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LULAC STATE DIRECTOR: TEXAS, WAKE UP!

Nation’s Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Cites Data Supporting Immigrant Contributions to the State’s Economy and Prepares to File Federal Complaints Against Texas Agencies

San Antonio, TX – Hundreds of delegates who attended the 95th annual Texas LULAC State Convention in Odessa have issued a stern warning to elected state officials to wake up, read the data, and stop the discriminatory actions that attack the fastest-growing and most significant labor segment in the Texas economy, while also hurting other Texans in the process.

“We have emerged from this historic convention unified and determined to stop Governor Greg Abbott and his supporters in the Texas Legislature who have targeted us through their discriminatory laws,” says Gabriel Rosales, elected Texas LULAC State Director. Rosales is a lifelong San Antonio resident and labor activist. “Texas SB 4 and SB 17 were written and pushed through with Latinos in the crosshairs. Those elected officials who voted to oppose diversity, equity, and inclusion, known as DEI, are fighting the inevitable changing demographics of Texas. They are racially profiling anyone who is an immigrant or looks like an immigrant. In the process, they are hurting others, including children,” says Rosales.

Several major resolutions were adopted by the convention delegates, including one that intends to draw action against Texas leaders from the highest levels of the federal government against the impact of SB17, adopted by the 88th Texas legislature outlawing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts at higher education institutions and elsewhere in state public agencies.

“Banning DEI also adversely impacts programs that help students with academic learning disabilities,” says Rosales. “Children with autism or who are on the spectrum should not be victims of political agendas that gut assistance wholesale without regard to the untold numbers of families they are hurting. Texas LULAC stands with organizations fighting for the developmentally disabled in our state, and we will not allow these cuts to go unchallenged,” he adds.

According to the latest research, for every 1,000 workers, immigrants and asylum seekers contribute $2.6 million to state and local taxes within their first year of eligibility. Moreover, once immigrants have been here for about five years, their median wage will likely increase to about $29,000 per year as they earn higher wages and as a more significant share get full-time jobs, raising a two-earner family’s income to about $58,000, further boosting their contribution as workers and taxpayers.

“Texas LULAC urges voters statewide to examine the data that clearly shows our state’s economy benefits from immigrant labor,” says Rosales. “Indeed, the future of Texas and our country will be better because of the upsurge in younger, stronger laborers willing to do the lower-paying, essential jobs others will not,” he adds.

Citing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Texas LULAC charges the State of Texas with discriminating against protected classes and inadequately represented groups in higher education. Texas and its public colleges and universities receive federal financial assistance and have agreed to follow nondiscriminatory practices to receive these funds. The dismantling of DEI initiatives under Senate Bill 17 unfairly targets Latinos, Blacks, and Asians based on their race, color, and national origin.

“The State LULAC Assembly meeting in Odessa, Texas, voted on Sunday, May 19, 2024, to approve this resolution to file complaints with the appropriate federal agencies, including the United States Department of Justice and the United States Department of Education,” says Rosales. “We urge the federal agencies to conduct prompt investigations of these allegations and take immediate actions to eliminate these discriminatory practices that are in violation of their contractual obligations and violations of the Civil Rights Act. Our membership has authorized me within 30 days after the conclusion of the Texas LULAC State Convention to initiate the formal complaint process and shall file these grievances with the appropriate federal agencies,” said Rosales.

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About LULAC

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest Hispanic civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 535 Councils and 145,000 members across the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services, and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting the critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/