healthcare, protecting over 741,000 DACA recipients who are nervous about their future, and instituting a higher minimum wage which would lift 11 million of Latinos out of poverty.

“The incoming President hasn’t even proposed any policies to promote small and mid-size businesses, of which Latino business owners and entrepreneurs are a significant part. To the contrary, Trump’s proposed cabinet is nothing but a “billionaires club” who seem to care very little about this dynamic segment of the market. To see the President of the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce make this move without concrete policy proposals that will benefit his members is at least premature, and certainly not putting the interest of Hispanic business owners first.

”With 16 days left until the inauguration, the Trump administration has made no effort to give voice to the issues our community cares about or to treat us with the dignity and respect that we deserve. This symbolic gesture of offering Latino leaders a seat at the table is in fact just that – symbolic.

“My abuela always told me, dime con quien andas y te diré quién eres / tell me who you walk with and I’ll tell you who you are. We will have to wait and see whether Latino leaders who provide cover for Trump will stand with our community and fight for our well-being, or stand with the Trump administration in keeping his promises to deport us, strip us of healthcare, and roll back our civil rights, including reproductive rights. You can’t have it both ways.”