LULAC President Apologizes for Writing Letter Supporting Trump Immigration Framework

On Friday, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) posted the following from its president, Roger C. Rocha, Jr., who has faced calls of resignation and impeachment for a January 28 letter he wrote (and later retracted) that celebrated President Trump’s immigration framework. Near the end of this new post from Rocha, he writes, “I am truly sorry to all members of LULAC and our organization for the pain I have caused each and every one of you. This was not done with malicious intent. I have never turned my back on the DREAMER and Immigrant Community and never will.” According to a Thursday interview with NPR’s Latino USA, Rocha said that he would not resign from his position.

Here is what Rocha wrote on Friday.

To All Members of LULAC, Members of the Community, DREAMERS and Immigrant Community

Let me begin by expressing my sincerest regret and apology for any hurt my actions in writing a letter to the President of the United States may have caused you. I am beyond hurt when I say that what I meant to be the best of intentions has turned into the worst mistake of my life. My intent was to keep our ongoing dialogue moving forward with the White House for a solution to benefit our community and keep out proposals that would be harmful. I want to be very clear on this….I would never intentionally do anything to harm our organization and our community.

I want to explain to you, the events that led up to my action of sending out the letter. For over a year, I have been demanding a seat at the table in the White House to allow LULAC to be at the table for discussions that affect our community. We secured that seat. I have reported to the National Board that we have had meetings with members of the Administration and key members of Congress discussing border security and immigration. These efforts proved fruitful. As we approach the eleventh hour of February the 8th, a deadline set by this administration, our recommendation of moving the needle from protecting 800,000 DACA recipients to 1.8 million was accepted. Our recommendation on border security went from President Trump’s physical wall to a wall of technology and more boots on the ground. Both Democrats and Republican members of Congress support this type of plan. With respect to family-based migration we are continuing to negotiate our position for a permanent solution that allows for family reunification which is a key component of our LULAC platform.

I wrote my letter believing that with all the collective knowledge acquired during all these meetings, it may well be our last chance to save and protect our dreamers and immigrant community. I wrote my letter with the intent to continue our dialogue and hopefully be able to present such a strong argument that both members of Congress and the Administration would change their positions. I should have consulted with members of the Executive Committee for guidance on this. To my detriment I did not, and I alone created the chaos and misinformation we have today. Despite what you may have read or heard, I do not now, or have I ever supported a physical Wall on the Mexican / US Border. I support the reunification of families who have been split apart by deportation and all issues for which LULAC stands for.

I close with this. I am truly sorry to all members of LULAC and our organization for the pain I have caused each and every one of you. This was not done with malicious intent. I have never turned my back on the DREAMER and Immigrant Community and never will. God Bless.

Yours in LULAC,

Roger C. Rocha, Jr.
LULAC National President

Before publishing the letter, Rocha appeared on NPR.

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