SAN JUAN- Immigration advocates gathered Thursday to gear up for their trip to Austin next week. They're expected pound the pavement in hopes of stopping more than 65 legislative bills filed that they say are anti-immigrant and anti-Hispanic.
"In Texas we have a lot of immigrants and i believe this bill is affecting the values of the state and affecting the values of the family," said Ramona Casas, member of the group ARISE.
For Dina Nunez, if some of the legislation passes like SB 146, which would penalize a person who is transporting an undocumented person, it could affect her because even though she's waiting on the proper legal documentation, most of her family isn't.
"Those of us who are waiting for papers like in my case, if i travel with my son who is not legal and in the process of receiving documentation and if i get detained because of him," said Nunez. "I would be penalized and criminalized."
Advocates were able to gather over 150 resolutions to be presented to state legislators. Officials said the resolutions were collected from a wide variety of members from the community ranging from businesses, churches, and upper valley cities.
"Many of these anti-immigrant bills are going to become a barrier to economic growth," said San Juan City Commissioner Armando Garza. "We feel that they will negatively impact the economic growth of the Rio Grande Valley and the state of Texas."
Garza say these types of legislation would put an undue-economic stress on local municipalities and put a burden on local law enforcement because they would have to begin to enforce federal laws, and he says here's no funding for that. According to Garza, if these bills becomes law, it could also prevent any one who may have witnessed a crime to come forward because they would be afraid of getting deported.
The immigration advocacy group called LUPE and others, plans to leave next Tuesday morning from their various offices in the Valley.