We are very excited to host more than 200 queer and trans people of color in our borderland next month for Aquí Estamos 2016: 2nd Annual LGBTQ Conference in RGV! However, we want to ensure the safety of everyone. If you are undocumented and planning to travel to the Rio Grande Valley, please read this carefully!
The Rio Grande Valley is surrounded by Border Patrol checkpoints to the north and the Texas-Mexico border to the south. This means that, if you are traveling into the Rio Grande Valley from any region north of us, you are very likely to encounter a border patrol checkpoint. In a checkpoint, you may be asked for proof of citizenship or legal immigration status. Failure to provide may lead to interrogation and detention.
We wish these checkpoints did not exist. They pose great danger to our undocumented community and create isolation. We want to keep everyone safe, therefore, we do not encourage undocumented people traveling from outside the Rio Grande Valley to try to cross these checkpoints to attend our conference.
It breaks our hearts to make this announcement, but we move forward knowing that events such as this conference will build power to challenge these injustices in our community. We will be live streaming our keynote speakers on Facebook for those who are not able to attend.
Thank you, and please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
The Aquí Estamos Team