Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

For media requests, please contact UP ADVERTISING at

LAA Statement on the recent DACA Ruling

“The recent ruling by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen deals a devastating blow to the thousands of young undocumented immigrants who are now barred from applying for protections against deportation and work authorizations under the DACA Program, as well as the businesses, communities, and families that rely on the contributions of DACA recipients. Without Congressional action to provide these Dreamers with a deserved pathway to lawful immigrant status and eventual citizenship, this ruling not only has a tremendous impact on the immigrant community but, the entire Peach State. As home to almost 20,000 DACA recipients, these young immigrant Dreamers strengthen Georgia communities, society, and economy with their collective contributions. For too long, Congress has left the fate of Dreamers to the federal courts to decide, rather than proactively implementing legislative reforms to prevent further vulnerabilities within the immigrant community. Now, after this District Court ruling, it is up to our leaders in Washington, including Senators Warnock and Ossoff, to act by passing legislation such as the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021 and exploring all possible avenues to implement a well-deserved pathway to permanent immigration status for Georgia Dreamers. The Latin American Association will continue to stand with all young, undocumented immigrants whose futures remain uncertain in jeopardy and will continue to champion much-needed legislation to allow them to contribute to Georgia and the United States to their full potential.”

Statement on the Passing of Congressman John Lewis

The Latin American Association (LAA) was saddened to hear of the passing of Congressman John Lewis after his extended and brave battle with cancer. The LAA offers its condolences to the Congressman’s family.

Congressman Lewis was the son of a sharecropper. He spent most of his adult life fighting the racial and the socio-economic injustice that he witnessed and was surrounded with his entire life. He fought that fight until his last breath serving as a beacon for social justice for all people to follow.

The LAA is committed to continuing Congressman Lewis’s fight and the example he set for all of us and we call on all Georgians of all backgrounds to help us continue his legacy.

LAA statement on Supreme Court’s DACA decision

June 22, 2020

On June 18, 2020, after years of legal challenges, the Supreme Court of the United States halted the Trump administration’s efforts to terminate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This administration has tried to put an end to the DACA program since 2017. With last week’s decision, DACA must be reinstated to how it was when it was created on June 15, 2012.

This decision represents a victory for our immigrant communities, as well as for our country. DACA recipients here in Georgia and across the country can now breathe a sigh of relief and go on with their lives without fear of being deported.

The Latin American Association stands with the 21,000 DACA recipients in Georgia and their families in celebrating this victory. This Supreme Court decision, however, is a temporary victory. We call on Congress to pass a permanent solution that will give DACA recipients a pathway to citizenship, and allow them to finally make the United States their permanent home.

LAA statement supporting hate-crimes legislation

June 9, 2020

The killing of Ahmaud Arbery while jogging in broad daylight and the arrest of two men for this heinous crime two months later have made it increasingly clear that Georgia is overdue for a hate-crimes law.

Georgia is only one of four states without a hate-crimes law, according to NAACP data. We urgently need this legislation to ensure that our state remains a place that does not tolerate hate and that cherishes diversity in its many forms.

With the Georgia General Assembly going back into session on June 15, we urge our senators to pass a comprehensive hate-crimes bill. This statute would provide Georgia with a much-needed mechanism to define, report, track and prosecute hate crimes.

Media Advisory  | For immediate release | Spanish version available here

The Latin American Association (LAA)

announces new CEO 

The Board of Directors has appointed Santiago Marquez to lead

the largest nonprofit organization serving the Latino community in Georgia

Atlanta (June 8, 2020) – The Latin American Association (LAA), the largest nonprofit organization in Georgia serving the Latino community, announces the appointment of Santiago Marquez as its new CEO.

Marquez, currently the president and CEO of the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GHCC), will replace Anibal Torres, who is retiring. Marquez takes the helm on July 6.

“We are very excited to welcome our new CEO, Santiago Marquez, to the Latin American Association,” said Susana Chavez, chair of the LAA Board of Directors. “Santiago’s service to the LAA began 20 years ago and we are thrilled to see him return ‘home.’”

“We believe Santiago’s leadership will help the organization and the community to further navigate current COVID-19 challenges and tense cultural climates. Santiago has a challenging job ahead of him, as the needs in the Latino community are greater than ever. We are confident in his ability to successfully lead the LAA and bring new opportunities for Latinos in Georgia,” Chavez added.

Marquez, who was born in Cuba and has lived in the United States since 1971, has over 20 years of experience with local and national nonprofits. He once served as the LAA’s director of employment and housing, starting the first housing initiative for Latinos in Georgia. Most recently, Marquez worked with the GHCC. He joined in 2008 and was promoted to president in 2017.

“I am honored and humbled to return to the organization where I started my career,” Marquez said. “The LAA has always been near and dear to my heart. I am very excited to take on this monumental and historic challenge during a time when our community needs strong leadership.”

In the last five years, Torres has led the LAA to great achievements.

“The board is very thankful for Anibal’s contributions to the Latin American Association,” said Chavez. “Having served as a former board member, board chair and as executive director since 2015, Anibal has over 10 years of helping the LAA to advance the Latino community in Georgia.”

“I am proud to have served the community, alongside the LAA staff. The LAA is dear to me. It is with mixed feelings that I complete this stage of my career. I am very pleased to hand the torch over to Santiago. I have known him for many years and have seen the good work he does in the community,” Torres said.

Media Contact | Victoria Hopkins | Marketing Communications Manager | | 561.401.5182

About the Latin American Association (LAA) ~ Founded in 1972, the Latin American Association (LAA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving the Latino community in Georgia. The mission of the LAA is to empower Latinos to adapt, integrate and thrive. Our vision is Opportunity for All. Core programs and services include family well-being, youth services, workforce development, immigration and culture, among others. For more information, visit



June 2, 2020

The senseless killing of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and other Black Americans reminds us that racism is a daily reality. Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and at a time when we should be standing together to fight this deadly virus and showing compassion for our neighbors, it’s tragic that our fellow African Americans have to continue to live through these dreadful events. Unless each of us acts to uproot racism, it will continue to cost Black lives.

To that end, the Latin American Association stands in solidarity with Black communities across this country and vigorously defends the right of all Americans to protest peacefully to achieve justice and a fuller democracy. In addition, we urge civic, nonprofit and faith leaders, as well as appointed and elected officials, to respond urgently to the national cry of anguish that has reached the ears of every American.

We understand that community well-being comes through dialogue, kindness and the shared notion that the pain of the individual is the pain of the community. We believe that bonding across communities is the best weapon against hate and racially-motivated violence. We resolve to build Dr. King’s dream and to love humanity fully. In Dr. King’s time, as now, love is the best weapon against hate and racially-motivated violence.

  • March 14, 2019 in Wells Fargo donated $16.4M to Support Georgia Nonprofits in 2018. The LAA is very grateful for Wells Fargo’s charitable contribution to support our Economic Empowerment department in 2018, to provide services that help Latino families find meaningful work opportunities. View Article
  • May 24, 2018 on MundoHispanico: Young Latino Cross Keys High School student achieves highest honor.
    Mario Aleman Valedictorian Cross Keys High School
  • May 13, 2018 on Reporter Newspapers: Coalition forms to address affordable housing on Buford Highway
    Dyana Bagby
    Watch Video / Read Article
  • Feb. 18, 2018 on WXIA 11 Alive: U.S. Immigration and Customs officers have rounded up hundreds of undocumented immigrants in the last few weeks. In the wake of those operations, there have been lots of rumors going around stoking fears in immigrant communities here in metro Atlanta.
    Atlanta immigration forum addresses undocumented immigrants’ fears
    Watch Video
  • Jan. 29, 2018 on WSB-TV: Coverage of the first annual State of Latinos Conference in Atlanta, GA.
    Latin American Association hosts State of Latinos Conference
    Watch Video
  • Jan. 29, 2018 on MundoHíspanico: Hundreds come to Atlanta to highlight the contributions made by Latinos in Georgia.
    Cientos se reúnen en Atlanta para destacar la contribución de los latinos en Georgia
  • Feb. 27, 2018 on MundoHispánico: Coverage for Teresa Rodriguez, graduate of the Latina Empowerment program, ¡Avanzando Juntas!
    Con el sazón de la abuela
  • Jan. 29, 2018 on Atlanta Journal Constitution: Coverage of the first annual State of Latinos Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
    Our Community:  Hundreds celebrate Latinos’ contributions in Georgia
    Read Article
  • Jan. 29, 2018 on Telemundo Atlanta: Coverage of the first annual State of Latinos Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
    Facebook Live
    Watch Video
  • Jan. 29, 2018 on Univision 34 Atlanta: Coverage of the first annual State of Latinos Conference in Atlanta, GA.
    Líderes hispanos de Georgia piden apoyar la lucha por DACA
    Watch Video
  • Jan. 24, 2018 on Reporter Newspaper: Coverage of the first annual State of Latinos Conference in Atlanta, GA.
    Latin American Association hosting State of Latinos Conference
    Read Article
  • Jan. 12 2018 on Atlanta Business Chronicle: Article covering Latino contributions helping create a vision for Georgia’s future.
    Viewpoint: Latino contributions helping to create a vision for Georgia’s future
    Read Article
  • Feb. 16, 2017 on AJC: Coverage of Thomas Fuller’s dedication to servicing the senior community in Atlanta.
    Nuestra Comunidad: Love of Spanish culture lead to dedicated work
    Watch Video / Read Article
  • Apr. 13, 2017 on Reporter Newspaper: Coverage of annual LAA Compañeros Awards Luncheon.
    Brookhaven first city to receive Corporate Champion Award from Latin American Association
    Read Article
  • Mar. 15, 2017 on MundoHispánico: Coverage of new LAA center in Lawrenceville, GA.
    Organización de ayuda inaugura nuevo centro en Gwinnett
  • Mar. 15, 2017 on MundoHispánico: Coverage of student walk-outs at Cross Keys High School in Brookhaven.
    Walkout 2018: Salen de las aulas a pedir que ni un estudiante más muera por un tiroteo
  • Mar. 8, 2017 on Telemundo Atlanta: Coverage of the annual Latina Empowerment Conference and ¡Avanzando Juntas! program offered by the LAA.
    Acceso Total – Latina Empowerment Conference
  • Mar. 2, 2017 on AJC: Coverage of Budford Highway’s immigrant corridor and issues faced due to development.
    Buford Highway: Development threatens Atlanta’s immigrant corridor
    Watch Video / Read Article
  • Feb. 19, 2017 on Univision 34 Atlanta: Coverage around immigration issues and services provided by the LAA in Georgia.
    Activistas intensifican campañas para que inmigrantes soliciten la ciudadanía
    Watch Video
  • Dec. 15, 2017 on Reporter Newspapers: Reporter Newspapers: Coverage of the city of Brookhaven fifth anniversary, where various community leaders and people involved in the cityhood effort to share their thoughts on where the city stands today and where it is headed in the next five year, including LAA executive director Aníbal Torres.
    Brookhaven at 5: Community voices
    Read Article
  • Oct. 9, 2017 on Telemundo Atlanta: Coverage on Latin Fever Ball
    Acceso Total for Latin Fever Ball
    Watch Video
  • Oct. 9, 2017 on Telemundo Atlanta: Coverage on LAA and the UPS Foundation
    Acceso Total for the UPS Foundation with Ed Martinez
  • Sep. 2, 2017 on AJC: Coverage on Bank of America’s second annual giving spree to noprofits.
    Giving Spree gives grants to 46 Atlanta nonprofits
    Read Article
  • Sep. 2017 on AJC: AJC runs an op-ed piece pertaining to DACA rescission by our Board Chair, Chris Marquardt.
    Opinion: DACA Recipients are Georginas too
    Read Article
  • Aug. 28, 2017 on and WABE: The teen editor for Vox Investigates interviews 17-year-old Puerto Rican-Guatemalan artist Maite Nazario during her art exhibit at the LAA.
    The Metamorphosis of an Immigrant: Maite Nazario
  • Aug. 24, 2017 on WXIA 11 Alive: Coverage of Bank of America’s second annual giving spree on Friday, where the bank highlighted 19 out of 46 local nonprofits.
    Bank of America highlights $1.9 million in grants to local nonprofits
    Watch Video
  • Aug. 22, 2017 on WSB-TV: Coverage of EHAT/LULAC Center grand opening in the LAA
    Technology Lab bridges digital divide at the Latin American Association
    Watch Video
  • Aug. 8, 2017 on PR Newswire: Coverage of EHAT/LULAC Center grand opening in the LAA
    The LAA, LULAC and Cox Enterprises Partner to Bridge the Digital Divide with Unveiling of EHAT Technology Center in Atlanta
  • Aug. 8, 2017 on Cecllular News: Coverage of EHAT/LULAC Center grand opening in the LAA
    The LAA, LULAC and Cox Enterprises Partner to Bridge the Digital Divide with Unveiling of EHAT Technology Center in Atlanta
  • Aug. 6, 2017 in the Saporta Report: Our executive director and guest columnist, Aníbal Torres, calls on the Trump administration to work with Congress to pass legislation that will offer a permanent solution for undocumented young people who were brought to the United States as children.
    Congress should protect Georgia’s young immigrants by enacting Dream Act of 2017
  • Aug. 1, 2017 on Public: Covers LAA support for Dreamers
    The LAA Support Protection for DREAMers
  • Aug. 2017 in MundoHispánico: :Latin American Association offers immigration legal services in Athens, GA.
    Asociación Latinoamericana ofrecerá servicios legales de inmigración en Athens.
  • July 28 in El Nuevo Georgia: Gloria Patiño, who has been coming to our Club de la tercera edad for 20 years, was honored when the members decided to name the club after her.
    Vea por qué esta anciana de 94 años fue protagonista de un homenaje en Atlanta
    Watch Video
  • July 26, 2017 in Reporter Newspapers: The LAA’s David Schaefer, who chairs the Brookhaven Affordable Housing Task Force, talks about the task force’s recommendations.
    Brookhaven task force presents affordable housing recommendations
    Read Article
  • July 19, 2017 in MundoLatino Newspaper: Announcement on LAA launch of Immigration Legal Services in Athens, GA.
    Asociación Latinoamericana ofrecerá servicios legales de inmigración en Athens.
  • July 16, 2017 on WSB-TV: WSB-TV’s People 2 People interviews executive director Aníbal Torres about the LAA’s statewide expansion.
    The Latin American Association Expands Statewide
  • July 14, 2017 on WABE: WABE’s Rose Scott interviews entrepreneurs from our Latinas’ Economic Empowerment Program in Closer Look.
    Closer Look: Latina Entrepreneurs, Singer Fernanda Noronha and More
  • June 22, 2017 on WABE: Our director of advocacy, David Schaefer, talks about Immigrant Heritage Month with Closer Look’s Rose Scott.
    Closer Look: Immigrant Heritage Month
  • June 22, 2017 in MundoHispánico: The LAA’s youth summer program at Meadowcreek High School offers enrichment activities to 50 Latino students.
    Cierre de una experiencia de verano enriquecedora
  • June 22 in MundoHispánico: Our Career Expo is featured.
    Acercan la oportunidad
    View Article
  • June 13, 2017 in the Northside Neighbor: The neighborhood publication helps us get the word out about our Career Expo.
    Latin American Association hosts Career Expo
    View Article
  • June 3, 2017 in MundoHispánico: MundoHispánico covers our 4th Annual Health Fair.
    Hispanos dan prioridad a su salud
  • May 25, 2017 in MundoHispánico: Three students from our Latino Youth Leadership Academy who are graduating high school are interviewed.
    Estudiantes hispanos se gradúan tras superar obstáculos
  • May 23, 2017 in Creative Loafing: Our advocacy director, David Schaefer, says an end to sanctuary cities will not make everyone safer.
    David Perdue fights sanctuary cities
  • May 21, 2017 in WSB-TV: People2People promotes our upcoming Career Expo.
    Latin American Association holds Career Expo
    Watch Video
  • May 18, 2017 on WSB-TV: Wendy Corona reports on the success of the LAA’s Latino Youth Leadership Academy, which is seeing some 24 students graduate from high school this year.
    Success story: Students who could fall through the cracks are graduating
    Watch Video
  • May 12, 2017 on Telemundo Atlanta: Reporter and 2nd Annual Latina Empowerment Conference MC Paula Rodríguez talks to some Latina entrepreneurs who attended the conference and interviews keynote speaker Nely Galán.
    Avanzando Juntas 2017
    Watch Video
  • May 11, 2017 in MundoHispánico: The Latina Empowerment Conference attracted hundreds of Latina immigrants.
    Mujeres dijeron presente
    View Article
  • April 24, 2017 in the AJC: Legal immigrants, spooked by hostile political climate, are dropping food stamps and other benefits.
    Wary immigrants in Georgia drop food stamps
    View Article
  • April 2017 in MundoHispánico: Georgia’s premier Spanish-language newspaper covers the annual Compañeros Awards Luncheon, whose keynote speaker was the first Latina elected to the U.S. Senate, Catherine Cortez Masto.
    Afirman su compromiso con la comunidad
    View Print Article
  • March 24, 2017 in The Atlantic: Our Cynthia Román is quoted in a story that says the president’s executive order on immigration enforcement is having a chilling effect on safety net (SNAP, Medicaid, etc.) enrollment.
    Trump’s anti-immigrant policies are scaring eligible families away from the safety net
    View Article
  • Mar. 27 2017 on MundoHispánico: Coverage of LAA activities and events, as well as adult education.
    Anuncian nuevos cursos para el 2017
  • March 24, 2017 in MundoHispánico: Reporter Samantha Díaz tells people what to do if they face housing discrimination after attending a tenants’ rights forum at the LAA.
    Mundo legal: Conozca sus derechos como inquilino
  • March 23, 2017 in MundoHispánico: The LAA’s 2nd Annual Latina Empowerment Conference will take place on May 6 at Gwinnett’s Infinite Energy Center.
    Un empujón para abrir las puertas de su negocio
  • March 21, 2017 in the Atlanta Business Chronicle: LAA receives community development grant from Wells Fargo
    Wells Fargo donates $1.2 million to Atlanta nonprofits
    View Article
  • Feb. 28, 2017: The LAA’s David Schaefer is interviewed by Univision 34 Atlanta regarding a proposed bill that would create an online registry of undocumented immigrants who have committed certain crimes.
    Líderes comunitarios opinan sobre la propuesta de ley que publicaría la información de inmigrantes indocumentados en línea
    Watch Video
  • Feb. 22, 2017: The LAA’s David Schaefer talks to CNN’s Nick Valencia about how the community is fearful about deportations in the current environment.
    Families fear for undocumented members
    Watch Video
  • Feb. 19, 2017: As dozens gathered at metro Atlanta’s Latin American Association, WSB-Radio covers a prayer vigil to support immigrants and refugees in the community.
    Dozens gather for Immigration Prayer Vigil
    Watch Video
  • Feb. 18, 2017: WSB-TV and News 95.5 cover a prayer vigil at the LAA to support immigrants and refugees
    Dozens gather for immigration prayer vigil
  • Feb. 18, 2017 on WXIA: LAA holds immigration forums in light of President Trump’s new immigration orders
    Atlanta immigration forum addresses undocumented immigrants’ fears
  • Feb. 7, 2017: coverage on LAA stance on fighting Hunger in Atlanta.
    Hispanic Federation and Latin American Association Fight Hunger in Atlanta
    View Article
  • January and February 2017 on WSB-TV: LAA holds first annual education fair for Latino families
    Latin American Association hosts education fair
  • Jan. 22, 2017 on WSB-TV: La Feria de Educación Latina brings together Latino community and agencies to ensure student success.
    Latin American Association offers education fair
  • Jan. 2017: MundoHispanico coverage of a young student joining an initiative of interest to serve the residents of the Buford Highway, where the development of the city of Brookhaven is fitting an area where many Hispanics have found purchasing power, work and public transportation.
    Latinos se unen en la Buford
  • Jan. 19, 2017 in MundoHispánico and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: The LAA’s senior club meets every Friday at 10 a.m. Regulars come for fellowship, arts and crafts, exercise and more.
    Un lugar donde el tiempo se detiene
    Nuestra Comunidad: Association has gathering place for senior Latinos

    View Article
  • Español