During the September 11 terrorist attacks, two of three hijacked planes crash into the New York World Trade Center, while the other crashes into the Pentagon, killing thousands and injuring many. Controversy arises over the fact that some of the plane hijackers obtained driver’s licenses from Virginia, Florida, and New Jersey, triggering an antiimmigrant backlash across the nation.
Twenty-nine diverse Latino and Latino-supportive organizations came together to form the Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations (VACO-LAO) to lobby the state legislature on behalf of their interests.
In March, Salvadoran-born J. Walter Tejada is elected to the Arlington County Board in a special election. A few months later, he is reelected; he is currently serving a full 4-year term on the board.
In May, Governor Mark R. Warner signs a law to prevent undocumented migrants from obtaining driver’s licenses in Virginia. Later on, he appoints the Virginia Latino Advisory Committee (VLAC) to serve as an advisory body on issues facing Latino constituents and to advocate for their interests.
Isis Castro becomes the first Latina ever elected and appointed to serve on the board of education in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
In June Colombian-born Rev. Jose Eugenio Hoyos is appointed director of the Spanish Apostolate for the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, becoming the first Latin American to ever hold the post.