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East Texans advocating for immigrants detained at border

LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) - A former immigrant turned successful lawyer in East Texas and a local activist/lawyer are working to change the lives of those being affected at the border.

Jose Sanchez, an immigration lawyer in Longview, says he works tirelessly to help immigrants stay in the United States. It's a fight he knows all too well.

"One of the reasons I do immigration law is because I'm an immigrant myself," says Sanchez. "I came here, undocumented, and thanks to President Ronald Reagan's amnesty back in 1986, I became legal and became a citizen, and now an immigration lawyer."

Immigration is at the forefront after President Donald Trump's administration announced their new policy.

"What's going on is the 'zero-tolerance policy' will federal prosecute everybody on the criminal charges and therefore, by the statute. we have to separate the children from the parents," explains Sanchez.

According to President Trump's administration, more than 2,000 children have been separated from their parents - a number that's set to increase now that the "zero-tolerance policy" is in full effect.

Sanchez says he understands the feelings of those affected.

"I do recall being scared to go anywhere because immigration might be there," says Sanchez. "There were several raids by immigration in Longview back in the 80s."

Another local lawyer and activist says something needs ot be done, so she decided to get involved. 

"If not us, who?," says Mary Lou Tevebaugh. "If not now, when? And I think about that now and that's why I decided I have to do something."

Tevebaugh and Sanchez say they will both be making trips to the border.

Tevebaugh is also collecting supplies for refugees camped out south of the border.

If you'd like to make a donation, the following items are being accepted:

Bottled water


Nonperishable food  item

Basic necessities

Donations can be dropped off during business hours at Tevebaugh's law office, located at 516 North Fredonia Street in Longview.

Though they know there's no easy remedy, both hope they can somehow make a difference.

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