A Latino radio host and blogger is calling for Cecilia Muñoz to resign from the White House for her defense of the administration’s deportation policies. Presente.org, the immigrant rights group that led the petition to get CNN’s Lou Dobbs off the air, is demanding that Muñoz denounce the Secure Communities program.
In response, a group of some of the nation’s leading immigrant advocacy organizations released a statement Monday in support of Muñoz.
The controversy may reveal a difference of opinion within the immigrant rights movement over which strategy to take when advocating for the rights of immigrants in the United States.
At the center of the storm is Muñoz, a longtime immigrant rights organizer who now works for an administration that has overseen the deportation of a record number of undocumented immigrants.
Before joining the White House, Muñoz worked for the National Council of La Raza, where she was known as an advocate for immigrants’ rights. Muñoz was appointed Director of Intergovernmental Affairs in 2009, and has since gotten flak from some immigration advocates for her statements defending the Obama administration’s policies. Among the most controversial is Secure Communities, the program that requires municipal police to share the fingerprints of all arrestees with federal immigration authorities. The administration claims that the program focuses on deporting criminals, but critics argue that many of those deported under the program have been undocumented immigrants with no criminal record.
Mario Solis-Marich, senior editor of Mario Wire and host of the Mario Solis-Marich Show on 760 AM in Denver, called for Muñoz to resign in August after reading her defense of the Secure Communities program on the White House blog.
“Not only were they (the federal government) implementing a policy in an inhumane fashion, but they were trying to triangulate the community,” said Solis-Marich, who wrote in his own blog: “Since Ms. Munoz can’t seem to move the internal White House dialogue into a more humane position on immigration she should resign with honor.”
According to Solis-Marich, others joined in the call for Muñoz to resign after she appeared in a Frontline documentary about federal immigration detention centers that aired on public television on Oct. 18. On that program, Muñoz said this about the record number of deportations under the Obama administration:
"At the end of the day, when you have immigration law that’s broken and you have a community of
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