Anti-illegal immigrant group disavows the letter, which focuses on voting issues.
By Jennifer Delson
LA Times Staff Writer
October 17, 2006
The state attorney general is investigating a Spanish-language letter warning some Orange County Latinos that they could be jailed or deported if they vote in the November election.
The letter, which purports to be from a Huntington Beach-based group, also warns that the state has developed a tracking system that will allow the names of Latino voters to be handed over to anti-immigrant groups.
“You are advised that if your residence in this country is illegal or you are an immigrant, voting in a federal election is a crime that could result in jail time Ã¢â‚¬Â¦,” the letter says.
The letterhead resembles that of the California Coalition for Immigration Reform, a group that advocates tightening the border, among other things. But the group’s founder, Barbara Coe, said she believed it was fraudulent. She said she did not know the person who signed the letter, “Sergio Ramirez,” that she did not authorize it and was unaware of anyone in her group who did.
Nonetheless, it has riled Latino leaders and voters. One person who received the letter is the wife of a Garden Grove City Council candidate.
She said her husband, Benny Diaz, called friends after the letter arrived and found five others with Latino surnames who had received the note. “It’s a very malicious and degrading letter. It’s to pull Latinos down and make them afraid,” said Diaz, who is president of the Garden Grove chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens.
“Of course it’s going to affect me and any other Latino candidate in Orange County,” he added.
I’ve got to wonder if the Republican Party of Orange County is somehow behind this effort. They funded the voter registration fraud using bounty hunters, so I wouldn’t be surprised.
Repubilcan Party OC = Anti-Hispanic Immigrant
Republican Party OC = Anti-Muslim Immigrant