Esteemed Hispanic leaders in Cleveland discuss importance of the census and immigration on CW 43 Focus

Updated: Sep. 18, 2019 at 2:59 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Immigration and the census are two important issues affecting all of us.

Ohio has one of the fastest growing Hispanic populations in the country, so it matters how we regard the state’s changing demographics.

Jose Feliciano and his son talked about the importance of embracing the growing Hispanic population in the city of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and the state of Ohio. Both voiced concern about the anti-immigration rhetoric coming out of Washington and how it’s filtering down to state houses and into local communities causing fear and confusion, especially as it pertains to the potential negative impacts on the census and immigration.

Jose Feliciano Sr., a retired lawyer who has worked on Hispanic causes for decades all across the country and his native Puerto Rico, spoke about the issues:

“All across the economic ladder we need people. Number one. Number two, we need people in Ohio. Ohio loses congressmen every single time there’s a census. Our population is flat at about 10.8 million people. So, if you don’t get people, you lose on the economic end. You lose on the demographic end which means you lose on the political end. It’s absolutely silly, from my perspective, to be against immigration.”

His son, playingly called “J2,” said, “I think also, a lot of entrepreneurs who are immigrants are willing to take risks in a way native-born Americans are not. If you look at Ohio’s economy for instance, you have 16,000 businesses that have been founded by Latinos. Of those 16,000 businesses, those receipts account for $117 billion to the economy in Ohio.”

You can watch this entire CW 43 Focus show with host Harry Boomer and his guests, father and son Jose Feliciano, “J1” and “J2,” on demand on our Roku and Amazon Fire TV apps, online at and on TV every Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m. on CW 43.

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