Check out Roger Rocha's letter to Donald Trump below.
This is a terrible, indeed profoundly disgraceful, development involving Roger C. Rocha, Jr., national president of the largest and oldest Latino—predominantly, though not exclusively, Mexican-American—civil rights organization in the U.S., namely, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).
Founded in 1929 in Corpus Christi, Texas, LULAC has approximately 132,000 members throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and has historically advocated for Latinos' civil rights. It boasts over 1,000 LULAC councils nationwide, state-level offices in each state, as well as a national office in Washington, D.C. where Roger Rocha is perched.
You can learn more about the history here to sense just how profound a betrayal this is of our history, identity, politics, and ancestors.
While the strength of the organization has always been at the local level—which accounts for its endurance over time—this action by Rocha reflects distressingly on us all.
Check out the article appearing below. I'm sure there will be others coming out shortly. In expressing support for President Trump's fascist "vision" on immigration in the letter appearing at the bottom of this post, he is aligning himself and, in effect, our organization, to the evil and corrupt politics and agenda of white supremacy.
He does not speak for me. He does not speak for us and that is why we are asking folks to sign this online petition to impeach him.
I'm hoping for at least 132,000 signatures. Our credibility is at stake.
#Shame #FUERARocha #RochayouAreFired
While LULAC’s president Roger Rocha did in fact write a letter to President Trump over the weekend thanking him for “taking the lead” on immigration reform and declaring that the White House framework was one “LULAC can support,” staff at the organization tell TPM that they were completely blindsided by Rocha’s action and were not consulted before the letter was sent.
“Literally nobody on staff knew about it. He sent that letter on his own,” LULAC policy manager Juan Perez told TPM. “None of the board members knew. We don’t even know whether the letter went straight to the White House or to Capitol Hill as well. We’re getting calls from so many Hill offices about it, and we’re just trying to figure out what’s going on and put out the fire.”
Perez said the organization’s bylaws do allow Rocha to write such a statement on his own without checking first with the group’s other leaders. “Unfortunately, that’s the reality. But it’s not the reflection of the membership,” he stressed.
When Senate Republicans cited Rocha’s letter on Tuesday afternoon, however, they characterized it as an endorsement from the organization itself.
“The endorsement of LULAC—not just of the President’s DACA proposal, but the whole —is enormously significant,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters. “Honestly I’ve always thought LULAC was sort of a subsidiary of the Democratic Party. Apparently I was wrong about that, but I hope they do listen to the leaders of LULAC, who said here in effect that what the President is offering is a reasonable proposal. That ought to break the ice. That ought of give us chance to get an outcome.”
Rocha did not respond at press time to TPM’s inquiry as to why he wrote the letter and who in the organization he talked to before sending it to President Trump.
Signs of a backlash from the group’s membership were apparent on social media Tuesday night.
“Moves from the top don’t represent our membership!” wrote Misael Jimenez, the secretary of LULAC’s chapter on the campus of Texas A&M and a member of their national Young Adult Coalition.
“To all Latin@s out there, this is not a representation of “We will always denounce Trumps poisonous proposals.”
LULAC’s official Twitter account liked and retweeted several messages from members criticizing Rocha’s letter, including the one below, but later deleted them.
Tierney Sneed contributed reporting.