| Roger Carlos Rocha, Jr.|
(President of the League of United Latin American Citizens,
|Born|| July 12, 1970 |
|Spouse||Roberta Pier Rocha|
Roger Carlos Rocha, Jr. (born July 12, 1970), is the former president of the interest group, The League of United Latin American Citizens, an organization founded in 1929 which mobilizes Hispanic economic development opportunities but also seeks to keep voters loyal to the Democratic Party. He served as the LULAC president from 2015 to 2018. His selection came at the national convention in Salt Lake City, Utah.
A native and lifelong resident of Laredo, Texas, Rocha graduated from Dr. Leonides Gonzalez Cigarroa High School, named for the older brother of physician Joaquin Cigarroa. He then obtained a Master of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M International University in Laredo. He is a health-care analyst.
Along with Rocha, two persons from San Antonio, Texas, were named in 2015 to high positions in the organization. Lourdes Galvan, a former member of the San Antonio City Council, was elected vice president for women, and Gabriel Rosales was named vice president for the Southwest region. Rocha pushed for unity in LULAC, but the results were far different from what he had expected. In 2017, Rocha was reelected to a third one-year term at the convention in San Antonio. In July 2017, Rocha endorsed the lawsuit filed against Texas Senate Bill 4, which ends sanctuary cities in the state. It was signed into law by Republican Governor Greg Abbott. Rocha claimed that the bill is designed to target Latinos.
On January 28, 2018, in a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump, Rocha seemed to express support for the proposed border wall unless there are natural barriers in place that negate the need for construction of an actual wall between the United States and Mexico. The letter was widely denounced in LULAC circles, and Rocha described it as "the biggest mistake of my life." Rocha filed suit against the LULAC board, which he maintained had conspired to interfere with his duties by attempting to remove him from the presidency in violation of the organization's bylaws. In the lawsuit, filed in Bexar County, Rocha asked the court for a temporary restraining order barring the organization from removing or impeaching him from his position. Judge John D. Gabriel, Jr., granted the request. Rocha then withdrew the suit and announced that he would complete his term, which ends in mid-July with the national convention scheduled for Phoenix, Arizona, but he will not again seek the presidency.
Brent Wilkes, the former chief executive officer for LULAC who is often credited with attracting younger members, resigned immediately in the wake of Rocha's letter to Trump. Many young adults and collegiate members of LULAC, along with state directors from throughout the country, have demanded Rocha's resignation and written letters to the LULAC board to show their outrage. Rocha, however, said that he will focus in the four months left in his term to impact "the 1.8 million lives called 'Dreamers.'"
Rocha had said that he intends "to continue our dialogue and hopefully be able to present such a strong argument that both members of Congress and the [Trump] administration would change their positions" regarding the proposed border wall, for which Trump has already traveled to California to examine prototypes.
- Roger C. Rocha. Mylife.com. Retrieved on March 19, 2018.
- Mike W. Thomas (July 15, 2015). LULAC taps South Texans to lead national organization. Retrieved on March 19, 2018.
- Jason Buch, "LULAC leader urges defeat of Senate Bill 4," San Antonio Express-News, July 7, 2017, p. 2.
- "Rocha seeks unity in LULAC," Laredo Morning Times, July 23, 2015, p. 3A.
- Joana Santillana (February 20, 2018). Laredo-born LULAC national president agrees to step down. The Laredo Morning Times.
- Suzanne Gamboa (February 16, 2018). LULAC president refuses to resign despite outcry from members: LULAC president Roger Rocha, Jr., says he's staying to help Dreamers. Retrieved on March 19, 2018.