President Obama pushed for immigration reform in his weekly address on Saturday June 22. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Departing W.H. Hispanic Media Director Luis Miranda: “I’m proud we have a seat at the table”

Luis Miranda, Director of Hispanic Media for the White House, stepped down yesterday after four years with the Administration. Miranda tells NBC Latino there is “never a good time to go,” but though he really enjoyed the job, it is time to do something different. “My focus right now is figuring out real life,” he says with a smile, adding he plans to work in strategic consulting.

Miranda, 36, was the first White House press director whose specific role was communications with Latino media, both in Spanish and English. He did this at a time in which the Latino electorate has greatly grown in numbers – but more importantly – in national and political visibility, as a key voting block.

Departing W.H. Hispanic Media Director Luis Miranda: Im proud we have a seat at the table mirandaluis politics NBC Latino News

“By having someone like Luis, who was bicultural and bilingual, the White House was able to penetrate the community effectively, and I have been really impressed with the level of communication,” says Democratic strategist and attorney Liz López. “It was truly a different level of depth the White House was able to achieve in the Latino community,” she adds.

Telemundo Washington correspondent Lori Montenegro, who has covered the White House extensively, said in an interview with McClatchy Newspapers, “In the years I’ve been here, he’s been the most successful person we’ve had.”

In a departing statement to reporters in Spanish, Miranda said,”For me it was special to form part of the team which has moved forward on immigration reform, put the economy back on track, and achieved a health care reform which in the next few years will help Hispanics more than perhaps any other American community,” he stated.
Following Latinos‘ overwhelming vote for President Obama, there has been talk lately of the lack of high-visibility Hispanic appointments in the president’s new Administration. That as well as the continuing pressure on immigration reform are some of the issues that Miranda’s replacement will face. Miranda says the White House plans to name someone to fill his position.

Miranda concedes that his role in the White House represented a coming of age of sorts for Latinos in politics. “Cecilia (Muñoz, White House Domestic Policy Adviser) always says that when she came to Washington 25 years ago, her job was “Latinos 101 – ‘here’s who we are,’etc.,” says Miranda.” Now we don’t have to do that anymore. We have a seat at the table, and that’s hugely important.”

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