This blog on Texas education contains posts on accountability, testing, college readiness, dropouts, bilingual education, immigration, school finance, race, class, and gender issues with additional focus at the national level.
Check out this amazing story straight out of Houston. Look at all the good that you can do when you're a righteous organization like Raices. Let's disrupt the racist narrative that we as a country seek to delimit, exclude, and dehumanize immigrants and those deemed as "other." And let's tell a different story. Please consider supporting Raices. And @RAICESTEXAS, thank you for what you do and for all that you do and the grace and intelligence with which you carry out your mission. What an incredible gift you are to humanity! Sí se puede! Yes we can! Angela Valenzuela c/s
The call came into our Houston office last Thursday afternoon. An entire Afghan family was being held by Customs and Border Patrol at the Houston International Airport. The father, Mohasif Motawakil, was told he and his family would be deported. They had arrived the night before, excited about the new life they would build in America. The journey here had been long. It started in 2012 when he got a job as an interpreter for the US military.
Thanks to the support of donors like you, RAICES was able to send experienced lawyers and case workers to the airport within hours of finding out about the Motawakil family's predicament. From there, we took the fight to social media, updating the public about the travesty of justice about to unfold in Houston. Hundreds took to their own networks, decrying the treatment of this American ally and his family.
Because the public spoke out, our elected officials took notice and stepped in. Thanks to the efforts of Representatives Sheila Jackson Lee, Al Green, Joaquin Castro, and Lloyd Doggett and the countless people making calls to ICE on their behalf, RAICES was able to free Motawakil's wife and children by Friday night and book them a hotel for the weekend.
However, the fight was not yet over because ICE decided to take Mr. Motawakil to a detention center. It took RAICES attorneys another four days to make direct contact with our client because the Montgomery Processing Center was located 230 miles from where his family was staying in San Antonio. Though ICE may have hoped that attention from the public would waver once the family was released, the battle cry of #FreeMohammad continued to spill across Facebook and Twitter and the phone calls did not stop.
Today we are beyond pleased to announce that Mohammad Motawakil has been freed from ICE custody and rejoins his family in San Antonio. Not only are they all free, but their visas have also been reinstated. The Motawakil family waited in limbo for a full week before finding out if they would be allowed to stay together as a family in the United States. This should never have been in question.
It’s shocking to see the way this administration is treating those who have supported our troops. Of course, it’s not only veterans who are being attacked by our immigration system: We’ve seen sponsors deported when they pick up children from detention centers, children die in immigration custody, and migrants tear-gassed across the border. The administration is engaged in a systematic attack on all who it thinks do not belong in this country, and this is just the latest evidence of that.
Thank you for being a supporter of RAICES and our clients. Mr. Motawakil and his family are just the most recent example of what can happen to immigrants coming to this country. For them, we were able to reverse the trajectory of their case. But most immigrants have no access to legal representation at all.Because of you, we can reach more refugees. We can do more for asylum seekers. And RAICES will do more. All that we can.
Chief Advocacy Officer