LULAC National President Speaks Out On Texas Governor’s Visit
Elected Leader of Nation’s Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Issues Recommendations for Governor Abbott
Washington, DC - Domingo Garcia, National President of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) today issued the following statement:
On March 17, 2021 Texas Governor Greg Abbott called on the Texas Rangers to interrogate the unaccompanied minors arriving at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center in Dallas, Texas. Governor Abbott said, “We must get to the bottom of human trafficking and put an end to it.” Governor Abbot also speculated that some of the young migrants were victims of sex trafficking or intimidated by Mexican cartels into trying to smuggle contraband into the United States.
LULAC shares Governor Abbott’s concerns that these children might have been victims of human trafficking, sex trafficking, or coerced by Mexican cartels into trying to get them to perform illegal activities. LULAC also agrees that Texas’ southern border cannot be safe as long as Mexican cartels profit from human trafficking.
Therefore, LULAC calls on Governor Abbot to authorize the Texas Rangers to apply for an “S” visa with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on behalf of all unaccompanied minors in Texas who, might possess and are willing to provide, critical and reliable information to the Texas Rangers on criminal organization or enterprises that include human trafficking.
Additionally, LULAC calls on Governor Abbott to authorize the Texas Rangers to submit to DHS a declaration of law enforcement officer for victims of human trafficking on behalf of all of the unaccompanied minors, so they can pursue a “U” or “T” visa with DHS for victims of human trafficking or persons who possess critical information on an ongoing investigation.
This in no way should be a greenlight for Texas Rangers to aggressively interrogate these children. If Governor Abbott’s concerns are correct and they were victims of human and possibly sex trafficking, they will be traumatized and require counseling. However given the Governor Abbott’s stated concerns that these children are victims of human and sex trafficking, it is imperative that the governor use all the resources available to Texas law-enforcement, including applying for the special visas that are available to victims of organized human trafficking activity. In doing so, the Texas Rangers and the US Department of Justice can gather the evidence and testimony necessary to investigate the serious allegations.”
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/