Trump team to Hispanic leaders: 'The war is over'

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  • "You don't change the dialogue until you have a dialogue," Javier Palomarez said
  • Trump transition officials met Tuesday with Hispanic leaders in Washington

(CNN)After a contentious presidential campaign, President-elect Donald Trump's transition officials now have a message to Hispanic leaders: "The war is over."

That's according to Javier Palomarez, the head of the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, who participated in a meeting between Hispanic leaders and Trump transition officials in Washington on Tuesday.
    "To their credit, I have to admit -- I just got to be honest -- they quickly put it behind us," Palomarez told CNN after the meeting. "They quickly said, 'Listen, you were a warrior and warriors do war, but the war is over.' "
    Palomarez -- who said immigration, deportation and other issues of concern to Hispanic Americans were among the items discussed -- added, "And we're looking and hopeful to collaborate with you on a wide array of issues and in that spirit."
    The former Trump critic, whose organization endorsed Hillary Clinton in the general election, said he agreed to give the transition team counsel because they've shown that they are willing to listen to other voices.
    "To me, you don't change the dialogue until you have a dialogue," he said.
    A message left with Trump's transition team was not immediately returned.
    Trump opened his presidential campaign in June 2015 by calling some Mexican immigrants "rapists" and criminals, and on the trail, promised to deport all of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the US, though he has since tampered down that pledge.
    Palomarez said campaign officials told him they won't deport children of undocumented immigrants back to their home countries.
    "The Trump team agrees: they're not in the business of deporting children, of picking on children, of breaking up families," Palomarez said.
    The chamber president also said Trump's transition team was listening to the Hispanic community's concerns about a border wall between the US and Mexico.
    "What they said to me was, 'We're listening loud and clear, Javier. We get it,'" he said. "And that's all I need to hear."
    Trump himself has not met with Latino organization leaders in any official capacity since winning the election, based on a review of his public meeting schedule. Leaders from major Hispanic organizations, including the League of United Latin American Citizens and the National Council of La Raza, have urged him to do so, saying it could relieve tensions between Hispanics and the incoming administration.