Stop Navarro 02-01-10
Pro Illegal County School Board Member
SPEAK OUT AT MONDAY FEBRUARY 1, 2:30pm, COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD MEETING San Bernardino, CA~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NOTE: The San Bernardino County Board of Education Trustees will pay an official visit to the San Bernardino Central Juvenile Hall, before the county school board meeting.
Gil Navarro, San Bernardino County Board of Education Trustee http://www.sbcss.k12.ca.us/BoE/index_BoE.php
has been featured in recent front page articles promoting illegal aliens.
TAKE ACTION: In the article below San Bernardino County Board of Education Member Gil Navarro promotes illegal aliens. Please join activists this Monday, February 1, @ 2:30pm, San Bernardino,
in opposition to Gil Navarro, calling for his removal from office.
January 2010 San Bernardino County Education Board Meeting. Navarro listens as Raymond Herrera denounces his pro-illegal alien activism.
In addition to opposing Navarro's promotion of illegal aliens, during public comments, we will speak out on agenda item 7.4: funding for students of limited English proficiency
AGENDA PDF FILE: http://www.sbcss.k12.ca.us/BoE/10-02/ag10-02.pdf
Monday, February 1
San Bernardino County Board of Education
Roy C Hill Education Center
601 North E Street · San Bernardino, California 92415-0020
Words become touchy subject in war over illegal immigration
Stephen Wall, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/24/2010 08:31:58 PM PST
Are they illegal aliens or undocumented workers? Illegal immigrants or unauthorized entrants?
In the raging debate over illegal immigration, words carry loaded meanings.
People on opposite sides of the issue insist on their own terms to describe people in the country illegally.
With so much at stake in the fight over the nation's future, words can't be tossed around lightly.
"Propaganda is all about language," said Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a Washington, D.C., group that favors strict limits on immigration. "You go back anywhere in history.
Language has been used to influence the way people think. If you can influence the way people think, you believe you can control the outcome."
Mehlman said his group uses the term alien because it's the legal definition of someone who is not considered a citizen under the law.
"Undocumented is not part of our vocabulary," he said. "An undocumented worker is a guy who left his wallet at home."
Those on the other side say alien is used to portray illegal immigrants in a negative light.
"To me, alien means not human," said Gil Navarro, a member of the San Bernardino County board of education. "Immigrants are human beings."
Federal immigration officials say the word alien has been part of U.S. law for centuries. The federal government's use of the term goes back to 1798, when it was used in the Alien and Sedition Acts.
"It's not a pejorative term. It's a term of law," said Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "It's the accurate term to describe a foreign national who is in the country who is a noncitizen."
Elsa Valdez, a sociology professor at Cal State San Bernardino, said that immigration officials have an obligation to change with the times.
"These are certain assumptions that come with these labels, whether it's illegal aliens, or `Japs' or the `n'-word," Valdez said. "When you have government agencies using that inflammatory and derogatory terminology, how can you expect the public to recognize that they're humans just like everybody else?"
She said illegal alien conjures up images of people who are criminals. The term is applied to all Latinos in the United States whether they're here legally or not, she said.
"It doesn't just affect undocumented immigrants. It affects all of us," Valdez said.
State and local government agencies have a different term for describing illegal immigrants who request welfare benefits for their U.S.-born children.
"Our Human Services departments tend to use the term `undocumented' because that's the word the state tends to use, so it's become habit," said David Wert, San Bernardino County spokesman.
The county doesn't have a policy establishing an accepted term or forbidding certain terms, Wert said.
Social service practitioners may prefer the term undocumented because their programs do not necessarily concern themselves with whether an immigrant is legal or illegal, but whether they have documentation to prove eligibility for certain programs, Wert said.
In the field of education, undocumented is the more appropriate word, according to the National School Boards Association.
"It doesn't have the stigma and doesn't sound as bizarre as alien," said Lisa Soronen, the Alexandria, Va.-based association's senior staff attorney. "The problem with alien is it doesn't sound like a person."
In the school context, undocumented children aren't viewed as illegal because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that they have a constitutional right to receive a free public education from kindergarten through 12th grade, Soronen said.
Others say the word undocumented is used to soften the impact of illegal immigration and confuse the American people to make them sympathetic to illegal immigrants.
"It sugarcoats the criminal elements in our society," said Raymond Herrera, founder and president of We The People California's Crusader, a Claremont-based group opposed to illegal immigration.
Herrera said it's very important to use the right word in the immigration battle.
"It allows you to assess the problem and arrive at the right solution, which is to deport the illegal aliens and leave the legal immigrants in America alone," he said.
Navarro's advocacy role ignites political debate
Stephen Wall, Staff Writer
Posted: 12/21/2009 12:12:18 PM PST
Some say Gil Navarro represents everything that's wrong with America.
But others say he's a champion of the voiceless - one of the few public officials courageous enough to stand up for immigrants, even those here unlawfully.
Navarro, 67, is making a living harnessing the burgeoning political power of America's fastest-growing minority group.
"I feel the Latino community does not get the respect it deserves because we have some individuals who don't think Latinos are as qualified as their white counterparts," Navarro said.
As a paid education advocate, Navarro defends the rights of students who have been suspended or kicked out of school. Many of his cases involve students with learning disabilities or undetected emotional problems.
He also is an elected member of the San Bernardino County Board of Education. Navarro represents Area D, which includes the San Bernardino City Unified and Rialto Unified school districts. Both districts have predominantly Latino enrollments.
In his spare time, he volunteers as a mentor for high school dropouts. He also informs illegal immigrants about a state law that allows them to pay the same tuition as legal residents and U.S. citizens to attend California public colleges and universities.
Navarro also pushes for a bill introduced by Rep. Joe Baca, D-San Bernardino, that allows illegal immigrants who are high school graduates to be put on a fast track toward citizenship.
He makes no apologies for his work on behalf of immigrants.
"They're not illegal," said Navarro, who was born in Los Angeles and lives in the Westside of San Bernardino. "People don't understand that California used to be northern Mexico. When they tell these immigrants to go back where they came from, this is where they came from."
Navarro's critics question his loyalty to the United States.
"I think Gil Navarro belongs in Mexico, where he can advocate for Mexican citizens," said Raymond Herrera, founder and president of We The People California's Crusader, a Claremont- based anti-illegal-immigration organization. "He's a major detriment to the educational institutions in San Bernardino County. He teaches hatred toward American culture and the American way of life."
Navarro disagrees with those who say that illegal immigration is ruining the state's education system.
California spends nearly $2.2 billion a year to educate illegal-immigrant students in kindergarten through 12th grade - enough to pay the salaries of nearly 42,000 teachers, according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a Washington, D.C.- based group that works to end illegal immigration.
"They're not looking at the larger picture," Navarro says of his critics. "If all the undocumented immigrant parents took their children back to the countries they came from, the school districts would go bankrupt and there would be massive layoffs of teachers."
School districts would lose huge amounts of attendance money they receive from the state if illegal immigrants left the country, Navarro said.
"If there was a mass deportation, the state of California would go into a Depression," he said.
Herrera said Navarro wants to "embed illegal aliens in our schools and in our society."
"The agenda of Gil Navarro and other illegal-alien sympathizers is to get them legal so they can outvote Americans at the ballot box," said Herrera, a 60-year-old Victorville resident. "It's a political power grab."
It's not just Navarro's views on immigration that are controversial.
County lawyers advised him in August 2008 that his educational advocacy might present a conflict of interest.
At the time, Navarro was representing a second-grade special-education student in a county schools program. The county's legal staff took issue with Navarro's dual roles as an advocate and a county school board member.
Navarro disagreed with the legal opinion, and no action was taken.
"Our position is that we would want the fairest representation possible for any student seeking advocacy and would want to avoid any perceptions of conflicts of interest," said Dan Evans, spokesman for the county Superintendent of Schools Office.
Navarro said the problem has always been about perception and not about legality.
Besides his work in education, Navarro is an activist in the county Democratic party.
He ran unsuccessfully for the 62nd Assembly District seat in 2008. Navarro received nearly 40 percent of the vote in the June primary but was defeated by Wilmer Amina Carter. Carter went on to win the November general election that year.
Navarro has filed a statement of intent to run for the seat again in the June 2010 Democratic primary.
Walter Hawkins, a former Rialto school board member, said Navarro tried to foment racial discord by "pitting blacks against Hispanics" in last year's race.
"He tried to say we were not doing anything for Hispanics and would only do things for blacks," said Hawkins, who supported Carter. "It's the biggest bunch of hogwash there ever was."
Navarro denied injecting race into the campaign. He said he represents several black families who are having problems with the education system.
County school-board member David Stine said Navarro has a personal agenda that favors Latinos over other students.
Last year, the county school board denied Navarro's request to pay $100 for him to attend an educational conference put on by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, a nonprofit advocacy group.
"We're here for all students regardless of their race or ethnicity," Stine said. "Anytime an organization promotes one (group) over the others, I believe that's racist."
Navarro said he cares about students of all cultures. But he said his main concern is with Latinos because they have a higher dropout rate than white students in the county.
Helen Rodriguez, director of pupil personnel services for the Colton Joint Unified School District, has a positive view of Navarro's work with special- needs children.
"I listen to Gil because what he has to say is valuable to the district in providing better services for our students," Rodriguez said.
Join us at the next San Bernardino County Education Board Meeting http://www.sbcss.k12.ca.us/BoE/index_BoE.php to speak out during public comments in opposition to pro-illegal alien Board Member Gil Navarro
February 1, 2010
San Bernardino County Board of Education
Roy C Hill Education Center
601 North E Street · San Bernardino, California 92415
Members of the public are encouraged to participate in the deliberation of the Board of Education. Several opportunities are available during the meeting for the Board to receive oral and/or written communication regarding the presentations listed on the agenda.
Please complete a "Registration Card to Address the Board" and adhere to the provisions described therein. Please submit this card to the Recording Secretary before an action item.
We The People California's Crusader http://californiascrusader.com/about-us/
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead