News Conference

Houstonians react to immigration deaths in San Antonio
Posted: Jul 24 2017 05:46PM CDT
Updated: Jul 24 2017 05:46PM CDT
HOUSTON (FOX 26) – In a city teeming with immigrants, both with and without documentation, there is shelter, wages and education to be found, all with few, if any, questions.
But for those without papers – the real danger lies in getting here.
Roberto Martinez lives here legally now, but years ago made the same perilous journey from the border that ended so many lives in San Antonio.
With the aid of an interpreter – he spoke of people who have little choice.
“If you are coming from Central America, it’s a matter of life and death since there is a lot of violence from those countries,” said Martinez, a native of Mexico.
Martinez says the lives lost within the sweltering trailer have been preceded by the loved ones of many of his friends – immigrants who bet their lives on something better here and lost.
“It is a very deep sadness that I have, Honestly, its hard to describe with any word how deep this is,” said Martinez.
Longtime Latino activist Johnny Mata believes many more will perish and with them, untold potential, unless the nation embraces the necessity of reforming immigration laws.
“To have something like this happen, it tears your heart apart. I just wish a lot of our Americans will see compassion in their hearts and advocate for comprehensive immigration reform,” said Mata.
The U.S. Government reports 6,023 immigrant deaths along the border between 2000 and 2016.

News Conference by Community Groups to denounce











The Greater Houston Coalition for Justice, in its monthly meeting approved a resolution to denounce HB 89 in committee and recently passed SB4. Board of Directors oppose all and any anti-Hispanic/ persons of color legislation that that delude existing Racial Profiling legislate law.

Texas Gregg About and Texas legislators injudicious efforts to eliminate ability of elected officials’ to decide what are the best policies for their respective communities. This is an encroachment on the local control of elected officials who campaigned and were elected on their policy ideas and agenda.

Threatens the livelihood of farmers, business and the civil rights of all Hispanics and persons of color.

We appeal to Governor Greg Abbott to use restrain in his actions of threatening to removed elected officials and the Texas lawmakers not to enacted misguided legislation that does not make our communities safer rather divide communities and will damage the Texas economy.


Resolution header




WHEREAS, the Greater Houston Coalition for Justice is an umbrella group comprised of approximately 25 civil rights and advocacy groups whose mission is to pursue greater human rights awareness, including the real deficits in the Greater Houston criminal justice system;

WHEREAS, the Census describes Hispanic or Latino ethnicity as “a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.” Hispanic people are the largest minority in the United States. Only Mexico has a larger Hispanic population than the United States. As of 2015, there are an estimated 57 million Hispanic people in the United States, comprising over 17% of the population.

WHEREAS, Texas’s population is 39% Hispanic, the third largest Hispanic statewide population share nationally. There are 4.8 million Hispanic eligible voters in Texas—the second largest Hispanic statewide eligible voter population nationally.

WHEREAS, with 4,538,028 people, Harris County is the 1st most populated county in the state of Texas out of 254 counties. The largest Harris County racial/ethnic groups are Hispanic (41.6%) followed by White (31.7%) and Black (18.5%). The median age of Harris County Hispanics is ___ years of age.

WHEREAS, on January 25, 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed executive orders calling for the construction of a “large physical barrier on the southern border,” while the second reinstated the Secure Communities Program, which Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) uses to “target illegal immigrants for removal.” It also directs the State Department to withhold visas or take other measures to ensure countries take back deported undocumented immigrants and strips federal grant money from sanctuary cities that harbor undocumented immigrants.

WHEREAS, the orders will destroy families, deny funds necessary for the protection of the citizenry, promote racial profiling prohibited by Texas Law Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 3.05 and damage international relations and commerce essential to Texas industry.

WHEREAS, The Greater Houston Coalition for Justice invites community, business, church leaders and elected officials to join to appeal to President Donald Trump, to suspense ICE immigration raids that are having a major psychological effect on US children (citizens) of undocumented parents.

WHEREAS, disparaging anti-immigrant remarks assail the economic cost / benefit of immigrants; recent studies demonstrate their presence has a positive impact:

Immigrants earning 2014 in TX













WHEREAS, in an article featured in the September 12, 2016 The Atlantic “The Truth About Undocumented Immigrants and Taxes”, Stephen Goss, the Chief Actuary of the U.S. Social Security Administration, estimates that about 1.8 million immigrants were working with fake or stolen Social Security cards in 2010, and he expects that number to reach 3.4 million by 2040. He calculates that undocumented immigrants paid $13 billion into the retirement trust fund that year, and only got about $1 billion in benefits.

Nationally, immigrants earned $1.3 trillion in 2014 and contributed more than $104 billion in state and local taxes as well as almost $224 billion in federal taxes. This left them with nearly $927 billion in spending power. Immigrants in Texas play an important role contributing to the state’s economy both as consumers and taxpayers.

WHEREAS, Houston is the most diverse city in the country, with hospitality second to none, it has always faced whatever challenge it has encountered.

THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED that, by an overwhelming majority vote of those present at its March 17, 2017 meeting;

The GHCFJ Board of Directors voted to denounce the passage of SB 4 by the 85th Texas legislation and oppose all anti-Hispanic/ persons of color legislation that that delude existing Racial Profiling legislate law.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT: GHCFJ request that national, state, local organizations associated with GHCFJ, adopt this or similar resolutions.

 Voted and approved at the March 11, 2017, Greater Houston Coalition for Justice Board Meeting

 Johnny N. Mata
Presiding Officer Greater Houston Coalition for Justice

LULAC vows to keep fighting SB4

HOUSTON – Ever since Texas Senate Bill SB4 was signed into law last May, the bill has been a lightning rod for controversy, and on Friday, the League of United