Candidate Wendy Davis talks equal pay at Café Mayapan

EL PASO — Gubernatorial candidate Texas Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, spent Wednesday morning speaking to media and volunteers at Café Mayapan, in El Paso, Texas. She focused her discussion on gender and economic equality. El Paso Sen. Jose Rodriguez and Rep. Marisa Marquez, both Democrats, introduced Davis. Davis spoke about Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, and wage disparities within his office. “When he was first asked about it two weeks ago, he dodged the question,” Davis said in her speech.

Maxey Scherr, a 33-year-old El Paso attorney, will be campaigning against incumbent Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). (peter svarzbein /

El Paso woman running for the U.S. Senate stands for women and minorities

EL PASO — One El Pasoan said she’s tired of Texas being on “Cruz control,” so she has decided to run for a U.S. Senate seat, the first from this region to take the step. Maxey Scherr, a 33-year-old El Paso attorney, will be campaigning against incumbent Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). But however hungry she may be, the odds are not in her favor. Cornyn, a Houston native, has held office since 2002 and does have more than 10 years of government experience versus her zero. Scherr, an El Paso native, kicked off her campaign Dec.

Brenda Perez of Nashville, Tenn. is arrested on First Street after protesters marched to the Capitol Tuesday. Perez was part of a group of three activists from Workers Dignity from Nashville who were arrested for civil disobedience. (Andrés Rodríguez/SHFWire)

Historically effective civil disobedience is now a tool in the fight for immigration reform

EL PASO — Worries press through Brenda Perez’s mind as she is escorted into a Washington, D.C. jail cell. “What if it doesn’t work out? What if they act on my immigrant status? What if I don’t get out?”
She looks at the others, some without legal documentation, who are being processed with her. She realizes she is in there for them, for other young members of her family who are in the U.S. without papers, and for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the country.

Thousands gather on Capitol grounds to rally for immigration reform

WASHINGTON – Rosa Murguia couldn’t help but cry Wednesday as she recounted how she missed her last chance to see her brother alive because she didn’t have the proper documentation to return to the United States if she visited her native Dominican Republic. Murguia, 62, of Sterling, Va., is one of thousands of people who stood in 90 degree heat on the West Lawn of the Capitol to rally for immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship. “I think this reform should be to protect people,” Murguia said. “Too many people have been cheated and hurt, I’m one of them, it’s not right for hard workers to live in shadows.” Gustavo Torres, rally organizer and executive director of CASA in Action, said the rally was three months in the making, and he was happy with the turnout.

El Paso, Texas, judge testifies at border subcommittee hearing

WASHINGTON – El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar told a House subcommittee Wednesday that undocumented immigrants should get legal status without so much debate over whether U.S. borders are secure. Her opinion runs counter to what most Republicans and many Democrats have been saying in the debate over immigration reform. Escobar was invited to testify by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, the senior Democrat on the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, because of Escobar’s outspoken push for immigration reform. The subcommittee also heard from three witnesses from the Department of Homeland Security. The purpose of the hearing was to understand how border security should be measured.

Citizenship main topic at first immigration hearing

WASHINGTON – A pathway to citizenship was the main topic of discussion Tuesday at a House hearing, the first to take place since proposals for immigration reform were introduced in the new Congress. San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro pushed for citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently in the United States. “I believe that is the best way and it is in our nation’s best interest,” Castro said. “We’re a nation of immigrants. We’ve progressed because we are pragmatic.

(Left to right) Senators Dick Durban, D-Ill., John McCain, R-Ariz., Charles Schumer, D-N.Y, Robert Menendez, D-N.J. and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., present comprehensive immigration reform blueprint at Monday news conference. (Jasmine Aguilera/SHFWire)

Experts: immigration plans place too much emphasis on border security

WASHINGTON – Immigration experts who have been pushing for reform  welcome the attention to the issue but say the emphasis on border security and law enforcement are misplaced. A group of eight bipartisan senators introduced a proposal Monday that is meant to eventually give legal status to undocumented immigrants living in the United States. The proposal also aims to increase border security. Josiah Heyman, professor and chair of the department of sociology and anthropology at the University of Texas at El Paso, said the overall proposal for reform is necessary and good, but he disagrees with an increase in border security. “The border enforcement parts are very rhetorical and exaggerated,” Heyman said.

Annunciation House at 1003 East San Antonio Ave. (Aaron Montes/The Prospector)

Mexico asylum seeker finds refuge in El Paso shelter

EL PASO – Patricia spends her days adjusting to a new life in the United States that she never intended on having. Every day she plays her guitar and spends time with her family, who are also in El Paso out of necessity, not want. But some of her family members are not with her, some stayed behind in Patricia’s hometown in the Mexican state of Durango, and others were killed. It is because of those murdered relatives that Patricia and her family relocated to El Paso. “It all started because the violence in Durango became really difficult,” Patricia said in Spanish.