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Austin Leaders Voice Support for Minorities

immigration_protest_nov_16.jpg
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon
/
KUT
A file photo from a rally at City Hall in support of Austin's immigrant community on November 13, 2016.

In the wake of the presidential election, several Austin City Council members have decided to speak out in support of the city’s minority populations. 

Citing recent reports of hate crimes around the nation, District 2 Council Member Delia Garza says she’s heard from several constituents who are concerned about the current political climate.

“Many of our offices have been contacted by parents whose children have been afraid to go to school," Garza said. "Some families are afraid to be torn apart. Others are afraid to wear religious garments expressive of their faith.” 

Garza was joined by Austin Mayor Steve Adler along with several other council members at a City Hall press conference Thursday afternoon. Since Election Day, District 4 Council Member Greg Casar has been a vocal critic of policies proposed by the Trump campaign, even taking to the streets alongside anti-Trump protestors.

“Since then I’ve spoken to so many people who justifiably feel fear in their hearts," Casar said. "That includes our Muslim brothers and sisters, advocates for survivors of sexual assaults, LGBTQ Austinites, those who rely on the Affordable Care Act, and many more people.”

Casar spoke directly to residents fearing deportation, saying, “before they come for you, they have to come through me first.”

Council members were joined by elected officials from Travis County, including the new Sheriff-elect Sally Hernandez. She doubled down on an earlier campaign promise to keep federal deportation programs out of the Travis County Jail. 

"The sheriff’s office will not be part of a deportation force which sacrifices hundreds and thousands of people, our neighbors, to a broken federal immigration system," Hernandez said. 

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