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Informational Immigration Meeting Turns Ugly in El Monte Friday Night

April 18th, 2017 by Duarte Dispatch

– Courtesy photo / nauiocelotl via YouTube

 

Trump supporters shut down a “know your rights” seminar

By Terry Miller

Updated:  Please note this is an updated story. The first version inadvertently contained some Grace Napolitano quotes that were given to SGVN reporter Chris Yee in their online edition and this reporter misguidedly used that copy for reference and ended up in our story in an editorial oversight.  I would like to personally express regret the SGVN News group and Chris Lee for the oversight.

The new administration’s policy on immigration is clear and apparently unwavering. Trump supporters are intimidating and provoking immigrants on a massive scale across the United States, even at so-called “know your rights” informational meetings set up by elected officials to help undocumented workers understand their rights.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions declared “a new era” in immigration enforcement last Tuesday, saying his prosecutors will try to bring stiffer criminal charges against repeat illegal immigrants and smugglers as part of President Trump’s crackdown.

Sessions said his enforcement priorities could end the ‘catch and release’ practices of the Obama administration and “give the Justice Department a more active role in stemming illegal immigration.”

 “For those that continue to seek improper and illegal entry into this country, be forewarned: This is a new era. This is the Trump era,” Sessions said during a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Arizona.

“The lawlessness, the abdication of the duty to enforce our laws, and the catch and release policies of the past are over.”

Nowhere was this more clearly illustrated  than in El Monte Friday night.

“Make America Great Again” supporters of President Donald Trump, disturbed a “Know Your Rights” information forum for undocumented immigrants hosted by Congresswoman Grace Napolitano, D-El Monte, Friday night.

El Monte Mayor Andre Quintero tried his best to keep the peace and be respectful of all sides of the political spectrum but many of the Trump supporters refused to be anything but intimidating.

When asked why law enforcement {El Monte PD} did not escort the more disruptive from the meeting, “Well, the last thing we wanted was a United Airlines type of incident…”

Quintero said that it was obvious from the beginning that outside agitators were there solely to disrupt. One man came from Torrance to show his “Trump Cape” as one observer noted.

On April 18 in a press release, Napolitano stated that the town hall meeting was “successful” despite the protests. “The President’s new policies on immigration are fueling anti-immigrant sentiment, which is raising uncertainty, instilling fear, and ultimately making our San Gabriel Valley communities less safe,” Napolitano said in a press release days after the event. “Our hope is that after our town hall, residents will better understand their rights and be better equipped with the knowledge they need to protect themselves, their friends, and their families. We thank all those who attended and the City of El Monte for partnering with AILA, Catholic Charities, and CHIRLA on this critical event. Some individuals chose to attend with the goal of disrupting the program and inciting hysteria, but we were not intimidated. We remain firmly committed to protecting the rights of all of community members.

“Rights to people in the United States apply to everyone in the United States, regardless of your immigration status” said Alan Diamante of AILA. “We are here today to remind you that there are people in your city, in your churches, and in your communities who want to help you.”

“There is still a lot of fraud committed by notaries,” warned Efrain Villa of Catholic Charities. “In other countries, notaries are immigration specialists, but in our country, this is not the case. Be careful!”