Now I have never been of the opinion that Cesar Chavez was pro-migrant, although some say that as his views evolved, he was. That may be the case, but in the history I have read Cesar Chavez was more pro-worker, meaning citizen or legally authorized to work farm worker because at the time, undocumented workers were perceived as strike breakers when he was organizing. Even Gustavo Arellano has tackled Cesar Chavez’s evolving views on the immigration. And in today’s environment, the organization that Cesar Chavez founded, the United Farm Workers (UFW), has taken a more pro-migrant stance even denouncing the controversial Secure Communities program with a petition.
So I found it interesting that today the Obama administration used one of the Latinas working in the White House, Julie Rodriguez, the granddaughter of Cesar Chavez and daughter of UFW President Arturo Rodriguez, to defend its actions on the immigration issue. Ms. Rodriguez, who is currently associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, offered a gathering of Latinos at a summit hosted by the administration in California’s Inland Empire this:
“The priority … is we are enforcing our laws and focusing on those who pose a national security threat or public safety threat.”
Apparently, this message and others did not go over well with the Inland Empire crowd according to the Los Angeles Times.
What do you think? Will the message that is coming from Julie Rodriguez and the Obama administration win out and resonate with the community? Or will organizations like the United Farm Workers and Presente.Org, who have been advocating against programs like Secure Communities, have more credibility?