Get our free newsletter
The Office of Latino Affairs has been emasculated in the wake of the city’s budget crisis—its staff was cut from 13 to two. But Mayor Marion Barry has tried to appease the Hispanic community by reissuing executive orders he wrote during his previous tenure. Government employees and agents are now prohibited from inquiring about the immigration status of any resident prior to providing benefits, and bilingual positions are expected to be exempted from the citywide hiring freeze. In addition, a new Barry order requires that all “cultural minority” groups be included in discussions and task forces establishing government programs. And Latinos, who complained about the Kelly administration’s inaction after the 1991 riots, will be happy to know that Barry has resurrected the U.S. Civil Rights Commission’s Mount Pleasant Report and ordered that its recommendations be implemented immediately.