In the valley, the percentage of people living in poverty ranks among the highest in the nation. Although Hispanics make up 39% of the Texas population, they make up 51% of the population living in poverty. The unemployment rate consistently outpaces the national average, and Latino median household income in the poorest RGV cities hovers around $31,000 per year.
Thus, the decision to apply for and accept a Customs and Border Protection job that offers a starting salary of nearly $56,000 a year and generous benefits is not a complicated one.
But in the wake of reports of atrocious conditions inside migrant detention facilities along the southern border, and reports of nationwide raids planned by the president to target undocumented immigrants, I can empathize no more. It is time for a different approach.
The moment calls for acts of moral objection, not simply on the part of the general public, but also those charged with implementing the president’s cruelty on the ground. It is time for those agents who know better (and I know you’re out there) to recognize their inherent power. It is time for them to say no, to stand up for what is morally right over what is personally convenient — time to ask of themselves, how much money their humanity is worth.