Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has a grudge—and he’s taking it out on me.
I’m one of the 800,000 courageous immigrant youth who made the choice and applied to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program so that I could provide for my family, and Paxton has made it his personal mission to make my life hell.
I grew up in Texas, went to middle school and high school in southwest Houston. With DACA, I have been able to work in my community to empower us to defend ourselves from the attacks we are experiencing from Paxton, people like him and the Trump administration. The same is true for DACA recipients across the country.
In August of last year, after his first attempt to kill DACA, I confronted Paxton, and he couldn’t even admit his role in terrorizing families like mine. Instead, Paxton has taken it upon himself to attack young people like me again and again. He is playing a sick game with my life and the lives of more than 124,000 other Texas immigrants, and we are here to say: We will not back down.
On Tuesday, I learned that Paxton filed yet another lawsuit to attack immigrant youth. This time, the lawsuit aims to prevent young people who are DACA recipients from renewing our applications. And the next day I learned that Paxton upped the cruelty by filing a motion to stop any renewals from happening while his lawsuit is considered.
Paxton is showing Texans what his priorities really are: attacking people of color and deporting immigrants every chance he gets. Already, three other federal courts have ruled that Trump’s termination of DACA was not lawful, but Paxton wants the program killed so he chose to file in a conservative court in a small Texas town to try to get a favorable ruling.
As Paxton continues his shrinking crusade to strike fear and uncertainty in the hearts of young Texans, each time he files one of his lawsuits, fewer and fewer politicians join him. That’s because his actions are immoral and wrong.
Repeatedly punching at immigrant youth as Paxton and many elected Republicans do isn’t popular. The vast majority of the American people support the Dream Act, but Republicans in Congress have blocked it and every other solution for immigrant young people . The vast majority also support immigrant youth, but Trump killed DACA and then obstructed all solutions to fix it.
Paxton’s lawsuit shows that immigrant youth are being targeted by the extreme right, and that as many of us as possible must be protected by the DACA program while we still can. But the fees and procedure can be cumbersome for many families so United We Dream is raising money to help people pay for fees. We have already distributed three-quarters of a million dollars in DACA renewal assistance, but have hundreds of thousands of dollars in requests still to fill.
I want Paxton to know that I am a Texan and that his hate doesn’t represent the state and the people I love. Year after year, the leadership in Texas gets closer to representing the diverse and beautiful state that we are. Paxton’s style of politics are in their final years. He knows this, and I want him to know that I am #HeretoStay and am ready to build a Texas where our state official’s build up young Texans instead of trying to tear them down.
Gonzalez is a daughter, sister and Houstonian. She works in her community to grow networks of defense from deportations, build up community power and knowledge and to push back against anti-immigrant laws and policies at the local, state and federal levels with United We Dream Houston.
Article by Damaris Gonzalez • View on Houston Chronicle