Immigrant Youth and LGBTQIA Leaders Converge on Capitol to Stop Attacks on Texans
Show Unified Front Against Criminalization of Black, Brown, Queer, and LGBTQIA Communities; Declare They Are Here to Stay!
For Immediate Release
Monday, March 13, 2017
Chris Valdez | firstname.lastname@example.org | 832.844.1480 // Sheridan Aguirre | email@example.com | 716.427.8337
Austin, TX — Today, immigrant youth and LGBTQIA leaders convened at the Texas Capitol to call on legislators to oppose Anti-Immigrant Senate Bill 4, the Trans Oppression Senate Bill 6, and protect higher education for undocumented students. The multi-issue group continues to work together to block bills that seek to hold back, terrorize, and criminalize immigrants, trans, and queer folks in Texas.
Adonias Mauricé Melara Suncín, Texas Statewide Organizer for United We Dream UndocuTexas campaign, said:“As an undocumented queer person, I want to be very clear: Anti-immigrant SB 4 and Trans Oppression Senate Bill 6 are an attack against people like me and we demand state legislators oppose them! Both bills would encourage and perpetuate vigilante-style acts of violence and hate against my community; people of conscience across Texas must rise up to fight for, and alongside, our undocumented community and our trans family to protect our ability to thrive. We are here to stay and Texas legislators must vote to protect our home from hateful legislation!“
Karla Perez, Texas Statewide Coordinator for United We Dream UndocuTexas campaign, said: “My family and I have set down deep roots in Houston and we are committed to protecting our home. I am a University of Houston graduate who benefited from in-state tuition and I am currently a law student at the University of Houston Law Center. Our campaign, led by undocumented students like me, will fight back against any attacks on tuition equity because it has been a cornerstone for educational and professional growth and aspirations for sixteen years. We went to the Capitol today to show Governor Abbott and his anti-immigrant cronies that we won’t stand for attacks against students nor our families. Bills that spread hate and terrorize students like me and communities of color have no place in our state.“
Fran Watson, President of Houston GLBT Caucus, said: “Many in my community possess multiple intersecting identities. As much as I, a woman of color, cannot be separated from my blackness, I cannot be separated from my queerness. The Caucus represents the interests of one of the most diverse communities in the nation, and we fight alongside immigrant advocates to defeat policies that seek to criminalize, incarcerate, and deport trans, queer, black and brown folks from our communities.”
Abraham Díaz Alonso, leader in Minority Affairs Council, the Rio Grande Valley affiliate of the UndocuTexas campaign, said: “Minority Affairs Council traveled from the Rio Grande Valley to make sure that our border community is represented with dignity at the state Capitol. Senate Bill 4 would expand the reach of deportation agents to include agencies such as DPS, the Sheriff, and local police even though we already have Border Patrol agents and ICE agents in our region. Our home is militarized enough as it is — we do not need SB 4 or more military presence because it will only instill more fear in the valley. Today, we made it clear to our Senators and Representatives that immigrant youth are watching them and demand they oppose anti-immigrant bills.”
United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation, a powerful nonpartisan network made up of 55 local groups in 26 states. UWD organizes and advocates for the dignity and fair treatment of immigrant youth and families, regardless of immigration status. We seek to address the inequities and obstacles faced by immigrant youth and believe that by empowering immigrant youth, we can advance the cause of the entire community—justice for all immigrants. You can find more about UWD online at www.unitedwedream.org