Immigrants rally for justice
Published Feb 25, 2010 9:21 PM
Teodoro Aguiluz, Central American Resource Center executive director, drew
loud applause when he told the crowd of almost 800 immigrants and their
supporters: “We’ve had enough. We are not criminals. We are not
terrorists. We are workers who are here because we have to support our
families. Enough with the indignity! Enough with the disrespect! We demand to
be treated as the proud and dignified human beings that we are!”
Aguiluz was one of dozens and dozens of representatives of community
organizations and activists attending the Texas Convention for Immigration
Integration sponsored by RITA — the Reform Immigration for Texas
More than 700 people showed up from Dallas, Fort Worth, the Rio Grande Valley,
Houston, El Paso and Austin, where the convention took place at the Travis
County Expo Center on Feb. 20. Houston sent 180 people and Dallas/Fort Worth
brought four buses.
Aguiluz introduced a young boy to the convention and told the crowd: “We
need comprehensive immigration reform now so that our families will no longer
be separated by ICE. This little boy’s father was just deported to Mexico
a few days ago. He is the face of why we are fighting. He needs his daddy here
with him now.”
The determination for legal recognition was so strong among the crowd that it
permeated the air. The will to organize, protest, lobby, hold press conferences
and picket lines and travel and raise funds for the necessary campaigns to gain
comprehensive immigration reform was palpable.
Two women attired in their colorful native dress, representing one of the
activist Guatemalan organizations in Houston, took the microphone to speak
about their organizing. One carried a bilingual sign written in Spanish and her
Indigenous language saying they were speaking for those not heard.
Eliseo Medina, vice president of the Service Employees International Union,
called on the crowd to go to Washington, D.C., for a March 21 action on
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