Languages and cultures have blended for generations in the Rio Grande Valley -- so have illegal immigrant parents and cousins of Valley residents. But Valley input on the national immigration debate has been mostly subdued.
Juanita Valdez-Cox organized a protest of about 100 people yesterday in Harlingen. She says the Valley's geography of mostly small cities spread over a wide area -- lends itself to scattered, smaller rallies. Several were held throughout the Valley yesterday -- including one that drew 350 people in Brownsville.
The Reverend Mike Seifert ministers to one of the poorest US Census tracts in the country. He says illegal immigrants in his parish speak eagerly of protesting but may be frightened to do so in a place where the US Border Patrol is omnipresent.