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Head of Oldest US Latino Rights Group Under Pressure to Quit


FILE - LULAC President Roger Rocha speaks at the group's National Legislative Conference and Awards Gala in Washington, D.C., Feb. 24, 2016. (Source - LULAC.org, photo by Luis Nuno Briones)

Board members of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) are to meet Saturday after its president, Roger Rocha, was criticized for writing a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump endorsing his administration’s immigration plan.

“The four pillars which you have outlined, (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," Rocha wrote in the letter to the president.

Dave Rodriguez, California LULAC state director and a member of the group’s national board, said members are furious at Rocha's letter and are pressuring him to resign.

“California LULAC is calling for the immediate resignation of our national president. The bleeding from this incident needs to stop,” Rodriguez said.

The Trump administration’s proposed policies contrast with the agenda of the oldest U.S. Latino civil rights organization, which has called for protecting young immigrants who arrived in the country illegally.

Rocha later rescinded his support after getting backlash from LULAC members in Texas, New Mexico and California. He said he wrote the letter at the request of the Trump administration, adding he was negotiating with administration officials about an immigration proposal.

Under the organization’s bylaws, LULAC could enact an impeachment process that would begin with charges sent to the organization's treasurer.

After that, a hearing would be scheduled before the board of directors. Their next meeting is scheduled for February 16 and 17. Rocha would have the right to appear at that session with an attorney.

Saturday's board session is expected to be a telephone conference call.

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    Aline Barros

    Aline Barros is an immigration reporter for VOA’s News Center in Washington, D.C. Before joining VOA in 2016, Aline worked for the Gazette Newspapers and Channel 21 Montgomery Community Media, both in Montgomery County, Md. She has been published by the Washington Post, G1 Portal Brazilian News, and Fox News Latino. Aline holds a broadcast journalism degree from University of Maryland. Follow her @AlineBarros2.

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