This has been an exciting year for our staff and families at LUPE. As we prepare to continue working for social change in the New Year, we wanted to share the 10 most memorable LUPE moments of 2015 that were possible because of our members' dedication and your support. We appreciate you standing with us as we work together to make this Valley a better place to live for all!
1. Out of the shadows – Colonia residents get streetlight program in Hidalgo County
Hidalgo County commissioners, with the leadership of Joseph Palacios, and pressure from LUPE and ARISE, took an historic step and committed to creating a pilot program to install conventional streetlights in Hidalgo County colonias! They committed to working closely with us to make sure the pilot program meets the needs of colonia residents and serves as a spring board for a successful county-wide and comprehensive program to bring streetlights to all Hidalgo County colonias.
2. LUPE fights back after injunction on DAPA and expansion of DACA
After Judge Hanen from Brownsville placed an injunction on DAPA and the expansion of DACA, LUPE members protested in front of the federal courthouse in Brownsville to demand for the protection of hundreds of immigrant families in the RGV. Other local groups, such as ARISE and Equal Voice Network, also joined these efforts.[Tweet “10 moments @lupe_rgv that made the #rgv safer for immigrant communities”]
3. 1st UTRGV medical students toured LUPE and colonias
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Medical Residents at Doctor’s Hospital at Renaissance took a tour of the Colonias of Hidalgo County in June, where they witnessed first hand the disparities of access to healthcare.
4. LUPE members get Advanced Parole case approved
Isidoro Sánchez and Bryan Monrreal, two students who made their application for DACA at LUPE, obtained permission to travel to Iguazu, Argentina with their school’s mariachi group, Mariachi Oro, at Edinburg North High School. They were part of the only group representing United States in an international event. They are very appreciative of LUPE for helping them in this process.
5. DACA and DAPA resolutions approved in various RGV cities
As part of our campaign on behalf of DAPA and Expanded DACA, LUPE, CDCB, MVDH, and our partners in the Equal Voice Network have asked city and county governments to adopt resolutions declaring their support for the Deferred Action programs created by the Obama Administration in late 2014. Commissioners’ Courts in both Cameron and Hidalgo County adopted strong resolutions of support as did the cities of Brownsville and San Juan among many others.
6. LUPE 2nd Biennial Gala
Our gala was a night of remembrance as UFW and Chicano activists reunited for a night to honor the progress that has been made through the years.
7. 1st same-sex marriage immigration case submitted by LUPE approved by USCIS
After the Supreme Court granted same-sex couples the right to marriage in June, LUPE received its first same-sex marriage immigration case. The couple's case was approved, and LUPE is proud to have been part of that process!
8. LUPE protested against Greg Abbott for his stance on immigration in McAllen
LUPE members took the streets of McAllen in September when Texas Governor Greg Abbott visited a local restaurant, Cowboy Chicken. We protested outside of the restaurant asking Abbott to drop his lawsuit against DAPA and the expansion of DACA.
9. LUPE member's new RAPIDO home did not flood despite heavy rains
After heavy rains swept the area, the Aldape family's home was one of the only homes in their Mercedes-area colonia that did not flood. They received their home in 2014 as part of the RAPIDO disaster recovery program, and RAPIDO homes are elevated in anticipation of flooding.
10. More than 300 letters signed by RGV businesses in support of DACA and DAPA
With our partners in the Equal Voice Network, we collected over 300 letters of support from business in the Rio Grande Valley who stand with immigrants! The businesses joined us in our call for Texas Governor Greg Abbott to stop standing in the way of progress for immigrants and drop his lawsuit against the President's immigration programs.
[Tweet “10 moments @lupe_rgv that made the #rgv safer for immigrant communities”]