Activists organizing vehicle caravan to call for immigration reform, suspension of deportations

Immigration

Biden administration won't be allowed to "kick the can down the road" when it comes to legalization promises, organizer says

Undocumented immigrants leave a U.S. federal court in shackles on June 11, 2018 in McAllen, Texas. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Grassroots organizations want to draw attention to abuse endured by migrants and remind the incoming Biden administration of promises to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

To that effect, the Border Network for Human Rights on Saturday plans to lead a 100-vehicle caravan on a 30-mile trek from New Mexico to the U.S.-Mexico border. The ride includes a stop and rally at the border wall in Sunland Park, where the group will call for a moratorium on deportations and a pathway to citizenship for migrants who’ve already established roots in this country.

The mobilization is part of the 2021 Borderland Immigration Reform Campaign by the El Paso-based Border Network for Human Rights.

“We are sending a message to our elected officials at every level – from local representatives to the incoming Biden administration – that we will no longer allow them to kick the can down the road,” said Fernando Garcia, executive director of BNHR.

Biden, the presumptive new president-elect, vowed to push an immigration reform initiative to Congress in the first 100 days of his administration. Think-tanks like the Pew Research Center estimate that at least 10.5 million undocumented immigrants reside in the United States.

Garcia the said the group would publicly outline concrete steps they expect elected leaders to take in the next few months. “It’s time for a substantive and comprehensive reform to become a top priority in the legislative agenda so we can achieve real justice for all – no excuses,” he added.The caravan is scheduled to depart at 10 a.m. from 609 Church St., in Anthony, New Mexico.

The procession is to reach the border wall at Sunland Park, N.M., at 10:30 a.m., where speakers will call for a stop to further wall construction all along the border. They also plan to denounce the “militarization” of the border.

At 11:30 they plan to move on to Downtown El Paso, where they’re calling a press conference at the corner of Santa Fe and Calleros Court. That’s where organizers say they will call on elected officials to support comprehensive immigration reform.

The caravan’s end point is Bowie High School in South El Paso, where immigrants are to share first-person accounts of family separation and the impact of other federal immigration policies.

The group recently launched its annual “Abuse documentation campaign,” a yearly survey of interactions between community members and law enforcement at all levels. Last year’s campaign turned up dozens of complaints of alleged neglect and mistreatment at migrant detention center, as well as run-ins with immigration enforcement agents.

Other groups participating include the Border Farm Workers Center, the Peace and Justice Ministry of the Catholic Diocese of El Paso and El Paso Equal Voice Network.

For more information, visit bnhr.com.

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