The pair started Team Brownsville in July 2018, launched a GoFundMe campaign last January to help support their humanitarian efforts, and in April received a nonprofit designation from the IRS.
Cordova said he doesn’t know who nominated Team Brownsville but that he remembers well the day that inspired the all-volunteer group’s founding. Cordova and Benavides, friends and coworkers in the Brownsville Independent School District’s special education department, were invited by fellow coworker David Lucio to accompany him and his wife across the Gateway International Bridge to hand out bags of food to migrants camped out on the bridge.
“ It was July, I remember,” Cordova said. “It was so hot, and they had no cover. They had nothing. They were basically baking in the sun. ... I had no idea, because I hadn’t crossed into Mexico in years. It was shocking.”
The asylum seekers were on the bridge because of the Trump administration’s enactment of “metering,” in which U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are stationed in the middle of the bridge to limit how many people are able to request asylum each day. According to U.S. law, any foreign national who sets foot on U.S. soil has the right to request asylum. Under metering, however, asylum seekers were being put on a waiting list and made to return to Mexico.
More recently the administration implemented Migrant Protection Protocols, or the “remain in Mexico” policy, which forces asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for their initial asylum hearings rather than allowing them to stay with family in the United States.
“ MPP is the worst thing that’s been passed,” Cordova said.
The fact that the U.S. State Department includes the Mexican state of Tamaulipas on its highest do-not-travel advisory list, yet is willing to endanger thousands of foreign asylum seekers, including many families with young children, he characterized as immoral.
“ The level of danger is so much, they’re telling U.S. people not to go, but we’re sending innocent families there,” Cordova said. “How crazy is that? So if it’s not safe for us, what makes them think that it’s a safe place for people who have nothing, that are vulnerable to everything?”
Migrants in Matamoros numbered about 1,200 in a recent count. The tents many of them now have for shelter were provided by Team Brownsville. Most of the asylum seekers traveled from Central America, though some are from countries such as Cuba, Cameroon and Uganda, Cordova said.
“ It’s horrific,” Cordova said of the conditions. “We can’t get tents fast enough over there.”
The fact that asylum seekers are willing to endure such squalor and unsanitary conditions says much about why they’re seeking asylum in the first place, he said. Many are from Honduras, a country with the world’s third highest murder rate. Leafing through a stack of death certificates and graphic photos of murdered family members provided by an asylum seeker in Matamoros, Cordova said the man’s story is a common one among the migrants.
“ I talk to many, many of them, and they have the same stories,” he said. “They’re running for their lives.”
Cordova said it’s ironic that the Trump administration’s justification for its border policies is that they’re needed to keep out murderers, rapists and cartel members.
“ I’m in that camp almost daily I haven’t seen one,” he said. “There’s no cartel members there. There are people who are running from the rapists and the murderers and the cartels.”
Team Brownsville’s efforts have been reported on by media outlets across the globe. Cordova said he welcomes the attention if it helps generate more help for asylum seekers — which it appears to be doing. Each week a group of volunteers from somewhere in the United States comes for a week to pitch in.
Team Brownsville provides breakfast and dinner to the asylum seekers every day of the week. The out-of-town volunteers, from as far away as California and Virginia, hold fundraisers of their own before coming to Brownsville in order to pay for two meals a day for 1,000 people for a week. There’s so much interest from out-of-towners that Team Brownsville has had to designate a scheduler, Cordova said.
“ We have them scheduled all the way to March,” he said.
Besides providing food and tents to migrants in Matamoros, Team Brownsville helps asylum seekers either released from detention or allowed to cross from Matamoros to join family members while their asylum claims are processed. At Brownsville’s La Plaza Bus Station, volunteers distribute water, backpacks and snacks to those about to board a bus for a cross-country trip with nothing but their clothes on their backs, Cordova said.
Highlighting Team Brownsville’s efforts isn’t about getting his picture in the paper or on television, he said. Rather, it’s about helping vulnerable, desperate people who would have no help otherwise, Cordova said.
“ It’s about getting the word out so people will continue to donate,” he said. “I always tell everyone we cannot give what we don’t have. We can only give what you’re giving. The reason we try to promote it so much is because we’re totally funded through donations, and so we have to get the word out there.”
article by email@example.com
November 6, 2019
GOAL âWorking together, we can change the political narrative of Texasâ
363 days to November 3, 2020 Presidential Election
16 weeks to Texas primaries - Super Tuesday is March 3, 2020
Community Give Back â now through end of year
Team Brownsville - Humanitarian assistance for asylum seekers see list of items
Nov 14 McCaul is AWOL banner hold (8am, 3301 Northland Drive)
Nov 14 LAF (Lunch+Action+Friends) Postcard Writing (10-1pm, Central Market -upstairs)
Nov 15 TX10 GOTV Postcard Banking (6:30pm, 1601 W Koenig Lane)
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We are changing the political narrative in our Community, City, State, and Nation
Indivisible Rosedale Huddle
Indivisible Rosedale Huddle
March 22, 2021
Deborah extended a warm welcome to Huddle members and our guests. Our agenda was full, so let’s get started.
Sisters United Presentation
Karen introduced Sherrie from Sisters United Alliance. Sherrie began by explaining that the goal of their organization was to GOTV among non-voting Democratic women in Texas. Their reach to voters includes mailers (usually 3), professional phone banking and intense digital outreach (which had a tremendous impact on the 2020 voting numbers). Through the variety of voter contacts, Sisters United encourages voters to vote for every Democrat on the ballot.
Their efforts are supported through ZOOM fundraising, which has been very successful. They tailor the extent of their county outreach to the amount of money they raise. In 2020, they targeted over 415,000 voters in 26 counties in Texas of which 29% showed up at the polls.
Read all about Sisters United Alliance (Women in November is their Texas PAC) at their website: sistersunitedalliance.com Sign up to receive their newsletter and news blasts by email.
Treasurer Update: Mina reported that the Huddle has a balance of $873.20. Anyone can make a donation to the Huddle through ActBlue on the Huddle website https://rosedalehuddle.com or by mailing a check to: Rosedale Huddle, 5501A Balcones Dr. #157, Austin, TX 78731. Be sure to include your name, address, occupation, employer, and/or an email address or phone number for our records!
PAC Update: Mark reported that the Huddle now has a state PAC and a federal PAC. The Huddle is one group now registered with two entities (the state and federal governments). All monetary donations go into the Rosedale Huddle bank account. All property donations, such as stamps, cards, and mailing labels, are also kept by the Huddle for future use. All donations (money and property) will be reported to the state and federal governments on the appropriate financial reports.
Redistricting Update: Eric thanked everyone for their redistricting presentations. Job well done! More info will follow as data becomes available.
TXLege Rapid Response: Georgia announced that she has initiated 8 Legislative Calls to Action (CTA) with a response of 516 contacts….impressive responses, team! Contact Georgia at https://rosedalehuddle.com if you have a CTA suggestion.
Postcard Project: Cherry and Joyce reported that our first touch outreach to our 5 area precincts is being printed. This postcard will remind voters to vote in the upcoming City of Austin Municipal Election with 8 Propositions. GOTV info is also included on the card. A copy of the postcard is posted on the Huddle website at
https://rosedalehuddle.com The printing of the postcards is scheduled to be finished on March 29th. Stamps, stickers and mailing labels will be added and then the cards mailed by April 8th. If you want to help add stamps, stickers and labels, email you name and contact info to Cherry at https://rosedalehuddle.com
TXLege Voter Suppression Bills:
A lot is happening in the arena of Texas voter suppression legislation and Kirk brought us up-to-date on important responses needed. In person testimony is needed this week Thursday, March 25th for House Bill 6 at the House Elections Committee and Friday, March 26th for Senate Bill 7 at the Senate State Affairs Committee. The meetings will be held in the Capitol Extension, which is the underground annex connected to the State Capitol.
* The House Elections Committee hearing is scheduled for 8:00 am on Thursday, March 25th:
Public testimony related to House Bill 6 will be heard in Room E2.028 in the Capitol Extension. Sign up to attend a virtual House testimony training and information session sponsored by the Texas Democratic Party on Wednesday, March 24th from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. Info about signing up for the info session can be found at https://www.mobilize.us/tdpvoterprotection/event/379834/
* The Senate State Affairs Committee hearing is scheduled 9:00 am for Friday, March 26th:
Public testimony related to Senate Bill 7 will be held in Room E1.004 of the Capitol Extension Auditorium. Information about the Senate Bill can be found at https://indivisibletxlege.org/2021/03/20/sb-7-a-jim-crow-era-assault-on-voting-rights/
All testimony is in-person. If you have been vaccinated take proof of your vaccination. Others will be administered a Covid test before entering the Capitol. If you cannot attend in person, please let your voice be heard through an email or phone call.
Voter Touch Project:
These “touches” are contacts the Huddle members will make with Democratic voters in the 5 surrounding precincts. These contacts may be in many forms: phone calls, postcards, digital ads, flyers, personal contacts, texts …all suggestions welcome!
1. The first “touch” will be a printed information card for the May 1st Austin Municipal Election for 8 Propositions. 2. Our second “touch” will be related to voter registration, with a focus on registering voters in apartment complexes within our precincts
3. Possibilities for a third “touch” might focus on educating voters about redistricting.
4. Local elections in November 2021 will provide opportunities for a fourth “touch”.
5. A fifth “touch” would be coordinated with the Primary elections.
6. Early voting and GOTV efforts for the November 2022 election will be the “sixth” touch. This is when we will be electing new Democratic leadership in Texas. This effort will be centered around our handwritten GOTV cards for the 5 surrounding precincts as well as the postcard efforts to support Texas House and Senate candidates and to support candidates for statewide office.
Propositions for City of Austin Municipal Elections:
Briana and Steve gave a brief analysis of the propositions on the May ballot, so that members could make an informed decisions
For additional info about the propositions:
Common Ground for Texans and the League of Women Voters will co-host Zoom information sessions about the Propositions appearing on the ballot.
On Saturday March 27 Propositions A B C and G will be discussed
[Zoom info available on Common Ground for Texans FB event page one week before the event]
PBS Documentary: Citizens At Last
You don’t want to miss this! This documentary celebrates the persistence of Texas suffragists to organize, demonstrate, and win the vote for women. We come from a hardy group! PERSIST!
Lots of information tonight…thanks for joining us!
Indivisible Rosedale Hu
Subject: FedUp!! good grief to the googleplex power
Before the attempted coup that we witnessed inside the US Capitol yesterday, I had intended to resume weekly "FedUp!!"s yesterday evening. Instead, like many of you, I spent most of the day and well into the night glued to all my devices at once. Today, I have only a marginally better idea what I would say to all of you, and what we should do right now, beyond that I do intend to continue FedUp!! into the new year(s), when we must do everything we can to leverage our slim-but-extant Congressional majorities, PLURAL, to do good work and to rescue our country from the grave threats that we self-evidently face even as we are almost at the end of the curse and disgrace that is the Trump presidency.
I have just a couple of agenda items for you right now, beyond a restatement of our shared commitment to community and activism moving forward. I realize that these actions may or may not have any concrete effect. That doesn't matter. We are in a historical moment of sufficient gravity that it is incumbent upon all of us to make our voices heard, whether or not anyone listens to or acts on what we say. It is our solemn obligation as citizens of this democracy to speak up.
As part of moving forward to the next chapter – of our work as a grassroots network and as a nation – please let me know if you would like to be *removed* from this list. I will not remove anyone except at your own request, but of course I don't want to spam anyone.
**Demand impeachment NOW: call your MoC's** **Texans only: contact Ted Cruz donors** **Texans, cont: call for resignation and prosecution of Ken Paxton** **The bigger picture, we hope**
**Demand impeachment NOW: call your MoC's** As you have probably heard, discussions are at least reportedly under way about using the 25th Amendment to remove IMPOTUS. In addition, no less a respected conservative figure than Bret Stephens, who is about as far from being a raving liberal as anyone can be, is on the same page as the national Indivisible organization in calling for immediate impeachment, removal, and debarring of IMPOTUS from ever running again. Unless your Senator is Ted Cruz (on whom more below), EVERYONE should contact all three of their Congressfolks TODAY to demand an immediate end to this Presidency as a clear and present danger to our republic. The end.
Senator Cornyn Find your U.S. Senator Find your U.S Representative
**Texans only: contact Ted Cruz donors** Ted Cruz has sunk to a new low as one of the two main instigators of the objections to Congressional certification of the election results that led directly to yesterday's violence. He is one of only six Senators who persisted in their objections after the violence occurred. That being so, he is clearly beyond the reach of anything resembling normal human discourse. Instead, I suggest that you reach out to these organizations whose PACs have made large donations to his campaign to object to their support for the destruction of our democracy. IMPORTANT NOTE: Per the Open Secrets web site from which I got these data (h/t Carolyn), these PACs are not the same as the companies themselves. And the bulk of the contributions listed from these various organizations are from individuals who are associated with the company, not even the company PAC. So, the connection between the company itself and these donations is indirect and tenuous. But make the calls anyway. Berkshire Hathaway (402) 346-1400 Lockheed Martin, firstname.lastname@example.org
**Texans, cont: call for resignation and prosecution of Ken Paxton** As you have probably heard, our already-disgraced AG, Ken Paxton, was in Washington with the protesters yesterday and he tweeted about it. This is beyond the pale even for the right-wing craziness that passes for politics as usual in Texas. Contact the Governor, the Lt Gov, and your state Senator and Rep to demand his resignation.
**The bigger picture, we hope** A terrible, terrible day for American democracy began with victory in both Senate runoffs in Georgia, something that many people thought was impossible (although, Stacey Abrams said all along that it wasn't, and as usual, she was right). We now control, albeit with small majorities, the Executive branch and both houses of Congress. Four years ago, we controlled zero of the three. That success is thanks to the hard work of grassroots networks like ours. In addition to making history with the worst attack on the US Capitol in more than 200 years, we also made history yesterday in electing the first Black man to represent Georgia in the Senate. His colleague is a Jew whose parents immigrated to the US. It is up to all of us to make sure that these positive events define us moving forward more than the dastardly acts of the white extremists who sacked our government buildings yesterday in the name of a disgraced and defeated President. We defeated IMPOTUS. We elected Sen's Warnock and Ossoff. We can do this. And we will.