Immigration justice is LGBTQ justice, especially for persons in the Rio Grande Valley. According to the Migration Policy Institute, the RGV is one of regions of the U.S. with the highest population of undocumented immigrants. Aquí Estamos advocates to raise awareness on the specific issues that target LGBTQ immigrants, such as being undocumented and LGBTQ, employment, education, housing, access to resources, health care, and legal issues.

Some of the issues we advocate or provide resources for are:

  • End to detention of immigrants in detention centers
  • Raise awareness on the high risk of harassment LGBTQ immigrants face in detention centers, especially trans men and women
  • End the ciminalization and overpolicing of immigrants in the Rio Grande Valley
  • Help undocumented LGBTQ find resources to explore their legal options
  • Aid LGBTQ immigrants, especially those who are undocumented, fight against wage theft and exploitation
  • Provide resources for students attending college or university

Read brief report on how trans immigrants face high risks of harassment in immigration deportation centers

What we’re doing

#Breakthecage Campaign

Of the 11 million undocumented people in the United States, more than 267,000 identify as LGBTQ; individuals who fled their home countries to escape persecution and torture. Instead of finding safety, LGBTQ immigrants are placed in dangerous detention facilities where they wait anywhere from weeks to months to see a judge who will decide their fate. Read more
 

Protest in front of immigrant detention center in McAllen

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Calling an end to detention and mistreatment of LGBTQ immigrants in immigration detention centers, Aquí Estamos organized a protest in front of the detention center in McAllen, Texas. It was the first public demonstration in the Rio Grande Valley advocating for LGBTQ and immigrant rights simultaneously.
 

#NoMoreClosets Campaign

In conjunction with groups around the U.S., this campaign will be to raise awareness on the lives and experiences of LGBTQ immigrants. It will be paired with the first national survey documenting the lives of LGBTQ immigrants, especially those who are undocumented.

Need help? Click here to view a list of RGV community resources and organizations.