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FEDERAL JUDGE OVERSEEING “TRUMP UNIVERSITY” LAWSUIT IS A MEMBER
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jun. 6, 2016) — The website of the La Raza Lawyers Association of California contains a page with a link leading to the National Council of La Raza, a fact not reported by the mainstream media following the controversy which arose after likely Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump criticized one of its members, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel.
Curiel is presiding over a civil case against the now-defunct “Trump University,” which offered courses in real estate. Trump believes that Curiel possesses a bias against him by taking the case to trial; Trump claims that the case should have been dismissed on “summary judgment.”
Trump has called Curiel “Mexican;” he is reportedly of Mexican descent and born in Indiana.
The New York Times reported that Curiel’s parents both became U.S. citizens, athough the exact times are not stated. “Judge Curiel, 62, was born in East Chicago, Ind., to parents who had emigrated from Mexico. Raul Curiel said their father, Salvador, arrived in Arizona as a laborer in the 1920s, eventually receiving citizenship and becoming a steelworker. Their parents were married in Mexico in 1946, and their mother, Francisca, became a citizen after joining her husband in the United States,” The Times reported on Friday.
The La Raza Lawyers of California website’s main page contains links to several articles defending Curiel as a fine jurist.
When clicking on “Links and Affiliates” on the left sidebar of the website, the reader is brought to a page with the heading, “The Chicano/Latino Bar Association of California” containing a list of various organizations, including La Raza Lawyers groups in other cities.
At the bottom of the page are links to six more groups, the third of which is “National Council of La Raza (NCLR).”
NCLR advocates for Obama’s “DACA” program, which, beginning in 2012 by executive action, has allowed young people brought illegally to the United States when they were minors to avoid deportation under certain conditions.
“DACA” works, Ready for DAPA!” a sign held by a young Hispanic woman reads in a photo on La Raza’s website. “DAPA” is Obama’s proposed program to permit millions of relatives of DACA recipients to remain in the country as a component of Obama’s November 20, 2014 declared executive actions.
The additional executive actions have not been implemented since 26 states challenged them in federal court. In February 2015, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen placed a temporary injunction on the actions pending appeal. Later last year, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the injunction, and the case is now under review by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Daily Caller obtained a copy of the questionnaire completed by Curiel after he was nominated by Barack Obama to the federal bench in 2011 wherein he lists two addresses he gave to La Raza Lawyers. The organization’s mission is to “support Chicano and Latino Lawyers in California and serve as a statewide network for local affiliate La Raza Lawyers Groups.”
On June 1, The DC reported that Curiel was a member of a committee tasked with nominating La Raza Lawyers of San Diego Scholarship Fund recipients, with one reportedly identifying himself as “undocumented.” The organization also grants scholarships to law students entering the San Diego School of Law.
During his campaign, Trump has taken a strong stand against the entry of illegal aliens into the U.S. and called for a temporary halt to Islamic “refugees” from all countries. He has stated that he wants to “build a wall” between the U.S. and Mexico to keep out the tens of thousands of illegals pouring over the border, with a sharp increase in 2014.
On Monday, Fox News’s Eric Bolling suggested that when Trump claimed Curiel held a bias against him, Trump was “confusing” one La Raza group with the other. “This is what the Democrats do,” a co-host on “The Five” said to Bolling’s possible explanation of Trump’s assertion.
NCLR has indicated opposition to Trump’s hosting of an edition of “Saturday Night Live” last fall. NCLR President and CEO Janet Marguia has accused Trump of having “put his bigotry and hateful rhetoric into policy. His agenda of mass deportation, a massive wall, and the end of birthright citizenship hits many of the hallmarks of bad policy-making: completely impractical, prohibitively expensive, widely unpopular, doomed to fail, and deeply inconsistent with our values as a nation,” Marguia wrote on August 22.
In a blog post on Saturday, Marguia wrote, in part:
For the record, Judge Gonzalo Curiel was a member of La Raza Lawyers Association, a respected network of local bar associations of Latino lawyers and judges in California. We are the National Council of La Raza, a different group and the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States.
There are in fact hundreds if not thousands of organizations, media outlets, and associations that use “La Raza.” There is nothing nefarious about the use of this term. It simply refers to the Hispanic people and it is a nod to our common heritage. But apparently that heritage is the reason Donald Trump believes he cannot get a fair shake from Judge Curiel. It brings back awful memories of more than a few people saying that Thurgood Marshall should not have been the first African-American Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court because of his long and storied involvement in the civil rights movement.
There is a “La Raza” radio station based in East Los Angeles sponsored by the Spanish Broadcasting System and another based in Houston. A third has a similar format to the others and broadcasts from San Francisco. The Post & Email’s editor is proficient at reading in Spanish and was unable to find a definitive connection between the radio stations and NCLR.
Another group, “El Centro de la Raza,” states that it is a “Center for People of all Races” but also says it advocates for “the Latino community” and for “social justice.”
In 2006, Human Events reported, in part:
There are many immigrant groups joined in the overall “La Raza” movement. The most prominent and mainstream organization is the National Council de La Raza — the Council of “The Race”.
To most of the mainstream media, most members of Congress, and even many of their own members, the National Council of La Raza is no more than a Hispanic Rotary Club.
But the National Council of La Raza succeeded in raking in over $15.2 million in federal grants last year alone, of which $7.9 million was in U.S. Department of Education grants for Charter Schools, and undisclosed amounts were for get-out-the-vote efforts supporting La Raza political positions.
Human Events links NCLR to a number of “secondary organizations,” one of which is identified as M.E.Ch.A., which has taken the side of “Palestine” in a 2012 Israeli-Arab conflict and opposed Arizona’s 2010 immigration law, HB 1070, which was partially stricken down by the U.S. Supreme Court and partially upheld.
MEChA’s website states that the student group, founded in 1969, adopted the official name, “Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan.” Further, MEChA wrote:
Adamant rejection of the label “Mexican-American” meant rejection of the assimilation and accommodationist melting pot ideology that had guided earlier generations of activists. Chicanismo involves a crucial distinction in a political consciousness between a Mexican-American (Hispanic) and a Chicana/o mentality.
Of the MEChA movement’s goals, Human Events stated:
MEChA and the La Raza movement teach that Colorado, California, Arizona, Texas, Utah, New Mexico, Oregon and parts of Washington State make up an area known as “Aztlan” — a fictional ancestral homeland of the Aztecs before Europeans arrived in North America. As such, it belongs to the followers of MEChA. These are all areas America should surrender to “La Raza” once enough immigrants, legal or illegal, enter to claim a majority, as in Los Angeles. The current borders of the United States will simply be extinguished.