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LULAC kicks off national convention in SA

Hispanic civil rights organization to address SB 4, border wall, deportations

SAN ANTONIO – The League of United Latin American Citizens kicked off its 88th national convention Tuesday in San Antonio.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg welcomed delegates of the largest and oldest Hispanic civil rights organization to the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, where the event will be held for four days.

Related: Federal judge in SA considers fate of Texas 'sanctuary cities' law

During a news conference, Nirenberg mentioned some of LULAC's accomplishments over the years.

"It was LULAC who paved the way for desegregation of schools. It was LULAC who paved the way for benefits for veterans, no matter what the color of their skin. It was LULAC who provided educational pathways for all Americans," Nirenberg said. "And so I thank you very much for the generations of hard work that you've done."

LULAC recently took the lead to legally challenge the state's sanctuary cities law or SB 4. The organization filed a lawsuit and sought a preliminary injunction to prevent the law from being implemented in September.

Both of the legal filings await rulings by federal judges in San Antonio and Austin.

Related: Second SB4 hearing held in Austin federal court

In addition to SB 4, LULAC delegates plan to address the border wall that President Trump wants to build along the Texas-Mexico border, deportations, and the Trump administration's cutbacks on education, health and human services.

On Tuesday night, a movie chronicling the work of a civil rights icon from San Antonio will be shown at the convention.

"Dolores" traces Dolores Huerta's work with United Farmworkers leader Cesar Chavez.

"I didn't choose the name. The producers of the movie chose the name," Huerta said to LULAC delegates. "It talks about the struggles of the farmers in California and some of the things we were able to win, like unemployment insurance, good workers comp for workers, the right to organize, disability insurance for farm workers. Things that people here in Texas, farm workers in Texas, and most of the states still do not have."

Huerta, a LULAC member, told the audience that she has a foundation for tackling many of same issues that LULAC fights for.

The movie was a project of music icon Carlos Santana, who will be performing at a sold-out concert at the Majestic Theater.

Huerta was at Sen. Robert F. Kennedy's side as he spoke moments before he was assassinated in 1968 after winning the California Democratic presidential primary.

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