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Rep. Juan Vargas Will Host Immigration Forum Monday Night

Cong. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, talks about legislation to aid deported veterans at the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center in San Diego, September 19, 2016.
Matthew Bowler
Cong. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, talks about legislation to aid deported veterans at the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center in San Diego, September 19, 2016.

Rep. Juan Vargas Will Host Immigration Forum Monday Night
Rep. Juan Vargas Will Host Immigration Forum Monday Night GUEST: Rep. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego

They will discuss the rights of people living in the U.S. without legal documentation and Senegal unified decides to sue the College Board. This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. It is Monday, July 10. Our top story on midday edition a panel of immigration experts will be on hand as a congressman host the form in Sherman Heights tonight. He represents the 51st congressional district which covers a wide area the form comes as immigration groups across the country ramp up efforts to inform residents of the rights. Today I spoke with Juan Vargas about the meeting. Welcome to the program. It is a pleasure to be here. How did you determine the need for a forum like this question mark what concerns have you been hearing was work I've been hearing from a lot of families that are fearful that they will be separated and the parents will be deported and the children are going to be left without their parents. It is becoming a reality throughout the country. So I thought we need to really tell people what their rights are. People panic and don't know what they have to do what they can do. I tell them that you are human beings and you have rights especially in the United States of America. We are hopeful that people will come tonight to figure out what we can do for them and let them know what the writer. In the early days of the Trump administration, we heard about immigration sweeps in the neighborhoods. Has that died down? It has a little bit but you still have some enforcement. And National City, we had officers that started stopping people on the roads. We did not have any information on that. So we asked around and trying to figure out what went on and it turns out these officers took upon themselves to do these road operations. Some of the officers out there feel that they can do anything they want and that is not the case. We heard that you are not allowed to attend a meeting held in Congress from top ice officials. Have you been able to get briefings and information from them since then? I have been able to talk to them. At the beginning they were not making themselves available. I have been able to meet with them and confront them with some of their policies. I respect general Kelly but at the same time, talking to him about values and human needs and a way to approach this and it's been good and bad. I have had a chance and they've made themselves available. We heard that the Trump priorities for arrest for people here illegally have brought in. Are you clear about what the priorities are? Know, I am not. He talks about criminals, murderers, rapists and often time he's taken mother's and then they were caught and supported and now trying to reunite with their families and that has become the crime. They don't have drunk driving, speeding in many don't have parking citations. Yet they are being deported as if they were criminals. These are good moms that want to reunite with their children. It is absolutely ridiculous. So their priorities turn out to not be moms and dads. Are you still encouraging people who qualify to sign up for that program or do you have concerns that is going to be eliminated? There is concerns about that because you give all of your information to the federal government. At the same time, I'm always trying to follow the law. So I do tell people they should sign up for it. Hopefully this administration will use that information to the port you. The kids that came here not because they wanted to or it was her choice but because their parents brought them. We should look upon them differently than anybody else that made a decision. These kids did not. These are little kids that came and grew up here. So supporting them to these places where they've never been makes no sense. I do tell people to sign up. What is the range of information that you are going to be giving people who attend the form tonight was right We are going to give them a range from deported veterans. We are veterans who served and one I was out on combat 110 times and he committed a crime and he paid his dues and then they deported him. We are going to lay out what their rights are as veterans. All the way to people who are here without documents and let them know what they can and can't do and they do have rights. It goes all the way from someone who served in the military and often times has received -- all the way to people who are parents and are undocumented and letting them know that they have rights also. There are a number of people who are pleased to see more aggressive enforcement of immigration laws in this country. That includes border patrol agents while the opportunity to do their job. What you say to those people about the issues that you will be discussing? I tell people that -- history repeats itself. When Germans came to the U.S., people were against them because they spoke German and horrible things were said about these German immigrants in the Italians got here and then the Irish came here. I tell people remember our history. That is ugly part of our history. Let people know that they are human beings and they are welcome in our country as well. I tried to tell that to the people that I bump into that are officials. We are good country. We are country that respects human beings and respect immigrants and the path that we are going down now is the wrong path. He's hosting a form tonight starting at 5:30 PM at the Sherman Heights Community Center. Thank you so much. Any time. Thank you.

Rep. Juan Vargas is holding an immigration forum in San Diego Monday night.

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The forum is from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Sherman Heights Community Center, 2258 Island Avenue.

The forum will include a discussion of issues surrounding deported veterans and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Vargas joins Midday Edition on Monday to talk about subjects that will be covered at the forum.