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

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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Last week, I got a message that State Troopers were pulling people over in Peñitas and calling immigration. A woman saw it and called our office to report it. She told me that DPS State Troopers stopped a family near their home on 107. A mother, father and two small children. Immigration arrived and took them away. They had two more children at home, the oldest a 16 year old boy. I was able to get a hold of him by phone. He told me the family has lived in the U.S. for 12 and a half years, since the oldest boy was 2. His two youngest siblings are U.S. citizens.

Earlier this week, news media reported another case of a woman who was release by Border Patrol on bond but has no idea where her husband is being held. Neighbors say there have been at least four families that have been picked up by Border Patrol after being stopped by DPS. Residents are scared to leave their homes to go to the store, doctors or the local community center, worried they may be stopped by DPS and detained by immigration.

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If these individuals end up being deported and the families torn apart, every second of strife, every ounce of pain caused to these families will be on the hands of Governor Perry, Speaker Straus, and Lt Governor Dewhurst for sending the DPS border surge down here, for responding to children with troops, for treating the border like a war zone.

Fortunately, Americans believe children fleeing violence should be protected. Once they know that children are searching out Border Patrol, not sneaking in to the country, they see the build-up of troops as counterproductive. When they hear stories of families torn apart, they see it as destructive.

That means that we all have an important role to play in this crisis.

We need to spread the real picture of the border, the one that drives compassion for children, not the distorted picture painted by Perry and his allies that promotes fear and hate and troops.

Residents of Pueblo de Palmas are learning how to defend themselves against State Troopers working with Border Patrol. You can help them put an end to the practice by sharing their stories.

If you are in the RGV, help volunteer with LUPE to collect stories of those adversely impacted by State Troopers and National Guard. If you are outside the Valley, share the stories we are collecting via Facebook and Twitter.

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