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Texas Immigration Advocates Launch TogetherJuntos Caravan Along Border

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A recording of today’s call can be found here

El Paso, TX – On a press call today, Texas immigration advocates launched the TogetherJuntos Caravan to travel along the Texas-Mexican border. This two-week trip along the border will make multiple stops and provide an opportunity for communities to come together and fight back discriminatory policies.

The caravan will address SB4, provide’ Know Your Rights’ and abuse documentation trainings to border communities, and provide training sessions on how immigrants can continue organizing and fighting to remain safe, especially now that the anti-immigrant law has been fully implemented in the state. A recording of today’s call can be found here.

Jose Rodriquez, Texas State Senator of District 29, said “Let’s talk about what the court decision [SB4] really means. First of all, it’s a preliminary injunction that conducts a full trial on the merits. We need to remember that the Constitution itself is not suspended. It has to be complied with. It doesn’t mean that law enforcement can act as immigration officer. They cannot stop and arrest people without probable because of their immigration status. The local law enforcement is required under the constitution to act as they were acting before SB4. The most they are able to do currently is inquire about immigration status. At the most, ICE or Border patrol could come pick up the individual under investigation. The SB4 injunction cannot prohibit law enforcement about inquiring about immigration status, but they can prioritize. It is important for police to keep the community safe and a community’s trust. We want to focus our limited resources without sending the message that this should be their focus and not enforcing immigration policy from the federal government. Immigrants should be made aware of their Constitutional right to stay silent from law enforcement inquiring about immigration status and that’s what TogetherJuntos seeks to do.”

Fernando Garcia, Executive Director of Border Network for Human Rights, said “The TogetherJuntos Caravan was born out of the need to respond to the attack against Latino, immigrant and communities of color created by passage and implementation of the racist law SB 4. The aim of the Caravan is to connect different communities to create a joint effort to resist the anti-immigrant attack in Texas. The TogetherJuntos Caravan will travel through the Texas/Mexico border, visiting many towns and cities affected by this ill-conceived law and it will feature workshops where people will be able to learn more about SB 4, Abuse Documentation, Know-Your-Rights, ICE raids, and more.”

Juanita Valdez-Cox, La Union del Pueblo Entero, said “This caravan is very important for border residents. We must inform our communities of the negative effects of SB4 and train individuals on how to protect themselves. We will teach those in the community to document and report any abuses which arise from SB4, a law that puts the racist discrimination, that border residents have been subjected to for over 250 years, into law. SB4 also requires local jails to hold ICE detainers and warrants on undocumented individuals. When our rights are violated, we will take legal action. We will not quietly accept something that is hurting our families, disrupting community trust, and creating a fear amongst individuals who witness crimes and would like to report them.”

Eduardo Canales, Founder & Executive Director of South Texas Human Rights Center, said “Texas has been the brunt of militarization with troops at the border and the texas government looking to deploy more troops. The officers in the street are the deciding factor if families are going to be torn apart. We’re all about connecting them. The application of the law, as well as racial profiling and discrimination, needs to be documented. There needs to be accountability and these people need to know that there are organizations who are documenting these abuses. Trump is trying to purge the country of ethnic and Mexican communities. It is critical that we are paying attention.”