Things That Matter

Here’s How People Are Celebrating Cesar Chavez 25 Years After His Death

Cesar Chavez — the fierce activist for farm workers rights — died on April 23, 1993, but his legacy lives on through various celebrations on his birth month.

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In 2014, President Barak Obama declared that the Latino leader would be celebrated by the nation on the day of his birth and declared March 31 would be Cesar Chavez Day.

President Obama said: “The values Cesar Chavez lived by guide us still. As we push to fix a broken immigration system, protect the right to unionize, advance social justice for young men of color, and build ladders of opportunity for every American to climb, we recall his resilience through setbacks, his refusal to scale back his dreams. When we organize against income inequality and fight to raise the minimum wage — because no one who works full time should have to live in poverty — we draw strength from his vision and example.”

People continue to honor Chavez with marches, parades, and festivals throughout March and April.

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This year, however, at least one person tried to dismantle the country’s tribute by declaring Cesar Chavez Day be named “National Border Control Day.”

“Cesar Chavez was best known for his passionate fight to gain better working environments for thousands of workers laboring in harsh conditions on farms for low wages. He also staunchly believed in sovereignty of the United States border,” Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert said in a statement. “In fact, it was his firm belief that preventing illegal immigration was an essential prerequisite to improving the circumstances of American farmworkers; and in 1979, in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., he demanded that the federal government enforce the immigration laws and keep illegal aliens out of the country.”

And in the very state that Gohmert represents, people there paid it no mind to his senseless words, and celebrated Cesar Chavez Day in the most beautiful way.

In San Antonio, people gathered for the 22nd annual Cesar E. Chavez March for Justice.

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This year’s theme for the march was: “Building Bridges for Education, Non-Violence, and Social Justice.”

“We are not only here to celebrate my grandfather legacy and the legacy of Mr. Martinez who started the march, but also out here to celebrate the issues that are important to everybody,” Andres P. Chavez, grandson of the late Cesar E. Chavez, who served as grand marshal said to a local ABC news affiliate. “We are going to be chanting really loud. We are chanting the words ‘Si se puede’ because those words weren’t just the rally cry of the 1960s, but those words are alive and well today and will carry us through all of our battles against injustice to equality.”

Thousands attended the march, including Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro.

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“This weekend I joined #SanAntonians in the 22nd Annual Cesar E. Chavez #MarchforJustice to honor his legacy as a civil rights activist and labor leader,” Castro tweeted. “Very inspiring to see so many folks marching for great causes this weekend in #TX20.”

Here’s some more wonderful highlights from the march in San Antonio.

We love those “Si Se Puede” shirts!

Cesar Chavez was every where, even on the bus.

We hope they keep that all year-round.

So many people wearing red.

“Make Guac Free!” #cesarchavez #cesarchavezmarch #sanantonio #downtown

A post shared by M a r i o R u i z (@mars_est87) on

The red stands for “hard work and sacrifice” by immigrant workers, the United Farm Workers (UFW) state about the significance of their colors. The black eagle represents “the dark situation of the farm worker. The Aztec eagle is an historic symbol for the people of Mexico. The UFW incorporated the Aztec eagle into its design in order to show the connection the union had to migrant workers of Mexican-American descent, though not all UFW workers were Mexican-American.”

If you’d like to continue to celebrate Cesar Chavez, there’s another march on April 8.

Salinas area farm workers invite you to their Cesar Chavez march

D'Arrigo workers inviting people to their Cesar Chavez march on April 8 at 10 am / Trabajadores D'Arrigo de Brocoli invitando A la Marcha de Cesar chavez en el 8 de Abril at 10am. More/Mas @ https://www.facebook.com/events/1958802644434936/

Posted by UFW on Wednesday, March 28, 2018


READ: This Chicano Photographer Told Us Why Cesar Chavez Has Left A Lasting Impression With Latinos

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This Migrant Mother Spent Three Years In Church Sanctuary But Now She’s Free

Things That Matter

This Migrant Mother Spent Three Years In Church Sanctuary But Now She’s Free

Lawyers are working hard to get a deportation order removed against a woman who just left a church sanctuary after three years in the refuge. Although she was previously denied asylum in the U.S., advocates are hoping that under new direction from the Biden administration, her case will be reviewed and she’ll be able to stay with her family in Ohio – where she’s lived for more than twenty years.

A mother of three is back with her family after living three years inside a church.

A mother of three who sought refugee inside an Ohio church from immigration authorities has finally been able to leave three years later. Edith Espinal, who herself is an immigrant rights advocate, had been living at the Columbus Mennonite Church since October 2017 to avoid being deported to Mexico. She’s now out of the church and back with her family following a meeting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials, who have agreed that she’s not an immediate priority for deportation.

“Finally, I can go home,” Espinal told reporters after meeting with the officials. With tears of relief, she celebrated the small victory in the presence of dozens of supporters who accompanied her to the ICE building.

“But it is not the end of her case. We’re still going to have to fight,” her attorney Lizbeth Mateo said.

ICE has agreed to hold off on her deportation proceedings pending her asylum request.

Espinal was released under an order of supervision, meaning that while she’s not considered an immediate priority for deportation, she must periodically check in with ICE officials to inform them about her whereabouts.

She has lived in Columbus for more than two decades and had previously applied for asylum, citing rising violence in her home state of Michoacán. But she eventually was ordered to leave the country, which is when she sought refuge inside the Columbus, Ohio church.

“We’re going to continue pressing the Biden administration to do the right thing, and try to get rid of that order of deportation against Edith, so she can walk freely like everyone else does without fear,” Mateo said during the press conference.

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The Rio Grande Claims Life Of An 8-Year-Old Boy As Migrants Risk Arctic Conditions To Cross Into U.S.

Things That Matter

The Rio Grande Claims Life Of An 8-Year-Old Boy As Migrants Risk Arctic Conditions To Cross Into U.S.

Texas is seeing an unprecedented weather crisis as much of the state is plunged into bitterly cold conditions. But that hasn’t stopped many migrants and refugees from attempting to cross into the U.S. for protection.

Many migrants cross the Rio Grande (or Río Bravo en Mexico) between Texas and the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. Crossing the Rio Grande is always a dangerous undertaking but now, thanks to the freezing weather, it’s an especially perilous journey and it’s claimed the life of another child.

An 8-year-old boy has drowned while crossing the river with his family.

Authorities have reported that an 8-year-old Honduran boy has become the latest victim in a string of drownings at the Rio Grande, between the the U.S. and Mexico. Despite the unprecedented weather, migrants continue to attempt to cross the dangerous river to reach the U.S.

The child was with his family attempting to cross the river when he drowned on Wednesday, just as Texas was gripped by Arctic conditions which have killed more than 30 people and left millions in Mexico and Texas without power, water and food. The boy’s parents and sister apparently made it to the U.S., but were returned to Mexico by U.S. Border Patrol.

According to Mexican immigration officials, the boy “couldn’t withstand the pounding water, which covered him and kept him submerged for several meters”. His body was recovered but attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.

The Rio Grande is notoriously dangerous for people attempting to cross the border.

The journey across the Rio Grande has always been a perilous one, with hundreds of people, many of whom could not swim, having drowned over the years after being caught by the deceptively deep waters and strong current.

Add in the current winter storm currently blanketing the entire state of Texas, has produced significant snow and prolonged freezing temperatures, has made the crossing even more dangerous.

In fact, earlier in the week, the river had claimed another victim. A woman from Venezuela died trying to cross the river in the same area after getting trapped in below-freezing currents. Three others suffered hypothermia: one was treated by the Red Cross in Mexico, while the other two made it the US border.

Drownings are just one of the dangers migrants face.

Apart from the potential for drownings, migrants face a wide range of dangerous while attempting to cross from Mexico into the U.S. In late January, 19 bodies were found shot and burned in a vehicle near the town of Camargo, also across the border from Texas.

There’s also the threat of violence from drug cartels and smugglers, corrupt officials, and other extreme elements, such as heat during the summer.

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