Brownsville, TX—Immigrant families from Texas, the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) and other advocates gathered outside the federal courthouse in Brownsville today to call on Judge Andrew Hanen to take the politics out of his ruling on the President’s executive orders on immigration and put families first. Activists from Workers’ Defense Project (WDP), Mi Familia Vota (MFV), SEIU Texas, La Unión Del Pueblo Entero (LUPE), Equal Voice, Arise, and others came together to call attention to Hanen’s anti-immigrant stances during a scheduled hearing in the immigration lawsuit against the federal government. Hanen’s decision, masked as a check on President Obama’s alleged overreach is blocking Expanded DACA and DAPA, hurting millions of hardworking, tax paying families in Brownsville and around the country.
“This lawsuit is just another front for the Republican Party’s widening and ferocious war against immigrants and their families. By engaging in judicial activism, Judge Hanen is feeding fuel into that political battle, ignoring the more than 5 million people whose futures are at stake,” said FIRM spokesperson Kica Matos. “In doing so, he is also allowing extremists’ toxic anti-immigrant agenda to infect his courtroom, damaging the integrity of our judicial system, and harming our communities.”
Nearly 100 immigrant families chanted and cheered, and a delegation delivered a letter to the court asking for Judge Hanen’s compassion in his ruling. Many affected by the President’s executive actions spoke during the protest outside of the hearing.
Marta Sanchez, a local resident with LUPE, led the rally and testimonies of families from the area. Sanchez is one of many mothers who have been fasting for 30 days calling for Judge Hanen to consider these families in his ruling:
“We are here today to give a different testimony from the one being giving inside this courtroom. We want our families to have protection while we wait for just comprehensive immigration reform. Inside that courtroom they are testifying against DACA y DAPA. Here we are giving testimony to how these programs are good and will benefit our families and our communities.
Cindi Jimenez, a DACA recipient with Workers’ Defense Project, spoke highlighting the effects of Judge Hanen’s decisions on families:
“DACA and DAPA are important because our families deserve this. We need to keep fighting. We have to show our Congress people that we are not afraid. We are here because this is important for our families and our communities.”
Maria Cordero, another activist and local resident of Brownsville and member of Equal Voice also spoke:
“We are here today to show that Judge Hanen’s position is not the position of the valley here in South Texas. Our families and the community here in Brownsville would benefit so much from these programs.”