- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 7, 2006

LOS ANGELES (AP) — What is being hailed as the largest gathering of Hispanic leaders in decades is happening here this week, hoping to re-energize a campaign to secure citizenship for the estimated 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens in the U.S.

“This conference is designed to get us back on the offensive,” John Trasvina, interim president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “Congress is doing nothing for Latino issues.”

Sessions at the National Latino Congreso, which opened Wednesday, include speeches and workshops on registering Hispanic voters, running Hispanic political candidates, wage gaps between Hispanics and whites, environmental issues and a lack of access to health care in immigrant communities. The conference ends tomorrow with a rally.

Organizers said efforts to register thousands of voters would intensify as the November congressional elections approached. An Associated Press review this week of voter-registration figures from Chicago, Denver, Houston, Atlanta, Los Angeles and other major urban areas that saw large immigration-related rallies some months ago showed no sign of a historic new-voter boom.

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