The Border Network for Human Rights has made a strong commitment to defend our community and advance human dignity and rights. Beginning on December 1st, 2016, BNHR will launch a multi-layer campaign encompassing concrete plans, activities and steps to ensure that we overcome the hate, xenophobia, racism, and fear that this election has brought forward. This campaign is our response to an expected two-front assault as the Federal Government works to meet President-Elect Trump’s commitment to round up and deport DACA recipients, visa overstays, people with misdemeanors, and millions of others, and the State of Texas moves to force local governments to serve this anti-immigrant agenda, by turning local police into immigration agents.
Maintain and Expanding the BNHR Annual Abuse Documentation Campaign
In response to the current climate of xenophobia, racism, misogyny, hate, and fear, we have made a decision to extend our ongoing Abuse Documentation Campaign into the first quarter of 2017. This is a reaction to reports from around the U.S. of increasing cases of hate crimes motivated by race, religion, and gender following the election of Mr. Trump. We will monitor for such cases occurring in El Paso and Southern New Mexico and work with our communities and allies to ensure that 1) individuals residing in our communities are ready to stand up to such hate, and 2) that local institutions and civil society can offer a strong response that shows our commitment to inclusion, dignity, and rights for all persons.
We Are All DACA Petition and Organizing Campaign
President-Elect Trump has promised to rescind the executive orders creating the DACA program. Through a revitalized BNHR Youth Group, we are going to organize DACA recipients to ensure they have a strong community voice advocating on behalf of themselves and their families. Likewise, we will ensure that we can connect DACA recipients and their families to important information and services. The first activity of this group will be to launch a petition with the aim to collect thousands of signatures from DACA beneficiaries for border Congressmen Beto O’Rourke and Steve Pearce.
Border Region Community Know Your Rights Educational Campaign
While human, civil, and constitutional rights education has always been central to BNHR’s organizing framework, in this moment of racism, nativism, xenophobia, and fear it is all the more critical that communities be prepared for attacks by the Federal, State, and Local government, as well as civil society, on individuals, families, and communities. Starting in November, BNHR will launch a campaign to ensure we have educated communities, with particular care to prepare for immigration raids.
December 10th, 2016—March for Inclusion, Dignity, and Rights
This is a trying moment for our country and our society—a moment where communities need to come together and rally around our values of inclusion, dignity, rights, and wellbeing of all persons. While El Paso and Las Cruces have seen protests against the election of Mr. Trump, BNHR wants to take this conversation further, and through a mass community mobilization—akin to the 2006 immigration marches—make sure that our communities are at the forefront of offering an alternative, welcoming, optimistic vision of what America can and should be.
January 28th, 2017—#HugsNotWalls 3
We at Border Network are extremely proud of #HugsNotWalls, which has brought global attention to the inhumanity of U.S. immigration policy that callously separates families. In our first two events in August and October 2016 we have brought together more than 400 separated families. We intend to continue this campaign of calling attention to inhumane immigration policy into a Trump Administration and are moving ahead with an even bigger #HugsNotWalls 3 just a week after his inauguration. While we are uncertain how long we will be able to maintain these activities, we intend to let Mr. Trump know from the outset of his time in office that love overcomes all obstacles placed in front of it.
January 10th-June 1st, 2017—Texas Together Campaign for the 2017 Texas Legislature
Through our participation in the Texas-wide Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance (RITA), we will work to educate, engage, and mobilize the El Paso community to resist a growing state-level anti-immigrant agenda that is pushing local immigration enforcement, repeal of in-state higher education tuition for undocumented students, restricted organ transplant access for undocumented persons, and more. More detail about the plans for Texas Together activities can be found in the included RITA work plan.
Spring 2017—Border Delegation to Washington D.C. for Bipartisan Enforcement Reform
Border Network remains committed to organizing communities along the U.S.-Mexico border to advocate for legislation that would provide essential oversight, accountability, and community engagement for U.S. border enforcement agencies working in our midst. As we see the potential for a further expansion of the border enforcement apparatus, it becomes all the more critical that we reach out to legislators in both parties to ensure that government agencies are acting in ways that respect the rights of people and communities.
The Border Network for Human Rights, founded in 1998, is one of the leading human rights advocacy and immigration reform organizations located at the U.S./Mexico Border. BNHR has over 7,000 members in West Texas and Southern New Mexico.