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Thank you to our sponsors of the 12th Annual Cesar Chavez March!

Smile_Magic_Dental.jpgA huge thank you to the sponsors of the 12th Annual Cesar Chavez March!

These businesses and organizations aid our mission to bring justice to low income families by making financial contributions that help us to invest in our members' development as leaders and prepare them to take responsibility of their current necessities.

Click on the organization's logo to go to their website and learn more about what motivates them to be a part of this community.

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15 Million Border Residents Shouldn't Have to Live in a Militarized Zone

Bills like this are considered because the rest of the nation doesn't know the border is filled with vibrant communities that millions of people call home

Today, Congress will be discussing a bill that, in the words of it's author, will allow the Department of Defense “to transfer assets from theatre of war and redeploy them to the Southwest border.” The bill H.R. 399 by Rep McCaul would make the militarization of the border official policy.

War assets and other enforcement tools authorized by Congress could be deployed within 100 miles of the southern border, encompassing cities like San Diego, Tucson, El Paso and Brownsville. This 100-mile-zone is home to 15 million people and includes destinations such as Disneyland, Big Bend National Park, and Palo Alto Battlefield, the site of the final battle of the Civil War.

Bills like this are seen as uncontroversial because the general public outside of the border doesn't know that the border is a vibrant community that millions of people call home. We need to change that perception by lifting up stories from the border.

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No driver's license = fear of deportation

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Help us push for immigrant-friendly policies, including drivers’ licenses regardless of immigration status, in the next legislative session. Sign the pledge.

In Texas, thousands of immigrant mothers and fathers worry that a routine traffic stop could result in being deported away from their children.

Without documents, immigrants are not allowed to get a driver’s license. Each time they take to the road, they risk traffic police asking them for their documents, arresting them, and calling immigration.

Family is a core Texas value. Yet Texas keeps immigrants without documents in a state of fear by denying them access to drivers’ licenses.

Help us push for immigrant-friendly policies, including drivers’ licenses regardless of immigration status, in the next legislative session. Sign the pledge.

Access to drivers’ licenses makes Texas roads safer for all drivers:

See more after the jump.

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LUPE in The News! / LUPE en las noticias!

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Protesters gathered outside the federal courthouse early Thursday morning, to chant, read poems and share stories of the immigrations struggles. Photo By Yvette Vela/ The Brownsville Herald

Our organizing has gained the attention of the media lately, owing to our opposition to the states' lawsuit against the President's immigration action as well as our campaign to bring streetlights to Hidalgo County colonias. Thanks to the RGV Equal Voice Network and ARISE for being partners in these efforts.

Nuestra organización ha ganado mucha attención de los medios ultimamente, debido a nuestra oposición a la demanda de los estados en contra de la la acción de inmigración del presidente, tanto como nuestra campaña para traer luz publica a las colonias. Gracias a la Red Voces Unidas y la organización ARISE por ser nuestros aliados en estos esfuerzos.

Here are some of those stories / Ahí les van unas de esas historias:

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From the Power of the People to the Power of the President, 14 Moments that Defined our 2014

2014 has been a momentous year, including a groundswell of pressure from the grassroots for the president to take action to stop deportations. While presidential action on immigration may have been the highlight, the year was filled significant moments when members, supporters and allies of La Union del Pueblo Entero made a big impact in their communities. Re-live the awesomeness of this year with us.

1. March | Packed house for LUPE’s showing of the major motion picture Cesar Chavez

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At the first of three special pre-opening weekend screenings of the Cesar Chavez movie, LUPE and AARP members filled the Carmike 20 theater and sold out the showing. Best moment of the night was the audience joining the characters on screen when Cesar started the aplauso organizado! Huge thanks to AARP, The Monitor, Doctor Hospital at Renaissance, BlueWave Express Car Wash for co-sponsoring the special showings.

2. March | Premiere of UFW Documentary with Arturo Rodriguez and Rebecca Flores

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La Unión del Pueblo Entero celebrated the birthday of our founder Cesar Chavez on March 31st by premiering the new documentary, Voices of the UFW in Texas. The premiere featured Rebecca Flores, former executive Director of the UFW in Texas and Arturo Rodriguez, the current President of the United Farm Workers union. Many veterans of the farmworker movement attended the premiere, including some of the first UFW members in Texas, as well as many workers who had marched alongside Cesar Chavez.

3. April | Cumbre de Colonias

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In our biannual Cumbre de Colonias (Colonia Summit), LUPE members prioritized the issues we will work on over the next two years. Our members chose streetlights, drainage, public parks, drivers' licenses and immigration reform as our top issues. They also committed to pushing President Obama to take action to stop deportations.

4. April | MSNBC's NOW with Alex Wagner visits LUPE families!

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During our colonia summit, we were visited by Alex Wagner from MSNBC's NOW with Alex Wagner, who came to learn more about life along the border and visited various LUPE families to learn about their struggles without streetlights and immigration reform. View the episodes featuring LUPE on the program's website here and here.

Read more moments from 2014 after the jump.

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Congressman Vela Urges President Obama to Use Executive Action on Immigration

Today, Congressman Filemon Vela weighed in on the debate over presidential action on immigration by releasing a statement urging the president to act now.

"The time for the President to act is now," the statement reads. "Given the political realities in Washington, it is highly unlikely that meaningful immigration reform gets passed in the next two years in Congress without conditioning a pathway to citizenship on unattainable border security measures."

Congressman Vela has been a champion for immigration reform that does not hinge citizenship on border security. He has been an ally in the fight against legislative action that would turn the border into a militarized zone.

A debate is currently taking place between Democrats in Congress on whether the president should act right away or wait until the new Congress convenes in January.

We are glad Congressman Vela, whose district runs from Brownsville to San Juan, is standing up for immediate action. Too many RGV families have suffered the consequences of the broken immigration system. For the countless families separated by deportations since comprehensive immigration reform negotiations broke down in the House of Representatives, executive action on immigration is long overdue.

Read the full statement after the flip.

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Hidalgo County Jail and ICE collaboration by the numbers

sheriffbuild.jpgMore than 6,000 immigrants were deported from Hidalgo County jail between June 2009 and July 2014 as a result of Hidalgo County Jail collaborating with federal immigration authorities, according to official statistics released by ICE(1).

Of these, 4,274, or 66.7%, are non-L1 immigrants. This means that a full two thirds did not fall within ICE’s definition of a “Level 1” priority for deportation.

The one third who do fall into the Level 1 designation by the Department of Homeland Security include immigrants who have committed such non-violent and relatively minor offenses as theft, filing a false tax return, and failing to appear in court. Though some have committed serious offenses, many are considered "aggravated felons" according to immigration law alone, having committed an offense that is neither aggravated nor a felony.

These numbers become alarming once we consider that these deportations, almost 100 a month, represent families being torn apart.

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In Honduras, U.S. deportees have already begun to be murdered

honduras-deportees-seek-journey-north-again.pngAt least 5 children who were deported to Honduras since February have already been murdered, a Los Angeles Times article reported on Saturday:

"There are many youngsters who only three days after they've been deported are killed, shot by a firearm," said Hector Hernandez, who runs the morgue in San Pedro Sula. "They return just to die."

At least five, perhaps as many as 10, of the 42 children slain here since February had been recently deported from the U.S., Hernandez said.

Immigrant aid groups and human rights organizers say the Honduran government is ill-equipped to assist children at high risk after they have been returned.

This is one snap shot from the morgue in one city in the region.

Read more after the jump.

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Isabel could be deported for swerving

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This mother of five should be with her children, not in immigration detention facing deportation. Call today and ask for her release: 956-217-3700.

Right now, Isabel Barbosa is in immigration detention facing deportation after being stopped by State Troopers for swerving.

Isabel lives in La Joya and works at a restaurant in Mission, both in western Hidalgo County. She is the mother of five children, the youngest three years old.

Yesterday afternoon, she and her family were driving to the City of Hidalgo to check their mail, as the family had recently moved. They were stopped by a DPS State Trooper for crossing the white line and the next thing they knew, Isabel was being arrested by Border Patrol.

Isabel is a LUPE member, and fortunately her daughter and husband called us for help. Isabel's daughter, also named Isabel, had tears in her eyes as she told us what happened.

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If even one of these families is torn apart, every moment of strife, every ounce of pain, will be on the hands of Governor Perry

Resident of colonia Pueblo de Palmas tells reporter how State Troopers stopped her and called immigration.

Resident of colonia Pueblo de Palmas tells reporter how State Troopers stopped her and called immigration. At least four families have been detained by immigration after being called by DPS.

On a hot summer day, around 70 people--men, women and children--gather under the shade of a park gazebo in colonia Pueblo de Palmas in west Hidalgo County. This community has been terrorized as of late by State Troopers calling immigration during routine traffic stops. They’ve gathered to learn how to put a stop to it.

In response to the refugee children crisis, Governor Perry, Lt Governor Dewhurst and Speaker Straus announced they would send a surge of DPS State Troopers to the Valley to “secure the border.” DPS would, they said, combat drug cartels taking advantage of the Border Patrol’s increased workload. Yet children are running into Border Patrol arms, not trying to sneak around them. There has been no increase in crime and Border Patrol says there is no uptick in cartel activity.

Instead, what increased were reports of State Troopers stopping families, asking for immigration documents and calling Border Patrol.

Continue reading after the jump.

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