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Jennifer Molina, Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Julissa Reynoso Pantaleon, and Pili Tobar, Latina women in the White House. Photo by Telemundo.
Jennifer Molina, Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Julissa Reynoso Pantaleon, and Pili Tobar, Latina women in the White House. Photo: Telemundo.

Migrant Women: Four Latinas in the White House

The four Latinas in high-profile positions in the White House discuss the importance of politics in the day-to-day lives of citizens.

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Diversity of origin is an important issue for the Biden-Harris administration. Among the high-profile Latina women in the Biden White House, we find the history of four women. Jennifer Molina, senior director of coalitions media; Pili Tobar, deputy director of communications; Julissa Reynoso Pantaleón, chief of staff to First Lady Jill Biden; and Julie Chávez Rodríguez, director of Intergovernmental Affairs, where she acts as a liaison between federal, state, local and tribal governments to shape and carry out administration policy.

Jennifer Molina emigrated with her family from Colombia. She now works at the White House and is responsible for media communications that focus on specific communities, such as Latinos.

"I came without papers, we were poor. We didn't have much and I think because I grew up with so little, that helped me," Molina said. "My mother was a single parent and I could really see the need for politics in people's lives."

Pili Tobar was communications director during Biden's presidential campaign, and also served as deputy director of America's Voice, a national organization dedicated to immigrant advocacy. She has also served as national director of Hispanic Media and press secretary for the Democratic National Committee.

Julissa Reynoso, an attorney and former ambassador to Uruguay from the Dominican Republic, recently visited a border facility where minors who have crossed the border are temporarily held. Reynoso focused on the case of a 4-year-old girl who was without her father and mother, an image she says has stuck with her. "As a mother, you see the situation of these children and it breaks your soul," Reynoso said.

Julie Chávez Rodríguez, granddaughter of the late civilian and union leader César Chávez, the image we see behind President Joe Biden's desk in the Oval Office.  "I feel very proud, not only for me, but for the Latino community. Is part of our representation at the White House", Chavez said. She believes her grandfather would ask her to use her position in government to fight for farmworker rights.

The four women with immigration histories gathered near the White House to close Women's History Month with this interview, and to dedicate a moment to Telemundo correspondent Cristina Londoño, recalling their origins and the difficulties of migrating.

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