Why We “Marched For Truth”
“President Donald Trump has spent the last two years ramping up his racist rhetoric about border communities with no knowledge of what goes on the ground. He has created an imaginary crisis in a community with a strong sense of bi-national cooperation and solidarity.
Those of us in El Paso are deeply proud of our home. We live in a safe and prosperous community that welcomes immigrants and people of all backgrounds. Even with more than 800,000 people, El Paso can still feel like America’s biggest small town, where two rich, diverse cultures come together—”una mezcla de Mexico y los Estados Unidos donde la mayoría habla Spanglish.” (a mix of Mexico and the U.S. where a majority of people speak ‘Spanglish.’)
We are tough and resilient people with strong values and a strong moral center. As an organization, BNHR embodies the spirit of cooperation that is part of the city. El Pasoans consistently escort and fight for asylum seekers getting turned back by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. We volunteer to care for and shelter migrants when ICE dumps them in the street, organize communities against abuse, and we proudly reject the border wall.
For his part, the President attacks us with his racist rhetoric and policies that harm the most vulnerable among us. His family separation policy led to thousands of children being separated from their parents, some of whom may never be reunited again. Late last year, two children died in federal custody because of lack of medical treatment. That is the real crisis.
We don’t need more militarization at the border. El Paso already has a massive law enforcement presence—we have tripled the size of the Border Patrol since 2001—patrolling the border and our neighborhoods. We live under the watch of helicopters, sensors, and drones. We already live with a wall here, built over our objections. Our families are torn apart by deportation and an immigration system inadequate for the reality of our lives.
That is why we marched yesterday. We will not let this President use us to advance a racist, hateful, destructive agenda. We must call out his lies and refuse to spend billions on on walls or any new enforcement that will do nothing to solve our most pressing issues at hand.
Instead of choosing hate and walls, we should chose a humane immigration reform policy that gives our families and our communities a chance to live in unity and prosperity. Furthermore, we need border enforcement reforms that foster transparency and accountability and emphasize safety over fear.
This is the real El Paso, the place where we live and where we have been succeeding as a beacon of bi-national cooperation, solidarity and peace.”
Participating community organizers in the March for Truth include: Border Network for Human Rights, Women’s March El Paso, Borderland Immigration Council, El Paso Democratic Party, New Mexico Democratic Party, ACLU Border Rights Center, Usual Suspects, El Paso Central Labor Council, Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee, Mexicanos En Exilio, Southwest Environmental Center, West Fund, Centro De Salud Familiar La Fe, LULAC El Paso, El Paso Equal Voice Network, El Paso Musicians United, HOPE Border Institute, La Mujer Obrera, AYUDA, Comite Justicia Laboral, Familias Unidas del Chamizal, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, ACLU of NM, ACLU of Texas, Big Bend Area Women’s March, Voto Latino, Battleground Texas Engagement Fund, Battleground Texas PAC, Latino Victory Fund, Onward Together, Our Revolution Texas, Deeds Not Words, Progress Texas, Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance, Unidos US, Office of Congresswoman Veronica Escobar, Office of Texas Senator Jose Rodriguez, Office of Texas Representative Mary Gonzalez, Office of Texas Representative Lina Ortega, Office of Texas Representative Cesar Blanco, Office of Texas Representative Joe Moody, Texas Representative-Elect Art Fierro, El Paso City Representative Alexsandra Annello, Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke, Attorney Carlos Spector, Attorney Jessica Miles, Attorney Edwardo Beckett, Father Arturo Bañuelas, National Butterfly Center, the Carrizo-Commecrudo Native American Nation, We Are The Wall, GreenLatinos, COLIBRI Center for Human Rights, Laredo Immigrant Alliance, El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal, Defenders of Wildlife, and Ron and Patsy Stallworth.
The Border Network for Human Rights, founded in 1998, is one of the leading human rights advocacy and immigration reform organizations located at the U.S./Mexico Border. BNHR has over 7,000 members in West Texas and Southern New Mexico.