"From Veracruz to Austin and Back: The journey of an immigrant"

May 17 (Thurs. evening) to May 20 (Sun. evening) 2012
Delegation sponsored by Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera
in partnership with Women on the Border

Since 1999 the ATCF quarterly program of solidarity delegations visiting maquiladora workers in Mexico at the border has examined the impact of free trade on real lives and communities. Our on-going relationship of solidarity with members of the Comité Fronterizo de Obreras/os brought us behind news headlines and US policy rhetoric. Immigration within Mexico from South to North always fueled the border maquilas with workers. We saw border cities double their populations, many with migrants from Veracruz.

Now, teaming up with sister organization, Women on the Border, our May 2012 delegation will swivel the perspective to see what happens when Mexican and Central American immigrants cross the border into the US. In Austin we will learn about a labor system that practices wage theft on immigrants without documents and how they assert their rights. We will hear from immigrants as well as US citizens who lose their basic human rights when they are pulled into the US's detention system and sometimes deported.

In South Texas we will visit an immigration detention center and speak with local people as well as activist/advocates to understand the economic bribe that detention centers offer poor Texas communities. We will stop at the UFW/La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE) campus east of McAllen to learn about services that UFW and the Texas Civil Rights Project offer recent immigrants. At The Wall the Sierra Club will explain environmental and social hazards.

Throughout we will question and discuss US policies that hold this immigrants’ nightmare in place.
  • Trade,
  • Immigration,
  • Security (anti-terrorism).
We will speculate why the federal government is so unable to “fix a broken system.”

Dates: May 17, (Thursday evening) to May 20, (Sunday evening), 2012.
Deadline: This 12-14 person delegation will fill quickly: small discount if you register by April 9.
Cost: $225 – Do not hesitate to inquire about partial scholarships if needed.
Contact: Judith Rosenberg, chelarose@grandecom.net,
More info: atcf.org and womenontheborder.org
Facilitators and contributors (tentative),
Elvia Arriola, Women on the Border Director and Professor, NIU College of Law
Bianca Hinz- Foley, Organizer, Workers’ Defense Project
Bob Cash, Director, Texas Fair Trade Coalition
Andrea Black, National Director, Detention Watch Network
Representatives from Univ. of Texas Immigration Rights Law Clinic and from the Texas Civil Rights Project, Grassroots Leadership and Texans United for Families.