WASHINGTON – The president of the nation’s oldest Latino civil rights organization, the League of United Latin American Citizens, had to retract a letter he sent to President Donald Trump endorsing the president’s immigration framework.
Roger Rocha Jr., president of LULAC, said the retraction was issued because of intense push back by many LULAC chapters. Meanwhile, the group’s board was to meet in coming days to discuss the letter Rocha sent that contradicted the group’s official stand on Trump’s four-prong immigration framework.
“It will be retracted, the letter I sent out,” Rocha said.
The letter had been cited by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. to show there was support in the Latino community for the president’s immigration proposals, said Brent Wilkes, LULAC’s executive director.
In the letter, dated Jan. 28, Rocha said that the four pillars Trump had outlined – which he described as Border Security, DACA legalization, Protect the Nuclear Family and Elimination of the Lottery and Repurpose Visas – “are items that LULAC can support if they remain within the framework you have proposed.”
“As this country’s largest and oldest civil rights organization, LULAC firmly believes that now is the time to move this country forward and what you have proposed will continue to keep the momentum of progress on its proper trajectory,” Rocha wrote. He also thanked the president for “taking the lead” on immigration.
Trump has said he’s willing to support a path to citizenship for immigrants who have been or stayed in the country without legal permission since they were young children.
But in exchange Trump wants Congress to approve $25 billion for a border wall, make massive increases in border security and enforcement, substantial reductions in legal immigration visas by limiting U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents to only sponsor children and spouses and to do away with the 50,000 diversity lottery visas, which are granted to people in countries with lower levels of immigration to the U.S.
Wilkes said LULAC’s official position on immigration is clear from positions voted on and taken by LULAC’s National Assembly:
The group supports a “Clean Dream Act,” which provides a path to citizenship for all Dreamers as stand-alone legislation and without enforcement measures. The National Assembly also has voted to oppose a border wall, to oppose reducing family migration, to oppose increased detention of immigrants and use of private prisons for detention and to oppose state and local government participation in immigration enforcement.