The next couple of months are bound to be difficult ones for Cecilia Muñoz, the White House director of Intergovernmental Affairs.
Several Latino groups are demanding she tell the truth about Secure Communities, the Obama administration’s controversial deportation program.
With that in mind, they have launched a nationwide online petition asking Muñoz “to return to her roots and to fight for the rights of Latinos caught in a reckless immigration system that pulls families apart and has deported record numbers.”
The fact that Muñoz, former vice-president of the National Council of La Raza, the country’s largest Latino advocacy group and a former passionate defender of immigrant rights, has morphed into the main White House official publicly trying to justify its harsh tactics is particularly galling for advocates. They feel betrayed.
“As long as Congress gives us the money to deport 400,000 people a year that’s what the administration is going to do. Even broken laws have to be enforced,” a seemingly annoyed Muñoz told correspondent María Hinojosa.
“When you were appointed the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs of the Obama Administration, we applauded,” the petition reads. “When we heard the announcement that you’d been appointed the President’s right-hand person on immigration policy, we thought that was a positive step.
“However, . . . it has become clear that your true role at the White House is to serve as the chief Latina defender of immigration policies that have devastated our community. It has left us confused and heartbroken,” the petition continues.
Felipe Matos, of Presente.org., had this message for Muñoz:
“It is time for [her] to come home to her community . . . It is time to tell the truth and stop defending the indefensible.”