Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition marches on —
October 23, 2017

Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition marches on

By Margarita Campos

The past couple of months have been a time of transformation for the Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition (AIRC). We’ve reflected on our years of organizing in the Austin immigrant community and deeply evaluated our mission, our service to the community, and our future.

For years, AIRC has relied on a promoter and committee model to assure the voice of the immigrant community is heard. This will not change; rather, we are more focused than ever on ensuring the immigrant community is treated with the dignity and respect we deserve to fight policies such as S-Comm, now PEP-Comm.

As such, as an AIRC board member and an immigrant myself; I am happy to announce the new leadership of the Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition. Our combined years of experience and organizing represent over 15 years of serving and working for our community in Austin.

Please join in welcoming our new leadership:

 Antolín Aguirre – Interim Executive Director.  Antolin has been organizing for AIRC since the Coalition was founded. He has led committee representing hundreds of Austin’s immigrant community members. He is a small business owner and helped AIRC lead the Austin Ayuda A Los Niño’s fundraising campaign in 2014.

Aguirre is most proud of his 2011 testimony at a Texas Senate committee against SB9, a bill that would have allowed police officers to check a suspect’s immigration status. He chose to testify in Spanish and was famously rebuked by Texas Senator Chris Harris for doing so (https://youtu.be/MoR3qLgL_uU).

Antolin will be leading the day-to-day functions of the organization and helping to build and train committee and future immigrant community leaders. He can be reached at (512) 350-1917.

Juan David Alcantar – Promotor and Board Member. Juan David received his promotor training in 2012 and has been helping AIRC organize for over 3 years.

Luz Martinez–Regional Coordinator of Committees and Board Member. Luz received her promoter training in 2010 and has led the North Austin Committee since 2011.

We are the immigrant leaders of the Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition. We are hard at work training new promotors, continuing to grow our committees, and we look forward to adding new committees throughout Austin in the coming months. 

In the meantime, we ask you to join us in our fight for immigrant rights. Please feel free to contact Antolin Aguirre with any questions. We hope to continue to count on your support and our mission to serve the Austin immigrant community.

The Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition (AIRC) promotes human rights and dignity, and social and economic justice for immigrants through community organizing, policy advocacy and public education.

 As a founding member of the Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance and Communities for Human Rights, AIRC organizes allies and immigrant communities across Texas in the struggle for human rights.

In 2010, the Border Network for Human Rights introduced a human rights model of organizing to AIRC and helped us establish our Human Rights Organizing Program, the first of its kind in Austin. Participants in this program complete an intensive training through which they learn to organize around rights under the U.S. Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Each graduate is supported by a veteran leader to form a community-based committee with whom they meet regularly to learn about their rights and plan their engagement in campaign efforts.

The dominant discourse on immigration focuses on the immigrant as the “problem,” ignoring the array of political, social, economic and cultural concerns relevant to this “issue.” Accepting this frame impoverishes the discussion on immigration and constrains the solutions needed to address it. AIRC advocates for sensible immigration policies that recognize the dignity of immigrants as human beings.

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