Latino Republicans are increasingly frustrated with their limited access to the White House, telling BuzzFeed News the White House's Hispanic outreach has been ineffective and laying blame on the official who is running point on coalition building.
Their issue is with Jennifer Korn, the deputy director in the Office of the Public Liaison and a special assistant to the president, and they feel that the timing is particularly poor for limited communication between the White House and Latino groups.
After announcing an end to the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protected young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children from deportation, President Trump is now weighing policy that would implement those protections legislatively. Latino Republicans want to publicly back Trump's new position on DACA protections, but they say they are not able to coordinate messaging with the White House and their calls and emails to Korn go unanswered.
"This crazy shift on immigration with Donald Trump, I'm excited by it," said Artemio Muniz, chairman of the Federation of Hispanic Republicans, who also serves on the Young Republicans National Federation Outreach Committee. "I want to be part of it, I have a platform, I want to do outreach. But I want to be able to coordinate with the White House and RNC."
Much of the frustration rests with the public liaison's office, one of the White House's political and outreach offices that chief of staff John Kelly is looking to revamp, Politico reports. As part of Kelly’s undertaking, there are already plans to take at least one committee that is under the public liaison office out of its purview, BuzzFeed News has learned. The liaison office is home to Omarosa Manigault, the Apprentice contestant turned Trump confidant who serves as a gatekeeper between the administration and black conservatives and has been the focus of some scorn.
But Manigault's not the only person in the office people outside the White House are exasperated with.
"There's a Hispanic Omarosa, and that's Jenny Korn," said Alfonso Aguilar, executive director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles.
Aguilar, who has criticized Trump over immigration policy, and other Hispanic Republicans told BuzzFeed News that their frustration is that they are often invited to non-Hispanic meetings but aren't welcome at the Hispanic events that the White House convenes somewhat regularly. Aguilar said that he recently attended a pro-life meeting at the White House, but that he does not get invited to similar Latino events.
Latino Republicans stressed that while they are frustrated with the job Korn is doing, they see her as a friend and are not calling for her to be fired.
Some Hispanic conservatives, however, feel there may be lingering distrust from the campaign, when many of them did not support Trump's candidacy. They also say they are particularly bothered by how the White House has treated the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the country's largest Hispanic Christian organization. The group's leaders, Latino conservatives say, are annoyed that they've only been included in faith-based meetings, but not events geared specifically to Hispanics.
You can read the rest at Buzzfeed.