Latino leaders met at UC Riverside last Saturday to discuss plans to combat President-elect Donald Trump’s proposed policy changes that may affect millions in the U.S.
The one hundred or so educators, community organizers, and officeholders that formed the National Latina/o Defense Alliance intend to hold a series of political summits across California to mobilize the Latino population.
“The journey we’re launching here Today is not going to be an easy one,” said UC Riverside Professor Emeritus Dr. Armando Navarro. “We are facing very difficult times. The mission Today is to agree that we have to do something. You being here is evidence of that decision.”
Trump’s ascendancy to the nation’s top post has caused distress and anger among Latinos, primarily undocumented immigrants who believe their chances of deportation will rise under the new Republican administration.
The incoming president has promised to deport millions of immigrants in the country illegally and has vowed to make Mexico pay for the construction of a border wall.
Latino leaders say they must launch a “strategic national strategy of opposition” to stop Trump.
“In order to be effective, we need folks who are going to contribute labor,” said Cal State San Bernardino Education Professor Dr. Enrique Murillo. “We’re not looking for people to spectate. We’re going to disagree, but we have to organize around the issues we agree upon.”
Among the objectives Latino leaders are hoping to achieve are: using unconventional political tactics (civil disobedience, marching, picketing, economic boycotts), forming a Latino political party, creating Political Action Committees, and creating statewide coalitions.
Immigrant rights advocate Angela Sanbrano, who co-founded the Central American Resource Center in Los Angeles, believes Trump’s plans will not materialize if Latinos create a powerful social movement.
“The Summit’s paramount objective is to prepare Latinos in coordination with others to challenge and stop [with action] Trump’s horrifying plan,” she said.
The first statewide summit is scheduled to take place next month at UCR. For more information, contact Maria Anna Gonzales at (951) 743-7173.