2022 has been filled with challenges, but it has also given us victories, moments of joy, and accomplishments. We look back on our year to recap how we organized for our families— from canvassing the streets during elections, going to Austin and D.C. to speak to lawmakers, and increasing our capacity to provide immigration services. In 2023, we are ready to continue advocating for border region where families remain together and all can thrive. ¡Si se puede!
1. The retirement of our longtime leader, Juanita Valdez Cox
Juanita Valdez-Cox has served the social justice movement for 45 years. Since 2003, Juanita has been LUPE's executive director where she has led the organization through local, state, and national victories that expanded the rights of working class families and immigrants.
2. Returning to in-person classes with our adult education program after a 2 year hiatus
The COVID pandemic took a toll on our in-person programs, but this year, we reintroduced in-person classes for our members in Hidalgo, Cameron, and Starr counties.
3. The first-ever cohort of Al Colegio, Si Se Puede graduates
This year, our first cohort of Al Colegio, Si Se Puede students graduated, and we are on our way with the second cohort. Al Colegio Si Se Puede is a one-year college readiness program created to help undocumented, first-generation, and/or low income high school seniors have a successful journey to college.
4. Lobbying in Austin to protect asylum seekers and say NO to Operational Lonestar
Shortly after the Midterms, our team got on the road to Austin to testify against Governor Abbott's harmful Operational Lonestar. Click here to read some of our news coverage.
5. Lobbying in D.C. to protect farm workers and immigrants
D.C Trip to Advocate for the Farm Worker Modernization Act
LUPE staff and members traveled to D.C. to join the United Farm Workers to ask members of Congress to support the Farm Worker Modernization Act that would establish a program for agricultural workers in the United States to have a pathway to Citizenship. LUPE members met with representatives from Texas to share their stories and experiences working as farm workers for many decades. Check out our blog post here.
D.C. trip to ask congress to Pass a Pathway To Citizenship before year ends
To the very last moment in 2022, we urged Congress to not forget about immigrants. With over ten years of fighting for the pathway of citizenship, we can not let this moment get past us. We united with immigrant youth and allies to demand that Congress pass a pathway to Citizenship this year. Our LUPE members in D.C. lobbied with 200 immigrant youth from United We Dream. Check out our blog post here.
6. Co-hosting civil rights leader Dolores Huerta at the UTRGV symposium
In September, our co-founder and civil rights leader Dolores Huerta joined us at UTRGV in Brownsville to celebrate her legacy.
7. Canvassing thousands of homes in South Texas to turn out the Latino vote in the Midterms
In the lead up to the 2022 Midterms, we canvassed thousands of homes across the Rio Grande Valley to remind people to make a plan to vote. We also hosted voter caravans in San Juan and Alton. Click here to see our post-election analysis.
For LUPE members who recently became U.S. Citizens, we held an event for them to register to vote and make a plan to participate for the first time in our elections. This event was co-hosted with LUPE Votes. Click here to see our post-election analysis.
8. Hosting vigils to commemorate lives lost to failed policies
In June, LUPE held a visit to mourn the 19 children and 2 teachers who were killed at the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
In July, LUPE held a vigil to mourn the deaths of 53 people tragically found in an abandoned 18-wheeler in San Antonio. Click here to read our statement.
9. Improvements in our social services department to better serve our immigrant clients
LUPE has offices in Alton, San Benito, San Juan, and Rio Grande City. We proudly offer free or low-cost services to our members in each location. This year, we amped up our services by helping more of our staff become accredited representatives to better serve our immigration cases and increase our successes. To visit one of our offices, click here.
10. Hosting our bi-annual Cumbre de Colonias 2022
The Cumbre is a Democratic process that starts off in our members’ neighborhoods. They host small house meetings— or juntas caseras— with their neighbors to brainstorm what issues they think are the most important for LUPE to prioritize. Click here to view the 8 resolutions our members ratified.