Latino coalition sues Texas government over ‘discriminatory district maps’

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — On Tuesday, a Latino coalition sued the Texas government for what they said are discriminatory district maps for 2022 Texas Congressional districts.

“The Republican Party has weaponized political gerrymandering to disenfranchise and suppress the vote of Latinos throughout the state of Texas,” said Domingo Garcia, the national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the lead plaintiff.

The Texas Latino Redistricting Taskforce is comprised of 10 Latino organizations that represent professionals and human rights groups.

One of those 10 organizations is La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE), which said communities of color are why Texas grew over the last decade.

“95% of all new growth in the census came from either Latinos or other communities of color,” said Daniel Diaz, the director of organizing, LUPE.

Diaz said Latinos specifically have been packed into smaller districts.

“They’re being packed into one district so they don’t have enough representation in another district,” said Diaz.

Despite the growth in Latino populations, no new congressional districts reflect that, according to the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF).

“Of these redistricting maps, additional Latino majority districts should have been created to reflect the Latino growth over the past decade, and none of them did,” said Nina Perales, the vice president of Legal Aid, MALDEF.

However, MALDEF said two new congressional seats were given to majority-white communities in Dallas and Austin instead.

Diaz said a part of the issue is political parties.

“Right now, Congress has been slowly being divided, I think Democrats only have a six-member lead so every single district is going to count,” said Diaz. “It could mean the whole difference whether Republicans or Democrats have power.”

Diaz said that people affected by this may have the opportunity to speak in court.

“There might be an opportunity for affected voters and people affected by this, to testify to be brought before the court,” said Diaz

If they do not win this case, it will be another 10 years before districts are re-drawn again, according to Diaz.

“Now we are just hoping that the courts rule in a fair and just way,” said Diaz.

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