Countywide : Group Joins Critics of Immigration Report

Another immigrant rights group has added its voice in opposition to a recent Orange County Grand Jury report calling for a three-year moratorium on all immigration to the United States.

"The propaganda that now fills the media is meant to send one message: Immigrants are disease-carrying, job-stealing, welfare-cheating, law-breaking terrorists," said Joey Hendrix, a member of the Los Angeles group La Resistencia.

Hendrix and two other group members staged a brief protest Wednesday outside the Orange County courthouse, where they also announced opposition to what they described as "a coordinated campaign by the U.S. government to generate anti-immigrant hysteria."

The courthouse site was chosen, Hendrix said, specifically to register the group's displeasure with last month's report from the grand jury. The report linked illegal immigration with a number of societal problems, from the nation's dwindling public health care resources to local overcrowded housing conditions.

Hendrix, whose group was unsuccessful in enlisting the support of local college students for Wednesday's demonstration, stood on the sidewalk with two other associates, who carried a banner reading, "Stop the War on Immigrants."

The group members said La Resistencia's Los Angeles chapter has 25 to 30 members who involve themselves in immigrant rights issues.

Hendrix called the grand jury's findings an "outrageous report" that only served to "whip up hatred for immigrants."

The report has been strongly assailed by several Latino and Asian community organizations in Orange County. They are now pushing for greater minority representation on grand jury panels.

"People need to learn that this war on immigrants is in fact a coordinated plan of attack by the U.S. government as a whole," Hendrix said. "Only by . . . stepping out and taking a firm stand right now . . . will we be able to beat back and defeat this war."

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