HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas (KVEO) — On Friday at the Hidalgo County Commissioner’s Court meeting, organizations like the Texas Civil Rights Project and La Union de Pueblo Entero (LUPE) expressed concerns to officials about next week’s visit from former President Donald Trump and Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
“I’m here today to urge the commissioner’s court not to corporate with governor Abbott’s disaster declaration,” said Jacqueline Arias, a civic engagement organizer for LUPE, to the county court.
The groups in attendance shared the concern that politicians are using the Rio Grande Valley as a political tool rather than keep the region’s best interests in mind.
“If Abbott is actually serious about improving the economic conditions of our community of Texans, he should actually work on socio-economic policy not anti-immigrant policy,” said Arias.
The youngest to approach the podium, 12-year-old Diamond Dominguez, said that the current response to unaccompanied children concerns her.
“I told them how it’s not right to lock them up and wrap them up in tin-foil because they’re going to think that everything is against them, so they need their mom or dad to be with them,” said Dominguez.
On the other end of Hidalgo County in Mission, rancher and farmer Fausto Salinas says he has land across the county and has been farming for 30 years. Salinas says he has also taken notice of unaccompanied children who have crossed through his property.
“Right now, your heart goes out to all the kids that are coming unaccompanied,” said Salinas.
Though, he says that the foot-traffic has increased in the region.
“I went down to the farm with one of my hands—and I tell him ‘I thought you said that we didn’t have a hog problem here anymore?’,” said Salinas. “He said ‘no it’s not the hogs it’s the people that were here walking through our fields.”
Salinas does not expect much from the visit next week from Abbott and Trump, but he says it is time that the Biden administration comes down to the Rio Grande Valley.
“The governor has a say-so in it, Trump as the ex-president I don’t know if he has a say so in it,” said Salinas. “The present administration should come down and see these kids that are coming in.”