Fierce

El Paso Shooting Victim Spent Years Trying To Obtain A Visa For Her Daughter Only To Be Shot The Week She Obtained It

As we continue to wade through the details of the El Paso tragedy, we continue to learn more about the innocent lives that were taken on that day. We have twenty victims who all had families and friends who loved them. Children lost parents and parents lost children. In a way, we all lost a part of our community along with a sense of safety we assumed we had before this massacre. The heartbreaking stories are sure to continue as we learn more about the victims but this latest bit of information is truly devastating.

One of the twenty victims who was killed the morning of August 3rd, Gloria Irma Marquez, died days before she accomplished a 15-year quest.

Twitter / @ksieff

For the past 15 years, Márquez, who is a Mexican native, fought to get her daughter a United States Visa. The two have been separated for over 13 years and were waiting for the documentation to allow them to be reunited in the States. Unfortunately, Márquez never saw this come to pass. 

After news of the shooting broke, friends and family of Márquez tried to locate her. A friend of her daughter’s even created a Facebook post searching for the woman. However, it was no use. Márquez had been in that Wal-Mart when the shooting began and she had lost her life there. 

Heartbreakingly enough, her daughter, Ruby Romero, received her American Visa days after losing her mother. 

GoFundMe / Brianna Klein

The documentation came just in time for Romero to attend her mother’s El Paso burial. During this devastating time, Romero and her siblings are just trying to put the pieces of their lives back together. The loss of their mother was a devastating one but it was made worse by the physical distance forced between Márquez and Romero. 

GoFundMe fundraiser was started for the family by Márquez’s niece, Brianna Klein. In the fundraiser, photos and memories of the late mother and her family show a life full of love and dedication to her children. 

“Gloria was a dedicated mother, grandmother, and friend,” the GoFundMe states. “It’s in times like these that we come together to help people in these unanticipated times of loss and sadness to help one another and extend a helping hand to the people we care for.”

News of this sad event hit Twitter hard and users were quick to express the need for gun legislation.

Twitter / @lclord76

Whenever our nation faces yet another act of domestic terrorism, like what we saw in El Paso, the gun control debate refreshes. Honestly, the only way to prevent this from happening again is by voting out representatives who oppose sensible legislation that makes it more difficult to purchase assault rifles. As this tweet suggests, we need to vote for politicians that will have our — and not the gun lobbyists’ — best interest at heart.

Some Twitter users pointed out the importance of hearing these stories no matter how heartbreaking they are.

Twitter / @Cronewomanchane

Márquez’s daughter should have been celebrating the moment she received her Visa. Instead, she is faced with the trauma of burying her mother. There have been several tragic stories to come out of El Paso and it hurts every time we are confronted with them. However, we have to pay attention. Not just to honor the victims and their families, we also have to look at the reality that White Supremacy’s hateful rhetoric has created.

This Twitter user called out the absurd immigration process that the United States follows.

Twitter / @realsuejeffers

Besides the terrible assault that resulted in twenty deaths, the tragedy here is the immigration process itself. Any kind of system that would separate a mother from her child is inherently immoral. The treatment of immigrants by the United States government is subhuman. If a stigma didn’t exist that said that migrants were an “infestation” to this country, the massacre in El Paso wouldn’t have happened. For better or for worse, the disgraceful treatment of immigrants helps to radicalize and validate White Supremacy.

Our hearts go out the the Romero family and the entire community of El Paso. We’re sure this isn’t the last sad story we will hear from this tragedy and we will remember each one.

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As El Paso Becomes A Covid-19 Hotspot, One Nurse Says The Most Severe Patients Are Being Left To Die In “The Pit”

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As El Paso Becomes A Covid-19 Hotspot, One Nurse Says The Most Severe Patients Are Being Left To Die In “The Pit”

Cengiz Yar / Getty Images

Cities across the United States are experiencing the worst yet of the Coronavirus pandemic. From California to New York, the country is struggling. However, one area that has emerged as a severe hot spot for the virus is El Paso, Texas.

The city has emerged as one of the nation’s hardest-hit regions. To put it into perspective, El Paso has more active Covid-19 infections than the entire country of Mexico.

In addition to a major spike in cases, the city is also seeing an increase in Covid-19 deaths that is seriously overwhelming healthcare workers, public health officials, and the network of morgues. It’s so bad that the city was using inmates to help transport bodies until the Texas’ governor finally deployed the National Guard to assist.

El Paso is emerging as the face of the second wave in the U.S. and the scenes are terrifying.

The El Paso community is struggling to control it’s severe spike in Covid-19 cases as it becomes a national hot spot for the pandemic. As infection rates rise, El Paso has registered more active Covid-19 cases than the entire country of Mexico.

El Paso (a city of 840,000 people) has 34,487 active cases while Mexico (a nation of 129 million) has 23,284. Although, it’s worth noting that many say Mexico’s actual number could be as many as ten times higher thanks to a severely-limited testing program.

El Paso’s government has attempted to get ahead of the virus and had implemented a wide-ranging stay-at-home order that called for hair salons, gyms and restaurant dine-in services to close. However, a court ruling last week by the 8th Circuit struck down that order, putting thousands of lives at risk.

One nurse went viral after telling her story inside “the pit” where many victims are left to die.

One nurse who worked in an El Paso hospital has gone viral after sharing her harrowing story from inside a Covid-19 hospital. In a nearly hourlong Facebook Live video, Lawanna Rivers, a traveling nurse, said that her time spent at the University Medical Center of El Paso was the worst experience she’s had since the pandemic began.

“Out of all the COVID assignments I’ve been on, this one here has really left me emotionally scarred,” she said. “The facility I’m at has surpassed the one I was at in New York.”

Rivers was most upset about how the sickest patients at the hospital were treated. She said they were all put into an area called a “pit,” where they are essentially left to die.

“My first day at orientation, I was told that whatever patients go into the pit, they only come out in a body bag,” Rivers said.

Rivers said doctors at the hospital would not enter the area, and nurses like herself who were stationed in them were under orders to perform CPR just three times on a patient before letting them die.

Rivers said she learned that doctors wouldn’t enter the pit when she called a physician for help one day with a patient who was bleeding profusely. She said the doctor told her they don’t go into the rooms for the sickest COVID-19 patients, so as to not expose themselves to the disease.

Inmates are joining the frontlines as they help to move the bodies of Covid-19 victims.

Credit: Justin Hammel / Getty Images

As the city struggled to manage the spiraling number of infections and deaths, inmates at the County Detention Facility were called upon to assist the El Paso Medical examiner with the overflow of bodies at the morgue.

Inmates were seen in full PPE gear assisting mobile morgues with the rising body count. A spokesperson for the county did not further detail exactly what the inmates were being asked to do but that they were being paid $2 per hour and were serving time for low-level sentences. The county also defended the decision to use inmate labor, saying it was either that or force families to wait even longer to start funeral arrangements.

The National Guard has been called upon to help work in mortuaries.

Credit: Ivan Aguirre / Getty Images

After El Paso resorted to using county jail inmates to move bodies for nearly two weeks, the Texas Army National Guard is sending a 36-person team to assist with mortuary services.

“This is very much needed in our community, and we’re really thankful for [the Texas Division of Emergency Management] and the governor’s action on this,” Democratic state Rep. and Sen.-elect César Blanco said Friday.

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Hate Crimes Towards Latinos Spiked in 2019; Overall Highest They’ve Been in a Decade

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Hate Crimes Towards Latinos Spiked in 2019; Overall Highest They’ve Been in a Decade

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

In April of 2019, Connie and Michelle Pineda moved into the quiet suburban neighborhood of Lake Forest in Louisville, Kentucky. At first, their lives were peaceful and uneventful. But soon, the family began to receive a barrage of mysterious harassment.

First, it was the odd chemical burns they found on their front lawn–marks that seemed man-made. Then, some neighborhood kids called the Pineda children a racial slur (the Pinedas are a mixed Latino-Filipino family).

Soon, Connie and Michelle Pineda were waking up to a bright orange swastika accompanied by the n-word spray painted on their driveway.

Photo: Michela Connie Pineda/Facebook

The Pinedas checked their security cameras and discovered the culprit: their neighbor, 52-year-old Suzanne Craft. The Pinedas reported Craft to the authorities, and she was charged with criminal mischief and sentenced to seven days in jail. But that hasn’t stopped her from continuing the harassment. A bag of bullets recently appeared on the Pinedas’ front lawn. It came with a note that read: Get out.

“They live in fear,” the Pinedas’ attorney Vanessa Cantley told The Washington Post. “They have five children and three of them are old enough to know exactly what’s happening. They won’t go out and play in the yard. They won’t go out to walk the neighborhood. They are basically prisoners in their own home. The whole family sleeps in the living room, where there are no windows, because they just don’t know what this woman is capable of.”

Photo: Michela Connie Pineda/Facebook

Unfortunately, stories like this are becoming more and more common in the United States.

The FBI released their annual report detailing hate crime statistics and the data showed that hate crimes have reached their highest level in more than a decade. The report also showed the highest amount of hate-motivated killing since the FBI began collected this type of data in the early 1990s.

According to the FBI report, there were 51 hate-motivated killings in 2019. Twenty-two of those murders were from the El Paso Shooting.

In August of 2019, a gunman open-fired on patrons at a Wal-Mart in El Paso, Texas. It was later discovered that the shooting was racially-motivated. Previous to his killing spree, the shooter wrote on Facebook that Mexicans were “invading” the United States.

Hate crimes against Latinos spiked to 527 in 2019, up from 485 in 2018. Many critics are attributing the rise in hate crimes to the divisive culture we live in–much of which is fueled by President Trump’s racist anti-Latino rhetoric. “When the president calls [Latinos] rapists and criminals, what do you think is gonna happen?” said one Twitter user in response to the news. “His words have meaning to a lot of people and their actions are harmful for our society.”

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