The election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States has created an immense sense of fear and uncertainty in our immigrant communities and in many communities across Texas. Therefore, communities across Texas have joined with the Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance (RITA) to protect the rights of immigrant families and work for a Texas that provides for all people by upholding their dignity, rights, and lives, through the Texas Together campaign.
Texas has been and will continue to be ground zero for anti-immigrant, xenophobic rhetoric that is evident in the 2017 legislative priorities of State leaders. Texas Governor Greg Abbot has already put some of anti-immigrant measures on his priority list for the next Texas Legislative Session that begins on January 2017. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has been a long-time foe of the immigrant community and has been lining-up legislative measures that will endanger immigrants and their U.S.-citizen family members. There has been the introduction of several pieces of legislation that include, among others: an “anti-sanctuary cities” proposal; a constitutional amendment denying bail to undocumented persons; require the use of E-Verify; and, an anti-Immigrant Omnibus that makes local governments liable for damages caused by undocumented persons, mandates the use of the Priority Enforcement Program, prohibits the use of the Matricula Consular, and, prohibits local policies from stopping immigration enforcement.
Through Texas Together, communities across the state will fight for a Texas that is inclusive and values the contributions and integration of immigrant communities.
Texas Together is a campaign of all people living in Texas to promote inclusive communities that provide opportunity, dignity, and rights to all persons. Texas Together is a campaign to ensure that the Texas of today enacts policies needed to foster community well-being while rejecting the irresponsible voices of those who mess with Texas values of neighborliness, hospitality, and optimism.
We ground ourselves in valuing community, in working to lift up ourselves by lifting up our neighbors. We welcome newcomers; immigrants and refugees are part of our communities, families, and lives. Their lives and their contributions matter immensely to the well-being of us all. We seek to integrate newcomers into our society at the same time that we work to sustain and uplift the happiness and prosperity of those already working and living here.
Our vision is a Texas that provides for all people by upholding their dignity, rights, and lives; that promotes justice, inclusion, and opportunity now and in the future; and, that has at its center the concept of community and community well-being. Our mission is for this campaign to lead a diverse coalition of people to promote principles and policies that reject politics of racism, division, and hatred in favor of approaches rooted in our shared community, humanity, and opportunity.
To this end, we adopt the following campaign goals rooted in six core principles: Uplifting Human Dignity, Rights, and Lives; Opportunity for All People; Community Safety for All People; Government Accountability; Federal Authority over Border and Immigration Enforcement; and, Embracing the Future of Texas. We believe applying these principles toward these goals will guide this state to a place of community, dignity, opportunity, and prosperity for all Texans.
Our campaign goals include:
- RITA aims to create a Texas, which in policy and practice, uplifts and advances the human dignity and rights of all people.
Defensive Goals for 2017:
- RITA will educate on anti-Immigrant and anti-Refugee agenda in Texas in 2017, including:
- Anti-“Sanctuary Cities.”
- In-state tuition for undocumented students.
- Refugee resettlement in Texas.
- Additional funding for DPS border operations.
- An interstate “border security” compact.
- The ability of local governments to create and issue Community Identification Cards.
- Public and private detention centers housing mothers, children, and other vulnerable populations.
Proactive Goals for 2017:
- RITA aims to create and uplift welcoming Texas communities by providing the resources and opportunities needed to thrive:
- Educate on the importance of the access to driver’s licenses.
- RITA will ensure that state law enforcement is accountable to all persons and resources are focused on maximizing community safety:
- Advocate for funding to aid local governments and NGOs in preventing Migrant Deaths.
- Advocate a framework for DPS Accountability, Oversight, and Community Engagement.