tags: Press Releases

ICYMI: New Mario Carrillo Op-Ed: “Our Family is in Danger in Texas. But We’re Not Leaving”

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Read new op-ed in El Paso Matters HERE

Washington, DC – A new op-ed by Texas-based America’s Voice Campaigns Manager, Mario Carrillo, was recently published in El Paso Matters. Titled, “Our family is in danger in Texas. But we’re not leaving,” the piece highlights the uncertainty of DACA recipients and their loved ones as Texas faces rising extremism and anti-immigrant sentiment. A few excerpts are included below:

“Coinciding with the rise in extremism, we’ve also seen a rise in mass shootings and violence, including against migrants, that have shaken our sense of safety. Since moving here in 2016, Texas has suffered mass shootings in Sutherland Springs (2017), Santa Fe High School (2018), El Paso (2019), Midland/Odessa (2019), Uvalde (2022), Cleveland (2023) and most recently at an outlet mall in Allen. That last shooting was reportedly motivated by racist and fascist ideology.

…[I]t seems that Gov. Abbott and many other Texas Republicans haven’t learned any lessons, and seem intent on continuing to promote the dangerous “replacement” conspiracy theory and using “invasion” language when referring to migrants in social media and ads, when we already know some Texans hear this rhetoric as a call to violence.

As a mixed-status family, raising a daughter in a state in which gun rights are more protected than her own, and in which our state’s leaders would have no problem separating us based on my wife’s immigration status, we’ve had to reflect about our place in Texas. The rise in extremism, the ever-easier access to guns, and the attacks on marginalized communities make us question if we really want to raise our daughter here — and I’m sure we’re not alone.

We’ve been in the process of adjusting my wife’s status for almost five years now, but as someone who’s not yet a permanent resident, we’ve had to have the difficult conversation of what to do if she’s ever detained. Her safety here is not guaranteed. Now we’ve also had to make contingency plans on what would happen if we found ourselves in the middle of a mass shooting or an attack against communities that look like ours.

…We’re also disheartened that several elected officials don’t seem to care if their rhetoric is fomenting violence against people who work and live in Texas and we’re not under the illusion that they’ll change. They seem to thrive on the chaos and fear they create and on the escalation of terrorist violence. 

But we are not leaving. Texas is our home and where we’re building our life.”