The New York Times reported that groups including the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) hosted an information session for about 5,000 unauthorized immigrants at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Immigrants received assessments about whether they would be among the millions who could qualify for three-year deportation deferrals and work permits under President Obama’s executive order.
The event was also explicitly political in nature. CHIRLA executive director Angelica Salas reportedly blasted Republicans for “getting in the way of immigration reform.” A slide show presented during orientation for the session featured unflattering pictures of House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.).
CHIRLA was awarded $250,000 in federal funds this year by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) Citizenship and Integration Grant Program, which sponsors organizations that assist permanent residents applying for citizenship. The overt political activity of the group raises questions about its support from taxpayers. …
Salas left no doubt about one of the political motives behind the event for immigrants in Los Angeles. She urged attendees living here illegally to secure political support from those who can vote.
“All those children are going to be voters,” she said, “and those voters are going to remember who stood with their dad and their mom.”