Tag Archives: immigration

No Ban, No Wall Rally at the Texas Capital

This is Who We Are

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This past Saturday, I was very honored to speak at the #NoBanNoWall rally on behalf of those that feel as they have no voice and for those that are currently in fear of the policies enacted by the current administration.

Thousands gathered at the front steps of the Texas capital to protest the current ICE Raids, Trump’s border wall and the refugee ban. U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) and Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso) headlined the rally organized by Muslim and immigrant rights groups. Some of the speakers included immigration attorneys and activists, DREAMERS, and refugees from Muslim communities.

To honor my family and to those that have suffered and continue to suffer under the policies of the current administration, I hope that my words spoken at the rally made a difference (if even a small one).

“This Is Who We Are”

“Many if not all of us here today have recited the pledge of allegiance, giving our thanks to a piece of fabric stitched in identity that speaks to many of the slogans that have echoed throughout time: Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness. As a Latina, I have witnessed how those words have turned into something so out of reach for us. But still, we hope and we strive, not only for ourselves but for our families as well. BECAUSE THIS IS WHO WE ARE!

Every success we have achieved and every contribution we’ve made in this America, OUR America, is being overshadowed being by the current policies in place that have made us out to be the enemy.

We are the enemy when we’re condemned to the belief of being rapists and murders. We are the enemy because much like any minority, the actions of a few become representative of a whole. We have become the target of ICE raids because it has been determined that because we are brown, we are committing a crime just by being here. Because we are brown, we are to be feared. But indeed, they should be scared, because we are tired – tired of being ignored, tired of being stereotyped, tired of being marginalized and tired of being treated like second-class citizens. And today, you WILL hear us!

We are not illegal. The Declaration of Independence, the very document that is the foundation for this country determined that all men are created equal. And that includes us Latinos. We’re the fighters, we’re the persecuted, and we’re the survivors who have only wanted one thing – the opportunity for a better quality of life. THIS IS WHO WE ARE!

I am the child of a migrant farm worker. My mother spent the majority of her childhood working the fields from sun up to sun down. Although she did not graduate high school, my mother elevated herself from working for minimum wage cleaning offices at night to the successful career woman she is today – a self-taught, resilient woman.

As a child, my father worked the cotton fields. And throughout his entire adult life, has worked outdoor construction, laying the foundation for the highways and roads we use day in and day out. At the age of 62 he was diagnosed with cancer. At 63, he beat cancer. And at 64, he once again put on those work boots and headed back to work, waking up at 4am to go to a job that no one else wants to work. Why? Because all he wants to do is earn his living, respectfully, and in peace. Because THIS IS WHO WE ARE

I am the mother of two beautiful biracial young men – one of them is gay. And although many out there spew their hate against their race, their nationality, their sexual orientation – they stand strong and I stand with them because THIS IS WHO WE ARE

I have watched as Aleni, a young woman I met 8 years ago while she was in high school endure the struggle of wanting a higher education, wanting to become successful, all while fearing her undocumented status. A high academic achiever, decorated high school soccer player, homecoming queen – all that and she couldn’t qualify for scholarships or financial aid because of her status. Today, because of DACA, she works full time and pays for her college education herself with no assistance. In spite of it all, in spite of EVERY obstacle and set back she’s had to face, her determination has never faltered. THIS IS WHO WE ARE.

You often here from the opposition, those who hate, those who don’t care to understand, “why don’t you get your papers”? They know nothing of the struggle. They know nothing about someone like Aleni enduring a Twenty-year fight just to be a naturalized citizen.

When you see people who look like me in you in the fields, on the construction sites, in restaurants working to provide a better life despite a pitiful wage, we stand strong and proud. Because THIS IS WHO WE ARE. We are not rapists, we are not thieves. And we will NOT be used as talking points for political gain. We Are Providers. We Are Fighters. We Are Survivors.
And that, is who we are.

WE STAND STRONG. THIS IS WHO WE ARE. “

Houston Latino Elected Officials & Community Leaders to Formally Endorse Davis, Van de Putte

Houston Latino elected officials and community leaders held a press conference at to formally endorse Senators Wendy Davis and Leticia Van dePutte and highlight the contrasts in this race. Houston Latino leaders will work to make sure that their communities know the clear difference between Davis and Van de Putte’s commitment to all Texas families by investing more in our schools to ensure that children are better prepared for the future, and Abbott and Patrick who will allow standardized tests on four year-olds and jeopardize the Texas Dream Act.

Cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz hits Houston to Kick Off the Border Convo Tour

This week, Alcaraz will be in Houston, speaking on college campuses and also to the general public. At 6 p.m.Tuesday, he’ll appear on KPFT‘s radio show “Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Our Say.” (You can subscribe to its podcast here.) Then at 7:30, he’ll meet and greet the public at a $25-a-head fundraiser for Nuestra Palabra.

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When bridge-blogging is the height of discussion about the border, but only because of its elevation over a highway-then discourse has hit a new low.

That’s the position America is in right now.

Most folks prefer to yell at the border than have a deep discussion about it.

Celebrities voice their xenophobia about Ebola and the border and that gets more attention than science or statistics. Politicians tell Americans that ninja warriors will sneak across the border, or that Isis might sneak through one side or Shazam through the other.

We’re seeing White Flight from intelligent conversation.

That means now we can move in, so we will.

We’re kicking off the Border Convo Tour by bringing BORDERTOWN to the border state. Translation: cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz is coming to Texas!

Alcaraz descends on Houston September 9th before heading to San Antonio and other stops in the Lone Star state. His insights are timely and once his new cartoon series BORDERTOWN is released on Fox TV, he’ll be broadening the American Imagination across many topics, as he was born to do.

“I grew up very poor on the U.S.-Mexico Border, on both sides,” he said during aTEDx SoCal talk. “I watched my Mexican immigrant parents struggle on this side of the fence, mainly.”

But Lalo just plain wants to visit us, too. At least that’s what he told us, “I want to tour Texas because I feel I have underserved the Raza de Houston since they yanked my comic there, but I’M NOT BITTER. Also, I hear Rick Perry is a huge fan of my comics, pero pobrecito can only look at the pictures. Tejaztlan is great and the Raza is boisterous and love to argue about barbecue, but I still love it there.” He also just created a cover for HUIZACHE, the magazine of Latino literature, published in Texas, edited by writer Dagoberto Gilb-a Texan who is banned in Arizona. Guilt by Tejano association.

For the Border Convo Tour, Texas colleges, community groups, nonprofits, and businesses will team up to host some of the leading thinkers of our time to discuss the nuances of the border issue, the complexities, and solutions.

Of course, this issue is nothing new. You only have to look at the names of streets in any major city like Houston to see that we have had wave, after wave, after wave of immigration, and Texas has benefited from it.

In fact, in order for the economic and intellectual prosperity of Texas to continue, we must not get swept up by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer-style anti-immigrant hysteria.

We know Texas can make immigration work.

 

More at HuffingtonPost.com

Texas Young Democrats Send Aid to Refugee Children on Texas Border

TEXAS YOUNG DEMOCRATS SEND SUPPLIES TO REFUGEES AT TEXAS BORDER

Project: With Love, From Texas (#LoveFromTexas) Hits $45,000 in Aid in Less Than Two Weeks

[Press Release]

Texas Young Democrats call on individuals and organizations to join them as they send direct aid to the refugee children at the Texas border.

TYD created an Amazon Wish List just under two weeks ago and through harnessing the power of social media, have collected over $45,000 in direct assistance so far. That’s over 4,000 individual items to be directly distributed to children and families at the Texas border in need.

Project: With Love, From Texas(#LoveFromTexas) has gained the support of progressive activists, organizations, media outlets and individuals from all over the country. After 10 days of steady activity, the movement saw an exponential growth once national leaders began lending their support. Direct aid purchases have doubled in the last 24 hours.

Governor Perry thinks that more guns will solve a humanitarian crisis at our border, but we at Texas Young Democrats believe that a show of force won’t solve the crisis. “These young refugees are in need and we should all step up to help. They are children, not pawns in a political chess game,” said John Canales Gorczynski, President of Texas Young Democrats.

For young people, by young people, we will make a difference.

For more information visit www.texasyds.com.