Politics Today

Esteban Torres, Congressional Advocate for Latinos, Dies at 91

Esteban Torres, an eight-term Democratic member of Congress from California who was devoted to combating poverty and who served for a time as chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, died on Tuesday. He was 91.

A household assertion stated he died two days earlier than his 92nd birthday however gave no additional particulars.

Earlier than he was elected to Congress in 1982, Mr. Torres was a union consultant and a high-ranking official with the United Auto Staff. He additionally labored on antipoverty packages and was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to positions on the United Nations and within the White Home.

He served eight phrases in Congress, representing a closely Hispanic district that included elements of East Los Angeles, the place he grew up.

“From the second he took workplace, he made enhancing the lives of Hispanics in our nation a prime precedence,” Janet Murguía, the president and chief government of UnidosUS, the nation’s largest Latino civil rights and advocacy group, stated in a press release.

She stated Mr. Torres performed a vital position within the passage and implementation of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Management Act, which gave authorized standing to greater than three million individuals.

He pushed for modifications in nationwide coverage to assist individuals in his district, in addition to these equally located all through the nation. This included serving to to draft a measure to make sure that low-income victims of pure disasters acquired full federal help.

Esteban Torres was born on Jan. 27, 1930, in Miami, Ariz., to oldsters from Mexico. His father labored within the copper mines and was deported again to Mexico through the repatriation of Mexican Individuals within the Nineteen Thirties. This was a seminal expertise for Mr. Torres, who by no means noticed his father once more, and who vowed to verify immigrants have been handled pretty and with dignity.

He was raised principally by his mom, Rena Gómez, who moved the household to East Los Angeles when Esteban was 6. After graduating from highschool in 1949 and serving within the U.S. Military in Korea, he discovered work as an assembly-line welder at a Chrysler plant in Maywood, in Los Angeles County. He was energetic within the United Auto Staff union, the place he was elected a chief steward, and have become a labor organizer. With assist from the G.I. Invoice of Rights, he attended East Los Angeles School and California State College at Los Angeles.

He later based the East Los Angeles Community Union, which turned one of many largest antipoverty companies within the nation. President Carter appointed him U.S. everlasting consultant to the U.N. Academic, Scientific and Cultural Group in Paris, the place he served from 1977 to 1979. He then spent two years because the director of the White Home Workplace of Hispanic Affairs.

After leaving politics, Mr. Torres pursued his hobbies of portray and sculpting and was a founding father of LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, a museum in downtown Los Angeles devoted to the cultural affect of Latinos within the metropolis.

He’s survived by his spouse, Arcy Sanchez; his youngsters, Carmen, Rena, Camille, Selina and Esteban; 12 grandchildren; and 7 great-grandchildren.

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