BNHR Letter to El Paso Democrats on Obama’s Deferred Action

2115 Piedras, El Paso, TX 79930 (915) 577.0724 320 Lincoln, Anthony, NM 88021 (575) 882.1177

Glenn Maya
Chairman of the El Paso Democratic Party
El Paso, Texas
September 24, 2014

Dear Mr. Maya
We are border residents and members of the Border Network for Human Rights who have been organizing for 16 years in our border region to bring about a just and fair Immigration Reform that would provide a pathway to citizenship to millions of immigrants who call this country home.
We have experienced many setbacks along the years in our efforts to impact the national debate; however, we have never before felt both sides of the political spectrum be so inhumane and unwilling to bring about legislation to legalize millions of families facing separation and deportation.
In the last few years President Barack Obama has increased, time after time, deportation programs such as Secure Communities, to target immigrants around the country and has allowed an unprecedented militarization process of our border communities; all of this only to appease the anti-immigrant Republicans demands for more punitive border enforcement. Such political decisions has left us with a record-breaking number of more than 2 million immigrants deported during this administration and has not brought us any closer to Immigration Reform, an electoral promise to Latinos by the President and the national Democratic leadership.
As if these actions were not enough, just a few days ago Latino and immigrant families suffered the latest blow, another broken promise by the President and the Democratic leadership; the postponement of the President’s Executive Action to stop deportation until after the November election.
The reasoning for such a terrible decision is based on the fears that Democrats might lose some Senate seats if the President moves forward with any type of action to provide relief to millions of undocumented Americans. Meanwhile, between now and November, more than 60,000 persons will be deported, and many more American families will suffer separation and division.
And now, during these election times, they are telling us that the responsibility to keep the Democrats in control of Congress is placed on Latino voters this November, even after the leadership of the Democratic Party and the President have not fulfilled their promises. This is the reason that polls of Latino voters show such dissatisfaction with the Democratic Party, raising a very important question of whether or not the Party is a viable choice for Latino and Hispanic voters.
Furthermore, we now know that the delayed Executive Action by the President on immigration, scheduled for late November or December, will not provide relief for all hardworking immigrant families already in the U.S. and it will trade off our border region by further militarize it.
As unique communities living at the border we cannot stand for broken promises and actions (or inactions) that hurts our families. The Democratic Party and the President need to do what is right for Latinos, immigrants and border residents and not follow in the footsteps of Governor Perry and deploy the National Guard to border cities.
Therefore Mr. Maya, we have seen the goodwill and understanding that most local Democrats have shown when it comes to Latinos, immigration and punitive enforcement, but goodwill is no longer enough. We call upon you and the democratic leadership in El Paso to stand with our community and make a public statement on the following points:
1. Question and condemn the broken promise of the President by delaying the Executive Order to stop deportations, leaving more than 60,000 Latino families separated and divided due to this electoral decision.
2. Call upon the President and the national Democratic leadership for a prompt Executive Order on immigration that will not exclude any hardworking immigrant families already in the U.S.
3. That an Executive Order on immigration that offers further militarization of our U.S.-Mexico border region will be unacceptable and damaging for our communities.
Mr. Maya, today members of the communities of West Texas and Southern New Mexico stand together in demanding action of those who represent us and we hope you will stand and support our concerns.

Fernando Garcia,
Executive Director
Border Network for Human Rights

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