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The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Local activists protest Berry Aviation’s treatment of migrants

Roberto+Lopez+%28Left%29+delivering+a+speech+Sunday%2C+Oct.+15%2C+2023+at+the+San+Marcos+Regional+Airport.
Ryan Claycamp
Roberto Lopez (Left) delivering a speech Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023 at the San Marcos Regional Airport.

Local political activism groups gathered at the San Marcos Regional Airport on Sunday morning to protest Berry Aviation’s transportation of migrants.

Berry Aviation, which is headquartered in the San Marcos Regional Airport, has been hired by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to fly migrants to California.

Immigration activism groups such as Mano Amiga and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center hope to pressure San Marcos to evict Berry Aviation from the airport.

“We have no response from Berry Aviation, and now we are here calling on the city of San Marcos to end Berry Aviation’s lease at the San Marcos Regional Airport,” Nataly Avendano, the Immigration Coordinator for Mano Amiga, said during her speech. “We are not going to tolerate the disrespect and the undignified treatment of immigrants.”

Migrants volunteer to go on these flights due in part to misleading information given before they arrive in California.

“[Migrants] are mainly given false promises that when they arrive in a new destination they are going to have housing, jobs and be taken care of, but instead they are just left alone in somewhere they are not familiar with,” Avendano said.

Jordan Buckley, the director of the Lost River Film Festival and a former member of Mano Amiga, encouraged people to attend the protest to end what he sees as abhorrent treatment of disadvantaged people.

“I think it’s morally depraved conduct and that our municipally owned airport should not be used to harbor profiteers of human misery, which Berry Aviation has proven themselves to be,” Buckley said.

Protestors also spoke out about “Operation Lone Star,” Governor Greg Abbott’s response to an uptick in immigrants crossing the southern border by creating more security measures on the U.S. – Mexico border.

“Over the last three years Gov. Abbott has wasted over $10 billion of Texan taxpayer dollars on a racist and unconstitutional political scheme,” Jennefer Canales-Pelaez, a policy attorney and strategist for the Immigration Legal Resource Center, said.

Mano Amiga and the Immigration Legal Resource Center view Sunday’s protest as only a step in its fight and plan to continue advocating for a change in the actions of Berry Aviation, or its removal from the airport.

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  • J

    Joel ElliottOct 22, 2023 at 3:16 pm

    These illegals should be transported, not to California, but rather to the border and released back into their home country. I have little pity for law-breaking immigrants, they were not asked to come to the US and we as a country don’t have any obligation to take care of them. Send them back.

    Reply
  • J

    Jorge LopezOct 19, 2023 at 1:48 pm

    Awesome work by these groups.

    Reply