As Joe Biden and Kamala Harris take over leadership in Washington, border communities are asking: what will define the next four years for our region that has been the symbolic battleground of the past four?
With President Biden set to roll out an immigration bill on his first day in office this week, it remains to be seen if Rio Grande Valley residents will finally be able to breathe a sigh of relief or will continue to have to fight for the reunification of our families and the demilitarization of our homeland. We hope for the better.
Throughout the day Wednesday, LUPE staff and members will go live on Facebook with commentary and reaction to the first immigration and border policy moves of President Biden and Vice President Harris. We will elevate our border and immigration priorities for the First 100 Days of the Biden-Harris administration and lay out the work border communities have in front of us to push the new administration to enact a racial justice agenda.
Juanita Valdez-Cox, Executive Director of La Unión del Pueblo Entero, said: “We know how we got here: politicians who criminalized immigrants and militarized the border over more than a decade built the platform that white nationalists in the Trump administration used to wreak havoc on border communities. We know how we get out of this. We can’t just go back to before Donald Trump. We need a transformative approach to border communities and migration. We need to protect the rights and needs of border communities while recognizing that people move and they should be welcomed when they do. We can forge a new vision for the border rooted in the dignity of border residents and migrants alike.”
Daniel Diaz, Organizing Director of La Unión del Pueblo Entero, said: “Our Si Se Puede philosophy means we don’t wait for elected officials or presidential administrations to give us the world we need—we build it together. Our organizing now will set the course of the new administration for the next four years. We are advancing an agenda of racial justice for border communities that the Biden-Harris administration must not ignore. This administration must deliver for border communities where past administrations failed.”