El Paso is a peaceful community of immigrants and refugees, a community that straddles borders and cultures, a symbol of safety and inclusion for people from around the world, citizens and non-citizens alike – a symbol of hope and of home. While it is consistently ranked as one of the safest cities in the country, those who seek to whitewash the United States and erase diversity are falsely claiming otherwise.
We call out those that seek to oppress multiculturalism and Latino culture in particular. We want to send a message that racism and white supremacy has no place in either El Paso, in Texas, nor in the United States.
On September 7, El Paso Firme will take a firm, collective step to confront, to expose, and to reject the white supremacy that has infected our country and offer an expression of resilience that comes from being a multicultural, trans-national city rooted in our love of family and our culture. We will outline our demands for a society that respects one another and embraces a new narrative that encompasses human and civil rights at the border.
National Call to Action Demands
America must confront and root out the vile and pernicious ideology of white supremacy that has brought death and fear to our communities. Everyone must denounce this hatred, clearly, fervently, and promptly. Either you stand with the welcoming and inclusion of El Paso, or you stand with a murderer who would kill us to suppress those values.
Meaningful gun control legislation must be enacted without delay. We join the millions of voices already calling for action on gun control and demand that the voices of those directly impacted by gun violence be heard and their demands be acted upon.
Congress and the President must, with all due speed, move to enact legislation banning the civilian sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
Congress must put in place universal background checks that close loopholes in gun sales. Congress must additionally enact legislation putting in place ‘red flag’ laws allowing courts to bar people where there is a record, based on evidence, of someone posing a risk to themselves or those around them. We also know that officials at all levels of government can and must take parallel actions.
Migrants and immigrant communities must be treated with the dignity and humanity they/we, as people, deserve.
Concentration camps must close and people allowed to pursue due process while free. Abuses and deprivations within these camps – withholding adequate access to food, water, medicine, and sanitation, or verbally and physically assaulting men, women, and children must end.
Families must be made whole and children comforted from the traumas we have inflicted upon them. Families must also be given their due freedom.
Migrants must have meaningful access to counsel and due process.
Government agencies must be transparent and accountable. We will not negotiate safety, dignity, and rights.
Our communities must be heard, and the story of our border and our border communities re-written so that we might embrace the hope and opportunity of who we can be.
We will not talk about our children and our struggles in a vacuum. We must connect this crisis to its root causes, to historical and systemic injustices, to the decades-long criminalization of immigrant families and militarization of border communities, to the oppression not only of people who cross the border but also those who live along it.
Congress and the Administration must discuss, pass, and implement substantive community accountability and oversight mechanisms for border institutions (CBP, Border Patrol, ICE, Military) and end wrongful and racist border programs such as MPP, Remain in Mexico, Metering, Child and Family Incarceration, border walls, and militarization.
The systems that nurture and promote white nationalism and racism must be confronted and dismantled.
We must talk about the border differently, embracing a new narrative that encompasses human and civil rights.
We the people. We the migrants, the refugees, the immigrants, and the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of immigrants. We the mothers and fathers, the brothers and sisters, the children. We the families — we speak now as one. This is what we stand and fight for. These are our prayers, our songs, our cries, our demands.
#ElPasoFirme is anchored by:
Border Network for Human Rights
National Day Laborer Organizing Network
Border Angels New Mexico
Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe
Centro de Trabajadores Agricolas Fronterizos (CTAF)
Coalition to End Child Detention (CECD)
Corn Pollen Consulting
El Paso Equal Voice Network
Faith in Texas
Families Belong Together
Jewish Voice for Peace
La Mujer Obrera
Laredo Immigrant Alliance
Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center
Latino Victory Fund
Mexicanos en Exilio
Doctors For Camp Closures
Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas
Santa Fe Dreamers Project
Stand with El Paso
State of Mind
Texas Rising / Texas Freedom Network
TOP (San Antonio)