Scare Tactics Will Not Dissuade Immigrant Participation

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Los Angeles, CA – Flyers that include a threatening message in

Spanish have been showing up lately in a Pico-Union neighborhood downtown Los Angeles. 

Community members who are deciding the merits of turning a public elementary

school into a charter educational center have been threatened with deportation

if they vote in favor of the charter option.  The following are comments

by Angelica Salas, Executive Director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant

Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), a regional immigrant rights organization based

in Los Angeles.

“We denounce any tactic used in order to

intimidate, coerce, and manipulate the will of a neighborhood in matters that

directly impact their families and their children.  Immigrants will not be

easily fooled into thinking that their vote for a local school option will be

linked to their immigration status or lead to deportations. 

Anti-immigrants and those who wish to

take advantage of the social stigmatization attached to being an undocumented

immigrant are mistaken if they think our community will be silenced with

ludicrous claims.   Those who frighten immigrant members of the

community and foster needless panic should be ashamed and face disciplinary

action.

Change is often difficult and solutions

almost always require active participation by all members of the impacted

community.  Immigration status should never be used as a weapon against

members of a community.  We urge immigrants to ignore blatantly-false

propaganda aimed at alarming and dissuading them from making their voice

heard.  Instead, we urge everyone to seek information and participate in

respectful dialogue in order to make informed decisions about our children’s

education and future”.

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