United Efforts in El Paso to Defend Undocumented Workers
On Veterans Day, November 11, undocumented workers and many others, joined together for Eleven Miles for Eleven Million, an 11 mile march demanding full rights for the 11 million undocumented workers in the U.S. and all immigrants. There were a number of marches including in New York and Washington, DC, many with military veterans participating.
In Texas, this included actions in El Paso as well as Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio. All opposed deportations and detentions of immigrants and demanded their rights, as immigrants and as workers. The El Paso march included veterans. Many veterans were told by the government that if they served they would gain citizenship, and they now find themselves still undocumented and many have been deported. An initiative by veterans — Deported Veterans Support House — has been organized to fight for these veterans in Juárez, El Paso’s sister city in Mexico. A pathway to citizenship for those veterans still interested in securing it, many of whom have waited decades, was among the demands in El Paso.
Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR) hosted the El Paso march together with more than 15 local and state level organizations, including unions. As one organizer explained, “The 11 miles represent the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the country, and we are calling for a reform to the asylum and refugee systems.” He added that the many joining together want an end to the violence and brutal attacks at the border, including against women and children from Haiti, and the many more people from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. “We want to stop the abuse to immigrants and asylum seekers at the border,” said the organizer.
People marched the 11 miles to the international bridge, ending at a high school, and rallying people on the way with about 200 joining in and many others honking their horns in support. They chanted as they marched, letting Biden know they will step up the fight, “Biden! Escucha! Estamos en la lucha!” (“Biden! Listen! We are in the struggle!”)
(Photos: A. Dominguez, LUPE)