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On Wednesday, January 25, the Trump Administration signed two executive orders on immigration that vilify border communities, immigrant families, and refugees.

On every point, the orders attack the very social fiber of our communities even as they wrongly and needlessly frighten uninformed Americans.

Border communities are not America’s enemies. To the contrary, we are millions of people who are hardworking and who value family, education, and American democracy. We live in one of the fastest growing regions in the nation, one that is the gateway to this great nation. We teach, we build, we farm, we design, we invent and we contribute greatly to the economy. The border is not some no man’s land—it is home to millions of productive, resilient Americans.

Just like all other Americans, we especially value our children. But unlike other Americans, we are tasked with the tragic and onerous task of finding ways to heal our children, who have been relentlessly exposed to the trauma of a community under constant surveillance and suspicion.

The executive orders intend to double-down on this trauma. This constitutes an attack by our own government upon its citizens. These actions are unjust and unfounded.

Immigration is at a record low. Those who have come in recent times are refugees seeking legal paths for humanitarian parole and asylum. No known terrorist has entered the U.S. through the southern border. The immigrants crossing our border are, for the main part, families and children fleeing the terrors of Central American drug wars.

The further construction of the border wall is simply expensive and useless. There is no surge of immigrants from the south. Indeed, the actual border wall has destroyed private property, threatened endangered species of wildlife and aggravated the potential for devastating floods.

The prioritization of enforcement in the border region increases a military presence in an area already inundated with federal and state policing agents and represent a further diversion of funds from public education, health care and housing that actually serve to enrich our communities.

The Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network rejects all attempts to militarize our communities and to scapegoat immigrant communities. We and our partners intend to make our voices heard and join with our allies from across the nation who recognize and respect the US Constitution and the rights, privileges and responsibilities it offers all of us who call this place home.

Editor’s Note: The above op-ed was authored by the Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network. Created in 2008, the Network is a collaborative effort anchored by eight community-based organizations and focused on seven issue-based working groups. The Network, with the support of 60 other area organizations, represents 100,000 of the poorest residents of the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas.


  1. Could you please backbup your statement with the legal language that matches your statement?

    “Trump Administration signed two executive orders on immigration that vilify border communities, immigrant families, and refugees.”

    I would like to see actual facts to your comments.