Alleging ‘Environmental Racism,’ El Paso Activists File Civil Rights Complaint Against School District

“EPISD didn’t propose [a hub for 124 buses] anywhere else because other communities wouldn’t have accepted it,” said Chamizal community organizer Hilda Villegas.

News Story (Texas)

Naveena Sadasivam
Texas Observer
April 3, 2018

Tags: Environmental Justice, Schools: Discrimination

Organizations mentioned/involved: Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA)


Villegas is a member of Familias Unidas del Chamizal, a community group founded by her mother, Hilda Villegas, to advocate for the neighborhood and the people who live there. For the last few months, the grassroots group has been protesting the proposal for a bus hub, citing the additional pollution, traffic and potential safety hazards it would bring to Chamizal.

On Tuesday, the group, represented by Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA), filed a Title VI Civil Rights complaint with four federal agencies that provide funding to the school district. If the agencies accept the complaint, they might delay the project while they assess the effect it will have on Chamizal. Ultimately, the agencies could use the threat of withdrawing federal funding to pressure the district to find an alternative location for the bus hub.