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Green Party of California

Green Party, Mexican-American advocacy group praise legislation noting state's role in illegal deportation of citizens of Mexican descent

GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA NEWS RELEASE
For immediate release: Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Contacts:
Cres Vellucci, State Press Office, 916-996-1970,
Beth Moore Haines, GPCA Spokesperson, 530-277-0610,
Sara Amir, GPCA Spokesperson, 310-270-7106,

SACRAMENTO (June 8, 2005) The Green Party of California has joined with a prominent Mexican-American advocacy group to note the significance of legislation recognizing California's role in the "Mexican Repatriation Program" that illegally and forcibly sent 400,000 American citizens of Mexican descent to Mexico from 1929-1944.

SB 670 and SB 645, authored by Sen. Joseph Dunn (D-Orange County) were approved by overwhelming majorities in the Senate and sent to the Assembly this past week.

Dunn's first measure, SB 670, expresses an "apology of the state of California to victims illegally deported or coerced into leaving the U.S., and authorizes a plaque to be place in a designated public location to commemorate the victims of the repatriation program.

SB 645 goes still further, establishing an extended statute of limitations to July 1, 2011 for victims of the illegal repatriation of Mexican descent and forming a commission to make recommendations regarding the appropriate monetary compensation to those victims.

"By acknowledging these very un-American historical facts, the legislators and the people of California will send a clear message that racism should not and cannot be the basis for any government policies without first throwing away our Constitution and the freedoms and rights we all hold dear," said Hugo Vera, a Green Party member and Sacramento Chapter president of the Mexican American Political Association (MAPA).

"MAPA and the Greens applaud the efforts of our state legislators to address and redress the unspeakable acts inflicted upon the Mexican American community in the not-so-distant past. This is a step in the right direction because it brings to light the devastating effects of political scapegoating based on ethnicity and race.

"Clearly there is something very wrong when state government creates policy around racist sentiment and the fear-mongering of racial separatists and political opportunists. In this case, at least 400,000 people of Mexican descent were deprived of their liberty and their property merely because of the color of their skin," Vera added.

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The Green Party of California
http://www.cagreens.org
P.O. Box 2828, Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone: (916) 448-3437
gpca@greens.org