WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Three human rights groups from Texas were honored Thursday with the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award for their work helping migrant families stuck on the border.
The groups do everything from providing food to giving legal assistance to asylum seekers affected by changes in US immigration policy.
“The Angry Tias and Abuelas” came together last summer when a group of women from south Texas saw a need to help immigrants and asylum seekers.
“When we first saw them on the bridges a year ago south of McAllen sleeping for five nights with their babies, we felt angry,” said Joyce Hamilton, one of the Angry Tias and Abuelas.
Since they’ve channeled their anger over US immigration policies into action, they have sometimes provided food and blankets to migrants trapped on bridges, in shelters or unceremoniously dropped off by buses in cities they’ve never been to.
“We have families who are just trying to save their lives, and we feel that we need to do something about that,” she said.
Other times the group helps to explain basic legal rights to asylum seekers.
For their work at the border, the Angry Tias and Abuelas, the Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee and La Union del Pueblo (Lupe) were all honored with the RFK Award.
The awards were presented on the 51st anniversary of the assassination of Robert Kennedy.
“You are creating a more just and peaceful world,” said Kerry Kennedy, the president of RFK Human Rights.
The members of the Angry Tias and Abuelas said they’re humbled to receive the award and said what they see on the border daily is quite different than the political rhetoric they hear from Washington.
Another group member, Elizabeth Cabazos, said “It’s not a choice. We always say, like, what a difficult choice.”
She said it’s clear to her why migrants make the dangerous trek to the US along with their children.
“And honestly from listening to the stories, there really is not choice,” Cabazos said. “It’s flee or die.”