TRUST Business Letter to Save the DREAM Act

From the Texas Association of Business to the Texas State Legislature:

January 23, 2015

RE: Business Community Support of In-State Tuition and TEXAS Grants for Texas Residents

Dear Members of the Texas Legislature,

On behalf of the undersigned businesses, we respectfully request your support for the continuation of in-state tuition and state financial aid for all eligible youth who attend high school in Texas. We are deeply concerned over state legislation introduced that would end the “Texas DREAM Act” and block access to TEXAS Grants for DREAMer students who meet certain requirements. We urge you to resist those efforts to turn our backs on what has been visionary and bipartisan state law since 2001. Such proposals would hurt Texas businesses and impede prosperity for the people of our state.

As business leaders, we are well aware that a highly-educated workforce is an imperative for our state if it will continue to attract businesses. The rich binational commerce from which Texas benefits is key to preparing our workforce and remaining competitive in a global marketplace. Supporting long-standing law that allows DREAMers to qualify for in-state tuition and TEXAS Grants will provide students the opportunity to attain academic success, serve in our military, and make contributions that will help stimulate our state’s economy through an increase in wages, taxes and consumption of goods and services.

Please consider the needs of our economy, employers, and future workforce and the economic ramifications a repeal of in-state tuition and TEXAS Grants for Texas DREAMers would have on our state.


Texas Association of Business

TX News Service – Lawsuit Against Border Patrol Claims Excessive Force, False Arrest

Published October 23, 2013
John Michaelson, Public News Service – TX
Brownsville, TX

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency is facing a new lawsuit over an alleged false arrest and excessive use of force against a U.S. citizen.

The incident happened last November as a pregnant woman with disabilities was confronted by an agent outside her workplace in Brownsville. Adriana Piñon, senior staff attorney with the ACLU of Texas, said the woman hadn’t broken any laws and was not interfering.

“And yet, when she asked a few questions of the agent, he reacted violently,” she said, “He threw her to the ground with so much force that her jeans tore and she suffered physical injuries. He put his weight on her and handcuffed her so tightly that the fire department had to be called to get the cuffs off.”

The woman suffered a miscarriage the next day from injuries as a result of the incident, according to her doctor.

Customs and Border Patrol does not comment specifically on pending litigation, but said it does not tolerate misconduct within its ranks and fully cooperates with all investigations.

Piñon said these types of cases are all too common, adding that to reverse that trend, the Border Patrol needs to improve training, transparency and accountability.

“It’s so important that agents understand what the legal limits of the use of force are,” she said, “because incidents such as the one in our complaint deteriorate trust in our community, and our border communities suffer as a result.”

An audit of Border Patrol training conducted by the Inspector General last year found that many agents and officers do not understand the extent to which they may or may not use force.

The complaint is online at The Inspector General’s report on Border Patrol use of force is at

TX News Service: Poll – Texans Want Immigration Reform, Path to Citizenship

Published June 17, 2013
John Michaelson, Public News Service – TX
Austin, TX

Most Texans believe the country’s immigration reform system needs to be fixed, and a new poll also has found majority support for the U.S. Senate bill crafted by the bipartisan “Gang of Eight.”

Marisa Bono with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) said the plan is a step in the right direction.

“The poll results reflect what we at MALDEF have known all along: Most Texans and most Americans favor immigration reform that focuses not only on enforcement, but also includes pathways for legalization and work authorization for those already here,” Bono said.

In the poll, 67 percent of Texas respondents said they supported the “Gang of Eight” proposal being debated in the Senate, and an even greater percentage supported a path to citizenship.

Letting undocumented workers seek legal status through a rigorous path will have a genuine impact on the Texas economy, Bono added.

“For those immigrants who do not have criminal records, who do not pose threats to our communities or to our society – and who, in fact, contribute economically to our community in positive ways – it makes sense to embrace them, not to turn them away,” she said.

In 2011, the Pew Hispanic Center estimated that more than 1.5 million immigrants living in Texas are not in the U.S. legally and could benefit from the reform legislation.

The full poll results are available at