Joint Press Release: #WelcomeWithDignity Applauds LUPE for Standing Up to Abbott’s Attacks

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — Today, the #WelcomeWithDignity campaign expressed solidarity with its member organization, La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE), as it holds a ‘chain of protection’ to welcome people seeking asylum in McAllen, Texas. This action comes in response to Governor Greg Abbott’s racist attacks on people seeking asylum and those who seek to welcome them. LUPE and the countless other organizations welcoming people seeking protection are bravely resisting Gov. Abbott’s executive order and campaign of misinformation. Our member organizations, both those based in Texas and across the nation, honor LUPE’s perseverance in the light of these attacks, and will continue to fight to live up to our ideals everywhere people are helping those seeking asylum.

"Gov. Greg Abbott and other state and national politicians are working overtime to divide Americans by spreading xenophobia and fear to deflect blame and change the subject from their own failures on COVID. The only known remedy for this is common sense and the truth, both of which are in short supply among politicians. We can protect communities from COVID, protect migrants who are seeking safety and protect American values all at once. This is America and we can accomplish anything if people come together to make it happen and if we resist political strategies designed to drive us apart." - Mario Carrillo, Texas-based Campaigns Manager for America's Voice.

Anna Gallagher, executive director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, or CLINIC: “It is deeply disturbing to watch Governors Abbott and DeSantis play politics with the plight of vulnerable men, women and children who need safety — and the individuals and organizations who help them with food, shelter, clothing and legal aid. Both the sojourners and the helpers are human beings, with inherent dignity, made in the image of God. I pray for the people in Texas, Florida and around the world who have contracted COVID or are in danger of contracting it in the future. I pray for leaders to be honest with their constituents and confront COVID instead of scapegoating those in need of our solidarity and support. And I pray for the asylum seekers, and the helpers, as they continue to follow the Lord’s path in Jesus’ name. May God open the hearts of the people sowing fear and division, and ensure respect for the dignity of all human beings.”

“Using public health to fuel this anti-immigrant narrative is dangerous, especially given that it will primarily impact Black and Indigenous asylum seekers, who are often ignored in the immigration discourse.” said Dr. Jessica Hernandez (Maya Ch’orti/Binnizá) Climate Justice Policy Strategist at International Mayan League. “August 9th is International World Indigenous People’s Day and as an Indigenous women-led organization we stand in solidarity with La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE) and oppose the harmful rhetoric of Gov. Abbott and others against asylum seekers and refugees, especially against transnational Black and Indigenous people escaping persecution, violence, and death.”

“Attacks against immigrant communities for political reasons fly in the face of a true commitment to human rights,” said Efrén C. Olivares, Deputy Legal Director for Immigrant Justice at the Southern Poverty Law Center. "From Florida to Texas, and beyond, we are seeing xenophobic rhetoric blaming immigrants for the COVID-19 pandemic from the same officials who oppose mask mandates, vaccination, and other common-sense, science-backed measures to curb the pandemic’s impact. Rather than hateful scapegoating, these local, state and federal officials should focus on the actual needs of their constituents and the public health measures that will protect them. We stand with LUPE and their demands.”

“The objective data is clear that the surge in coronavirus cases in the U.S. is not because of migrants crossing the southern border, but because of a lack of vaccinations among United States residents,” said Esther Sung, Legal Director for Justice Action Center. “Nevertheless, Gov. Abbott insists on continuing to play politics with the lives of vulnerable asylum-seekers, turning to fear-mongering and race-baiting to deflect attention from his own political failings in addressing the coronavirus pandemic and other real, pressing concerns, such as the ability of our electric grid to withstand further inevitable extreme weather events. Texans deserve better than this.”

“Texas Governor Abbott has repulsively continued the long tradition of perpetuating the abhorrent racist trope of the ‘infected migrant’ that has been alive for many, many decades,” said Thomas Cartwright, Leadership Table of Witness at the Border. “His language and actions will lead to more hatred and potential violence against our brothers and sisters who flee to us for safety and a better life. We know Texans are caring people, and that they are far better than this. They deserve better than this. We stand in solidarity with those Texans against the hate and racism spewed by Governor Abbott and embraced, either through words or through silence, by other elected officials.”

“Scapegoating migrants — as Governor Abbott and other Texan officials have done — demonstrates their own failure as leaders,” said Karen Musalo, Director of the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies. “They have adopted policies that go against the recommendations of public health experts, and then seek to blame the rise in COVID-19 in their state on asylum seekers and the communities that welcome and support them. Organizations like LUPE who respond to the needs of people seeking refuge, are the true leaders, setting an example of compassion and generosity. They should be applauded, not demonized.”

#WelcomeWithDignity’s response to Governor Abbott’s illegal and racist executive order is available on our website.


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The #WelcomeWithDignity Campaign is composed of more than 85 organizations committed to transforming the way the United States receives and protects people forced to flee their homes to ensure they are treated humanely and fairly. To learn more and join our campaign visit: