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Major National Latino Convention in San Antonio

The annual meeting of League of United Latin American Citizens' National Convention will address critical Latino issues

By Cesar Arredondo
Published on LatinoLA: July 8, 2017


Major National Latino Convention in San Antonio


Donald Trump's border wall, deportations, Texas' controversial law SB 4 and the president's proposed cutbacks on education, health and human services are top issues on the agenda of the League of United Latin American Citizens' National Convention taking place July 4 through 8 in San Antonio.

More than 20,000 people are expected to attend LULAC's 88th annual convention, among them business, community and political leaders. "As members of the largest and oldest Hispanic civil rights organization in the country, we gather every year to address the critical issues facing our community and country," says Roger C. Rocha Jr., LULAC national president. He added that the convention will feature seminars and workshops on immigration reform, education, health care and civil rights.

TOMORROW'S LEADERS & DOLORES HUERTA

The 88th annual convention will kick off Tuesday morning with a press conference titled 'Investing in Tomorrow's Leaders' with newly-elected San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and LULAC Executive Director Brent Wilkes. Later in the afternoon there will be a screening of 'Dolores,' a documentary film on the life and legacy of civil rights and labor leader Dolores Huerta, who is expected to attend a reception after the screening.

EMPLOYMENT & COLLEGE EXPO

An Exposition, Job, College, and Health Fair is scheduled for Wednesday as well as the Latinos in the Arts Workshop: Elevating Our Voices and Stories, which will focus on the challenges and obstacles to telling the stories of the Latino community.

AGAINST SB 4

A recently passed state immigration law will be the main topic Thursday. The Stop SB 4 Press Conference will feature elected officials discussing the impact of SB 4 on Latinos. Scheduled main speakers are El Cenizo Mayor Raul Reyes, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar, and San Antonio Police Chief William McManus, and LULAC Legal Counsel Luis Vera.

SB 4, scheduled to take effect Sept. 1, allows local law enforcement to question legally detained or arrested people about their immigration status. It also punishes officials who fail to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. It also applies to public colleges and imposes fines between $1,000 and $25,500.

MAJOR LAWSUIT

LULAC and several Texan cities have sued the Lone State over SB 4 in federal court. Those municipalities include Austin, Dallas, El Cenizo, Houston and San Antonio.
In another activity whose title borrows a highly criticized and discredited phrase used by the Trump administration, 'Alternative Facts = Discrimination Workshop' will explore what organizers describe as a 'false insecurity narrative' that attempts to use non-factual information to promote a new border wall, the criminalization of immigrants, and militarization of the U.S-Mexico border, according to activists.

IMMIGRANTS' RIGHTS

Also, the workshop 'Know Your rights' will discuss the best ways to deal with ICE agents approaching and detaining individuals at home, in a vehicle or on the street. It will also include the preparation of an action plan with critical documents and legal forms prepared in advance. The workshop will also address the reported recent rise in hate crimes against immigrants and how to identify and report them to the appropriate authorities.

Friday will feature a women's luncheon, a workshop about stopping the deportations of military and Gold-Star Families. "Thousands of US veterans and their families and gold star families have already been deported after serving honorably in the U.S. military," says a LULAC press release. "These veterans enter the military as legal permanent residents and once they return from duty, many of them suffer from PTSD, brain injuries and other physical injuries. Unable to find adequate and consistent medical care, many turn to drugs and alcohol for relief. Subsequently, many commit crimes and are deported."

Friday will also feature a 'presidential banquet' with Julian Castro former secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama.

TRIBUTE TO SELENA

The last day of the convention, Saturday, will present a free concert honoring the late, slain Texan singer Selena. The musical event will feature Pete Astudillo and Isabel Marie and an all-star ensemble that includes members from War, Malo, El Chicano, Sapo, and Abel and the Prophets, as well as special guests Willie G, Richard Bean, and Fred Sanchez of El Chicano.
With more than 1,000 councils around the U.S. and Puerto Rico, LULAC is arguably the nation's largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization, offering programs, services and advocacy to meet the needs of Latinos.

The LULAC National Convention will take place at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, 900 E. Market Street, San Antonio.

For registrations and more information: http://lulac.org/convention/

About Cesar Arredondo:
Journalist with more than 20 years of experience working for English- and Spanish-language and bilingual news outlets. Winner of three Best of the West Journalism Awards and a recognition from the National Association of Hispanic Publications.
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