In Protest, Latin Builders Association Dumps Trump Hotel

The largest Hispanic construction association in the United States has decided to move an event scheduled at a Trump hotel in Miami to protest Donald Trump's "bigoted" comments on the presidential campaign trail.

Donald Trump’s opinions on immigration have already led to rebukes from a number of groups—just last week, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists spoke up in defense of Univision anchor Jorge Ramos—but no association has gone as far as to drop a scheduled event from one of the presidential candidate’s hotels.

Well, until now.

The Miami-based Latin Builders Association (LBA), which represents more than 650 member companies throughout South Florida, announced on Friday that it would pull its biennial presidential gala from the Trump National Doral Miami resort. The announcement was made at a luncheon at the Biltmore Hotel in nearby Coral Gables.

“Most regrettably, Mr. Trump’s recent pattern of bigoted, sexist, and ignorant verbal assaults on immigrants, women, and veterans have made hosting the installation gala at the resort unfeasible,” LBA Executive Director Melissa Tapanes Llahues said, according to the Miami Herald. “It is unfortunate that such a majestic location is now inextricably associated with someone who is simply antithetical and repugnant to the LBA’s legacy and mission.”

LBA, which had been considering the move since Trump announced his candidacy in June, was willing to forfeit a deposit of tens of thousands of dollars and risk a lawsuit by Trump in order to move the November event to a new location, Politico reported.

The group is nonpartisan but has members who are generally supportive of Republican candidates. The LBA has hosted a number of Republican gubernatorial and presidential candidates in the past.

In her comments on the decision to break the contract with the Trump property, Llahues noted that many of LBA’s earliest members were immigrants.

“The LBA was founded by mostly Cuban exiles that came to this country to escape tyranny and oppression, only to find professional bigotry and discrimination in early-1970s Miami,” she said. “Their courage and resolve to unite against those whose prejudices barred equal opportunity to participate in the local economy serve as the foundation for today’s LBA.”

(Michael Vadon/Flickr)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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