STATEMENT: TOP Applauds Houston for Joining Lawsuit to Stop SB4

Houson skyline

The following is a statement by Mary Moreno, communications director of the Texas Organizing Project, on the vote by the Houston City Council to join the lawsuit to stop Texas’ show-me-your-papers law, SB4:

“We applaud Mayor Sylvester Turner and the council members who voted to join the lawsuit to stop SB4.

“We also thank Council Member Robert Gallegos for asking for a roll call vote so that people know what side each council member stands on: with the people or with Gov. Greg Abbott and President Donald Trump.

“And we thank all our state representatives and senators who took time yesterday to testify in front of the council to urge them to join the lawsuit. It was inspiring to hear their stories that connect them to this fight in such a personal way.

“We are proud of our city today for standing up to a law which if enacted will only serve to encourage and legalize racial profiling. We are proud of our Mayor and council members who remembered that they represent all Houstonians, and who understand that just because a law is passed does not mean it is just. And that we shouldn’t depend on someone else to fight for us.

“Houston joining the lawsuit sends a strong message to Gov. Abbott and President Trump. We will not be coerced or intimidated into being a party to their campaign of hate and division. We will not let their dog whistle politics that aim to criminalize and marginalize people of color go unanswered or unchallenged.

“We still have a long road ahead in defeating SB4. But today was a good day for justice.”

Yes votes:
Mayor Sylvester Turner
District B – Jerry Davis
District C – Ellen Cohen
District D – Dwight Boykins
District H – Karla Cisneros
District I – Robert Gallegos
District J – Mike Laster
District K – Larry Green
At-Large 2 – David Robinson
At-Large 4 – Amanda Edwards

No votes:
District A – Brenda Stardig
District E – Dave Martin
District F – Steve Le
District G – Greg Travis
At-Large 1 – Mike Knox
At-Large 3 – Michael Kubosh

At-Large 5 – Jack Christie


Texas Organizing Project organizes Black and Latino communities in Texas’ three largest counties with the goal of transforming Texas into a state where working people of color have the power and representation they deserve. For more information, visit

Así funcionaría la iniciativa de acelerar deportación de inmigrantes indocumentados condenados por delitos federales

Mary TOP immigration

La administración del presidente Donald Trump continúa ganando terreno en materia de inmigración. En esta ocasión, el procurador general Jeff Sessions anunció un plan para acelerar la deportación de inmigrantes indocumentados que han sido condenados por delitos federales.

This story originally appeared 3/30/2017 on Univision 45.

Organizations seek support in so-called Immigrants National Day of Action


A coalition of organizations is calling communities and “people of conscience” around the country to join rallies, marches and vigils that will take place in more than 45 cities nationwide, including Houston and other Texas towns, for an Immigrants National Day of Action on January 14.

The National Day of Action is set to happen a week before President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20 with the purpose of building “momentum to prevent deportations and create defense networks in cities, schools, churches and states,” according to the organizers.

Lead by United We Dream, an organization of young immigrants who came to the United States without immigration documents as children, the actions aim to send a message against mass deportation plans announced by Trump during his presidential campaign.

“Immigrant families and young children will be impacted by the election of Donald Trump. He promises to go after and separate families like my own,” said Cristina Jimenez, executive director of United We Dream. Jimenez was brought to the U.S. from Ecuador when she was 13 years old.

Jimenez said in a conference call that “hatred and bullying against immigrant families have increased in record numbers.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center think tank has reported an increase in hate crimes against immigrants after the Election Day.

Jimenez added that many children, including American-born kids, are “afraid of what could happen to their undocumented parents” under Trump’s deportation policies.

During his campaign, Donald Trump said he would build a deportation force and announced a ten-point immigration plan that includes the termination of President Obama’s executive actions DACA and DAPA that temporarily protect certain immigrants from expulsion.

Shortly after becoming President-elect, however, Trump has declared that he will prioritize the deportation of people with criminal records, without specifically addressing the deportation of other immigrants.

Despite fears among immigrant families, “there is no way that we will stay in the shadows and not fight back,” Jimenez said.

The main event of the Day of Action will be a rally held outside the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington D.C. with U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a Democrat from Illinois, as keynote speaker.

“We want every senator and every member of Congress to see us and to hear our words, and we want President-elect Trump to understand the might, the resiliency and the power of our immigrant families,” said Kica Matos, Director of Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice of the Center for Community Change, one of the organizations of the coalition.

Texas Organizing Project and Fair Immigration Reform Movement are planning activities in Houston. Other cities from Texas participating in the Day of Action are San Antonio and Dallas.

The organizers are updating a list of events by location in the United We Dream website.

This story originally appeared 1/6/2017 in the Houston Chronicle.