Estrella Insights - February Edition

Estrella Insights - February Edition

March 1, 2024

Propose Senate GOP Border Bill Earlier this month, the Republican Senate proposed a border bill addressing the Ukraine, Israel situation, and the current border crisis. The bill allocated $20 billion for border security to hire more agents for ICE, CBP, and Border Patrol, alongside $60 billion for Ukraine and $14 billion for Israel. However, if approved, the proposal would entail a 90-day detention for asylum seekers and immigrants. Failing the Asylum Interview would lead to deportation back to Mexico. Additionally, the bill introduced a new process where USCIS would decide an asylum claim without going through the immigration court system. Despite these provisions, the bill ultimately collapsed due to insufficient votes in the Senate.

Our Executive Director responded to this situation, stating that what’s happening right now is they are playing politics with people’s lives.

Department of Health and Human Services Finds Nearly $124 Billion Positive Impact of Refugees and Asylees

A study conducted between 2005 and 2019 revealed that refugees and asylees had a positive net fiscal impact on the U.S. government during this period, totaling $123.8 billion. Refugees and asylees contributed an estimated $581 billion in revenue across all levels of government, while federal government expenditures on them totaled an estimated $457.2 billion.

Texas Attorney General Attack on Annunciation House

On a somber day for our border community, February 20th started with not-so-great news. A beloved Catholic migrant shelter faced an attack from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who sought to wrongfully shut down the organization, claiming involvement in smuggling and human trafficking.

Annunciation House, founded over 45 years ago as a result of an encounter between Ruben Garcia (Annunciation House founder) and Mother Teresa of Calcutta, has been a steadfast partner for the migrant community in El Paso. Collaborating with the Catholic Church, other non-profit organizations like Estrella del Paso, the U.S. Border Patrol, and federal agencies, Annunciation House has played a crucial role in supporting migrants in need.

Estrella del Paso and Over 150 Organizations Respond to the Attacks

Estrella del Paso and more than 150 other organizations have jointly signed a letter addressed to the President of the United States, expressing full support and solidarity with Annunciation House. The letter condemns the actions of the Texas Attorney General and highlights the ongoing violations of the constitution, particularly about their extremist anti-immigration Lone Star operation.

Additionally, our Executive Director, Melissa M. Lopez, spoke with Noticias Univision. She emphasized our belief that the State of Texas is attempting to create panic and pressure non-profit organizations to cease their assistance to others. However, we remain resolute in our commitment to aiding those in need and will not yield to their attacks.

Watch the Annunciation House Press Conference Here. While February brought celebrations for Black History, Valentine’s Day, and world NGO day, the migrant community received one the most extremist and discriminatory attacks ever faced by the immigrant community, as Texas targeted our beloved Annunciation House. However, the attack did not last long, as over 150 organizations and stood in solidarity with Annunciation House.
Our fight is far from over, but we will not give up, we are resilient, we are courageous, we will shine like an Estrella. Our community is stronger than ever, and we will not stop until dignity, love and unity become priorities for our government.

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