Napolitano Holds Successful “Know Your Rights” Town Hall Despite Protests
(EL MONTE, CA) On Friday, April 14, 2017, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano held a successful “Know Your Rights” Town Hall to inform immigrants and citizens of their constitutional rights and protections, despite loud protests by anti-immigrant activists.
“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. "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 community members.”
Nearly 200 people attended Friday’s town hall event, which was free to the public and held at El Monte’s Grace T. Black Auditorium. Undeterred by disruptions, El Monte Mayor Andre Quintero moderated the event.
“I’m grateful to Congresswoman Napolitano for holding this informational town hall,” said Mayor Quintero. “She has consistently been an advocate for immigrants and understands that we are a stronger nation when we embrace our immigrant community.”
Speakers from AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association), Catholic Charities, and CHIRLA (Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles) gave presentations that outlined the basic constitutional rights and protections afforded to all people in America, explained how to handle an encounter with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and later answered specific questions from the audience.
“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!”
“Thank you for this opportunity to bring everybody together. These are issues that affect everybody’s life,” said Miriam Mesa of CHIRLA. “Information and education are the most powerful tools we have within our grasp. Knowing what to do in the event an ICE officer shows up at your door could save you and your family.”
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus has created a printable “Know Your Rights” booklet in English and Spanish. For the English version, click here: https://napolitano.house.gov/sites/napolitano.house.gov/files/documents/KnowYourRights.jpg.
Para ver la versión en español, oprima aquí: https://napolitano.house.gov/sites/napolitano.house.gov/files/documents/ConozcaSusDerechos.jpg.
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