Jul 8, 2011

Immigration Reality: Improvement Comes Up Short in South Texas Colonias

An enlightening article about little known immigrant communities in south Texas

Improvement Comes Up Short in South Texas Colonias - NYTimes.com: "Patience is all the inhabitants of many Texas colonias have had. In Del Mar Heights, on the fringe of Cameron County, residents live on a devastated stretch of scrubland littered with dilapidated trailers and dotted with listing telephone poles. There are no paved streets or sewers, basic infrastructure that developers promised the Mexican immigrants who bought land here 30 years ago. There are often three families — and several bleating goats — to a lot. Floodwaters and hurricanes routinely sweep through the area, battering roofs patched with tarps and campaign signs.

“The elected officials remain pretty ignorant about all these issues,” said Ann Cass, executive director for Proyecto Azteca, an organization that helps build safe and affordable homes in the Rio Grande Valley’s colonias. “There’s so much turfism, so many bureaucratic challenges. If we as a nonprofit can’t cut through all the red tape, how can we expect one of these families to do it?”"

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