Roger Rocha Jr., president of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the nation’s oldest Latino civil rights organization, has been forcibly asked to resign from his position after penning a letter to the Trump administration in support of the new immigration plan.
Leaders and members of LULAC now refuse to accept his leadership. Rocha has also been stripped of his presidential duties and LULAC stipend.
Rocha insists that his intentions were pure. Although he acknowledges now that he may have been in the wrong when he did not consult the group before sending the letter, he states that he believed it may have been the last chance to “save and protect our dreamers and immigrant community,” according to NBC News. But in an act that seems to deny Mexican culture in particular, of which nearly one out of every 10 restaurants in the U.S. honors with traditional Mexican food, Rocha has voiced support for this new immigration plan.
Rocha issued a formal apology for his actions, writing that the letter was “the worst mistake of [his] life.”
Despite his apology, however, Rocha reportedly became resistant during a telephonic meeting with LULAC leaders, refusing to step down. It’s also reported that he brought his lawyer into the call and blocked the full board from voting on the matter.
Trump’s immigration plan makes an offer to secure 1.8 million Dreamers’ futures, which were put in jeopardy when the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was ended. In addition, this plan includes a $25 billion wall and enhanced military force along the U.S./Mexico border, an end to diversity visas, and cuts to legal immigration practices.
LULAC’s stance on immigration is clear. The organization is against family detention, immigrant criminalization, and border vigilantes. Leaders in the organization report welcoming members from all political parties, but regardless of political affiliation, LULAC requires members to uphold the organization’s values and agenda. According to LULAC leaders, Rocha has failed to do just that.
“It was important for him to be held accountable by his peers. He heard directly from us. His peers told us he needed to step down, even his longterm friends thought now was the time for him to step down,” Joe Enriquez Henry, LULAC’s national vice president for the Midwest, told NBC News.
In light of Rocha’s impeachment, CEO Brent Wilkes has been placed in charge of all official LULAC business.