Chants of “Si se puede” broke out on the steps of Edinburg City Hall Tuesday after the city council passed an Anti-Border Wall Resolution in front of a packed house.
Thirty anti-border wall activists were on hand to urge Mayor Richard Garcia and the City of Edinburg to take a stance and oppose the construction of President Donald Trump’s border wall in our community. The city council unanimously passed the resolution, joining 10 other Rio Grande Valley cities that have passed similar resolutions opposing the construction of a border wall.
Flor Martinez, a UTRGV biology graduate student, helped author the resolution and organized the supporters who showed up to the city council meeting.
“There’s a lot going on right now and we shouldn’t just stay quiet,” Martinez said. “A lot of cities are passing these resolutions to show our support and have an official statement to show our state representatives that we don’t want this border wall. So, hopefully that helps us and gives us more representation that they’ll see.”
With standing room only, the group’s presence was felt as signs and shirts reading “No Border Wall” filled the City Hall-Council Chambers. When the city council unanimously passed the resolution, cheers and applause erupted from the anti-border wall supporters who were proud to have the city’s backing in protecting the place they call home.
This comes on the same day Trump revealed the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an act that affects nearly 800,000 people in the United States.
Wyeth Nathaniel, a high school teacher, was one of the anti-border wall activists speaking out against the ending of DACA, in addition to his stance against Trump’s wall.
“With the decision on DACA, immigrant communities are under attack in America, not just in the Valley but across the nation,” Nathaniel said. “It’s up to people who have the resources and have the privilege to come out and make a stand and say ‘Not only are Valley residents not OK with what’s happening in immigrant communities, but people across the nation.’ I would encourage anybody, regardless of your political affiliation, if you stand with our immigrant communities, you can’t stand for what this administration is trying to do to our communities and showing your support is crucial.”
Martinez, a member of the Sierra Club, America’s largest grassroots environmental organization, said what’s in place is largely ineffective and any further construction or walls would contribute to further financial and environmental issues.
“We have a wall right now and it’s not working; it’s not effective,” she said. “These billions of dollars can be allocated toward social services, education, infrastructure and we also need to preserve our wildlife. We only have about 5 percent of native habitat left in the Rio Grande Valley, which is ridiculous and they want to fragment it and there’s no reason for it. It’s a humanitarian issue.”
See a copy of the Anti-Border Wall Resolution below.