A coalition of national Latino groups, conservative and liberal, won't meet with Donald Trump unless he apologizes, even though it has sent him an invitation along with other candidates to discuss policy priorities.
Hector Sanchez, president of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, said Tuesday the GOP presidential candidate had tried to meet with the group soon after he declared he was running for president and as businesses began responding to the group's calls to sever ties with Trump.
But because of the statements Trump had made regarding Mexico - that it was sending rapists and criminals and people bringing drugs – as well as subsequent comments, the NHLA set conditions for a meeting, Sanchez said.
"The conditions were he had to apologize, no media and he'd have to come to D.C.," Sanchez said. As for the latest invitation that went to all candidates including Trump, Sanchez said "he will have to meet our conditions because of all the hate and rhetoric."
Trump also had threatened to sue one of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda's members, the National Hispanic Media Coalition, whose president and CEO Alex Nogales has called Trump's comments bigoted, racist and anti-Latino. The group had pushed for the PGA and others to end their business associations with Trump.
NHLA's approach contrasts with that of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a member of NHLA, whose President and CEO Javier Palomarez plans to host a Q&A candidate forum with Trump, as he has with other candidates of both parties, on Oct. 8. That event has drawn opposition from United We Dream, an advocacy group for young immigrants who are not legally in the U.S.. The group has launched a petition demanding the chamber remove Trump from its forum. The petition has 2,300 signatures.
Palomarez has said the chamber has called Trump's comments deplorable and inaccurate, but has chosen dialogue and reason as a response. The USHCC has previously refused to do business with Trump following his comments.
Sanchez said the planned visits with other candidates - which will occur privately – also are part of a long-term strategy against "anti-Latino voices" that will continue after the 2016 presidential election "so there are consequences."
"Even if he (Trump) gets out of the race, we are going to make sure there is understanding that we are going to continue with campaigns that have implications in the long term," he said. The group wants to send a message that "there is a price to pay to promote hate," he said.
"We want to send a message to the nation that this is a long-term campaign and this is going to be reflected in Trump's business not only now, but in the future," Sanchez said.