Category Archives: In the Community

Angel’s bright future turns into a nightmare

A promising young business student sits behind bars on an immigration hold, his once bright future unraveling into a nightmare.

Angel is scared and a million thoughts race through his mind as he sits contemplating the events of the previous night. As he was coming back from the bathroom at a restaurant a man began to throw racial slurs his way. Naturally, Angel became angry and in a burst of fury shattered the restaurant window. When he was unable to pay for the damage, the manager called the police. Before he knew it, Angel was detained with an immigration hold.

Once detained, a 48 hour immigration hold was placed on him; however, what was supposed to be two days in jail turned into three weeks for nothing more than a broken window. That is because he fell under Secure Communities. Secure Communities (S-Comm), is a federal program that has been expanded by the Obama administration to local and county police departments throughout the nation. This program has facilitated in the deportation of mass amounts of people. It has contributed to over 2 million deportations in Obama’s first term alone, which is more than the last four presidents combined. Just like many others, once Angel was detained, law enforcement officials took his fingerprints and sent them to ICE, whereupon ICE determined his immigration status.

In an effort to put an end to S-Comm in Texas, the Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance has written a letter to president Obama accompanied by a written and electronic petition, and a photo petition. Anyone can write their own message to Obama and take a picture with it in order to show the faces of those who have been or have the potential to be affected by this program.

Angel still awaits his court date with ICE which will determine whether or not he will be deported. Brought to the U.S. as a baby, Angel may be thrown into a country and a culture that he knows little about and may never be able to see his family again just because of a broken window. We now have an opportunity to take action on behalf of Angel and people like him by signing the petition and being involved in the photo petition.

Take action for Angel and people like him. Sign the petition now!

Print out the “End S-Comm” sheets , take a picture with your message and e-mail it to Colbie Devost. Colbie will upload the pictures to a blog that includes photos from across the state.

Thank you for your involvement in putting an end to S-Comm!


BREAKING: RITA responds to Obama Announcement on DREAMer deportations

(EL PASO, Texas) — The White House announced today that the administration will provide Deferred Action for some undocumented youth.

The Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance congratulates the undocumented youth whose leadership and bold action forced this announcement. DREAMers have been occupying Obama campaign offices for weeks demanding action. And today, the White House had no choice but to respond. Continue reading


June 15, 2012

WASHINGTON— Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today announced that effective immediately, certain young people who were brought to the United States as young children, do not present a risk to national security or public safety, and meet several key criteria will be considered for relief from removal from the country or from entering into removal proceedings. Those who demonstrate that they meet the criteria will be eligible to receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for work authorization. Continue reading

Seventh Annual Peace and Justice Gathering happening Feb 4th in Weslaco – Save the date!

People for Peace and Justice’s Seventh Annual Peace and Justice Gathering will be happening Feb 4th in Weslaco. If you’re interested in creating a better world for everyone, this is the place to be.

This is the gathering of progressive minds in the RGV, where cross fertilization happens between movements for justice and liberty, where ideas spread, where networks are strengthened, and where community is shared. Make plans now to attend!

Seventh Annual Peace & Justice Gathering
February 4, 2012

“The Year the World Woke Up! What’s Next?”

Keynote Speaker:
Justin Akers Chacón
Professor of U.S. History and Chicano Studies in San Diego, California. He has contributed to the book Immigration: Opposing Viewpoints and is the co-author of the book No One is Illegal: Fighting Racism and State Violence on the U.S.-Mexico Border with Mike Davis.

Also Featuring:
Peace Play Festival for Children and Youth
Led by Georgianna Duarte
Professor in Early Childhood Education at UTB

Workshops and Breakout Sessions
Labor Rights
The Death Penalty
U.S. Military Policy
And so much more!!!

Free Admission!! Free Lunch!! Free Workshops!!

This event is sponsored by People for Peace and Justice of the Rio Grande Valley, a coalition of persons and organizations opposed to violence, lies and greed that subvert democratic government and society. We try to model peace and tolerance within our association and in dealings with others. We come from diverse backgrounds– ages, races, ethnic groups, educational levels, religions and philosophies, political and sexual orientations. And we welcome opportunities to work with others who share our commitment to peace and justice.

10 biggest victories of the 99 percent in the 956 via

This has been a momentous year for the 99 percent in the Rio Grande Valley. From colonia residents finally winning relief for damages caused by Hurricane Dolly to fighting off anti-immigrant legislation, the organizing efforts led by working people have paid off big.

These victories have come largely as a result of people and organizations of different sectors joining together. While we might not always agree on everything, when we join forces to work for the things we do agree on, we are stronger for it. “Juntos pero no revueltos,” as leader Ramona Casas, of colonia organization ARISE says. That doesn’t mean we are mixed up or uniform. We have our differences and, used the right way, they make us stronger.

These victories are not in any specific order.

Colonia residents pose after winning a portion of Precinct 3 budget for installation of streetlights.

1. Colonia residents win streetlights for 10 Hidalgo County colonias. La Union del Pueblo Entero and ARISE

The vast majority of the Rio Grande Valley’s unincorporated neighborhoods are left in the dark nightly. This is beginning to change as colonia residents organize for safer, healthier communities, demanding streetlights be installed by their Hidalgo County Precinct officials. Thanks to these efforts, 10 colonias will see streetlights installed next year.

2. $14 million for drainage projects in Hidalgo County colonias. Equal Voice Network, Texas Low Income Housing and Texas Apple Seed

Hidalgo County Commissioners agreed to devote at least $14 million of Hurricane Dolly Disaster Recovery funds to colonias last month. The victory came as a result of the work of ARISE, LUPE, TOP, Proyecto Azteca and the rest of the Equal Voice Network’s housing and drainage team, who have organized with colonia residents whose homes were damaged by Hurricane Dolly. Colonia residents’ demand that disaster recovery funds go to colonias was backed by Texas Low Income Housing and Texas Apple Seed, who insisted that funding colonias was an absolute requirement for use of the federal funds.

Continue reading

Colonia children receive Christmas gifts thanks to local pharmacies

Children visit with Santa Claus at LUPE annual posada in Mercedes

Thanks to the generous donation of Richard’s Pharmacy as well as eight additional pharmacies, over four hundred colonia children received a Christmas blessing Saturday. Each year Richard’s Pharmacy sponsors a gift give-away and posada event at three different LUPE offices, where colonia children receive a gift and goodie bag, talk to Santa, and spend time with family and neighbors, celebrating the spirit of the holidays.

Special thanks to the leadership of Richard’s Pharmacy, who sought additional donations from local pharmacies on top of its own, this year we were able to give out more gifts than any year before. In all, nine pharmacies donated to the children: Family Care Pharmacy, Lino’s Pharmacy, Med Care Pharmacy, Lone Star Pharmacy, Ochoa’s Pharmacy, Fry’s Prescription Pharmacy, Saenz Pharmacy, Med-Aid Pharmacy, and Richard’s Pharmacy.

San Juan area family receive gifts from Santa

Colonia residents are some of the poorest, yet hardest working families in the Rio Grande Valley. Between paying bills, housing costs, food and other expenses, for many, Christmas may not come this year. When they join with LUPE, however, colonia residents gain the tools to overcome many of the barriers keeping them in poverty. Our yearly Christmas posadas are just one way that LUPE helps colonia residents live a little better and keep up their spirits while they work toward their American dream.

Our gratitude and appreciation goes out to the independent pharmacies, and especially Richard’s Pharmacy, for helping give these children a special Christmas this year.

Check out facebook and flickr for all the beautiful, bright faces of the children and their parents!