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What Are The Biggest Issues Facing Latinos? Immigration, Schools Top Of Mind At La Raza

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Lisa Rodriguez
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KCUR
Hundreds of people waited in line Monday at The National Council of La Raza's annual conference to hear democratic presidential candidates speak in Kansas City.

From immigration reform to education and health care, several recurring issues were on the minds of people attending The National Council of La Raza's annual conference in Kansas City this week.

Since Saturday, conference attendees have been milling about the Kansas City Convention Center, going from workshop to workshop to learn about some of the greatest challenges facing Latinos in the United States. 

As people waited in long, winding lines to hear Democratic Presidential hopefuls address the conference on Monday, here's what they had to say about the most important matters for Hispanics:

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Credit Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR
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KCUR
Geraldo Ravelo

"Immigration, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients and the reform that is still in the works," said Geraldo Ravelo, who traveled to Kansas City from Chicago.

He also is concerned about education.

"Part of the things that I want to hear about education is students loans and student loan debt, because students that are graduating from college are facing huge amounts of debt."

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Credit Esther Honig / KCUR
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KCUR
Michelle and Isabella Jordan

Michelle Jordan and her daughter Isabella arefrom northern California.

"Obviously immigration is a hot topic, job creation is a big topic, and continued economic growth. The country is doing quite well right now, but job creation and economic growth all go hand in hand," Michelle said.

Though Isabella has a few years before she'll be able to vote on these issues, she's still paying close attention to what people are saying.

"I just hope to be inspired by the candidates. As part of the youth in this country, I think it’s good to grow up with these people's good perspectives and I think it will help us so that when we get to that age when politics become important, hopefully something I hear today will help me develop an opinion," she said.

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Credit Esther Honig / KCUR
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KCUR
Claudia Vasquez-Puebla

For Claudia Vasquez-Puebla from Kansas City, Kansas, the biggest issue is simple.

"Access to quality education for the Latino community and for the community in general."

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Credit Esther Honig / KCUR
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KCUR
Luis Garza

Luis Garza traveled from Salt Lake City, Utah, for the conference.

"I think that immigration reform is the biggest issue. Having a conversation about that and getting comprehensive immigration reform done. Also access to good health care is important as well," he said.

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Credit Esther Honig / KCUR
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KCUR
Sugey Lopez

Sugey Lopez is from San Diego.

"I’m all about health and immigration reform," she said.

"Access, for one thing. But one you get access, it's still very limited and there's a lot of rules. I think doing a free market when it comes to health is wrong. If there could be comprehensive plans that cover people, including Latinos, that would be great," Lopez said.

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