In 2006, Gabriela Garcia became the first TCRP staff member in El Paso. She worked as a paralegal, assisting immigrant victims of domestic violence. Gabriela made due with limited resources to assist our clients, including working in a tiny rented office by herself. Since 2006, our program in El Paso has expanded tremendously. We went from one woman renting a desk, to eight staff members and a cadre of interns and volunteers with their own TCRP office building.
The organization now provides pro bono services to residents of West Texas and Southern New Mexico, including:
- Legal representation for victims of civil rights violations in state and federal courts;
- Legal and social services for victims of domestic violence and other crimes through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Program;
- An extensive Economic Justice Program focusing on employer wage theft, underpayment of wages, and unsafe working conditions for low-wage workers.
Not only has the El Paso office increased staff by more than 700%, the program has many other key achievements to celebrate. Some of the most recent accomplishments include:
- Successfully settling a case where a man was tased twice and pepper sprayed while he was having a diabetic seizure, resulting in a new Taser policy prohibiting its use on vulnerable populations such as children and people in medical crisis.
- Expanding the VAWA program to include over twenty counties surrounding El Paso
- Successfully litigating multiple Americans with Disabilities Act cases in order to make West Texas more accessible to people with disabilities and enabling them to lead independent lives of dignity.
- Settling a racial profiling suit involving the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department, where the program negotiated for key policy changes and extensive re-training of the entire Department regarding the limits of their authority with respect to enforcing federal immigration law.
- Partnering with TRLA to litigate on behalf of victims of natural disasters whose property and due process rights were violated by the City of El Paso.
- Establishing a new self-help program for VAWA clients in the Midland-Odessa and El Paso regions to receive advocacy and leadership training as well as ESL and other skills courses.
- Providing extensive “Know Your Rights” trainings throughout El Paso County on a monthly basis.
- Successfully settling a case involving a Border Patrol agent who sexually assaulted a mother and her minor daughter. We also obtained crime victims U-Visas for the women.
- Successfully litigating a case on behalf of two people from the LGBT community whose rights were violated by the El Paso Police after exchanging a kiss in a local restaurant. This case resulted in re-training of the Police Force on the rights and fair treatment of the LGBT community.
The Paso Del Norte Texas Civil Rights Project is the only civil rights litigation organization in its region with a full-time staff. As such, the program has its work cut out for it and an ever growing clientele base.
If you you have a case you would like us to consider, please click here for details on our intake procedure.
If you would like to volunteer with TCRP, please click here for more information.