89 Valley churches, businesses, local governments and nongovernmental organizations have resolved to oppose anti-immigrant legislation at the state level, saying it will hurt families, businesses, and communities in the Rio Grande Valley and across the state.
Broad opposition to anti-immigrant legislation
The 89 resolutions, passed by institutions as diverse as the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle, Stripes convenience stores, and the County of Hidalgo, were presented to Valley lawmakers and their representatives at a forum held at the Weslaco Chamber of Commerce by Common Sense Immigration Reform-RGV Consortium.
Under the banner of CSIR-RGV, community organizations such as La Union del Pueblo Entero have led the drive to collect resolutions against the 51 anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic pieces of legislation filed at the state Capitol. Member organizations of the Equal Voice Network of the Rio Grande Valley have recruited the majority of the resolutions. Business representatives have added their prominent voice to the effort of the community organizations, with the Texas Citrus Mutual and the RGV Hispanic Chamber of Commerce also joining CSIR-RGV.
Religious and health care leaders were also present, representing the diverse opposition to these anti-immigrant bills.
Dr. Marsha Griffin spoke representing the Brownsville Community Health Center and their over 17,000 patients: “For the health of our communities, for our children, grandparents, ourselves, this community cannot live in fear.”
Padre Alfonso Guevara, representing Bishop Daniel Flores, the Presbyteral Council, and the Diocese of Brownsville, read a statement urging Texas Legislators to “listen to the wisdom and voice of the people” and stop the anti-immigrant proposals. “These pieces of legislation will create unnecessary tension around the majority of people from the Valley who are Hispanic,” said Padre Guevara. “They distract us from dealing with important issues like economic recovery and health care issues.” In the statement, the Presbyteral Council pledged to do their part to bring awareness of these laws to the people who attend their 75 parishes Valley-wide.
The lawmakers and their representatives present at the event also committed to fight these bad bills. The Valley delegation has a responsibility to fight in the best interest of RGV residents every day at the Capitol. CSIR-RGV will hold them to their word and give them the public backing they need.
February 22 Day of Action and Advocacy at the State Capitol
CSIR-RGV partner organizations will continue to gather resolutions until February 22, when they will be delivered, along with postcards from 20,000 RGV residents, by 500 RGV community members at a major pro-immigrant day of action and advocacy at the State Capitol. The rally, hosted by the Reform Immigration of Texas Alliance, is expected to draw thousands of people from across the state.