Mexican tapestery pattern

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Funded in part by a grant from TexTreasures and by the UT Arlington Library.

María Jiménez

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(45 pages)

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Ms. Jiménez was born August 2, 1950, in Castanos, Coahuila, Mexico. She received her B.A. in 1975 from the University of Houston. Ms. Jiménez has worked for the American Friends Service Committee since 1987 as director of the Mexico-U.S. Border Program Immigration Law Enforcement Monitoring Project (ILEMP) and has served on a number of public service advisory boards involving immigrant and refugee issues during her career.

Interview Summary:

Ms. Jiménez describes her work as director of the Immigration Law Enforcement Monitoring Project (ILEMP) and explains the background and purpose of its parent organization, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). She discusses ILEMP's funding, budget, goals and operations and how its collection of data on human rights abuses has impacted immigration policy and law; she refers repeatedly to the Ezekiel Hernandez case and its effect on the U.S. policy of using military troops on the U.S.-Mexico border. In speaking of her family, Ms. Jiménez relates the effects her activism has had on her personal life and her children, and describes her parents' support for education and her early exposure to political activism. She also talks of the race and gender discrimination she experienced in school and discusses her participation in MAYO (Mexican American Youth Organization) while a student at the University of Houston. Ms. Jiménez speaks about campaigning as a La Raza Unida candidate for Houston city council and how that party and the Democratic party interacted during the race. She describes her work history and involvement in union organizing activities. She also expresses her views on the inequities of immigration policy, especially its economic aspects, and on Mexican American leadership and its future.

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