Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR) was founded in El Paso, Texas in 1998, building on a rich history of local activism around border and immigration issues. BNHR reframed these efforts through a human rights lens and a goal of building sustainable, organized community power. We are a human rights organization, not an immigration rights organization, and we aspire to advance the dignity and rights of all persons. We work to change policy and practice and as such, center affected persons by providing them the skills, organization, and opportunity to lead such efforts.
Causes: Community Advocacy, Migration, Social Justice
The Border Network for Human Rights is a human rights organization, not an immigrant rights organization, and aspires to advance the dignity and rights of all persons. One of our campaigns to promote love is our Hugs Not Walls
Reuniting families from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, #HugsNotWalls has become an important symbol of love, hopen and resilience bringing together families to see, embrace, and hug their loved ones from across the border. Our event is a demonstration of the ties have held border communities together for hundreds of years but are now blocked by broken and ill-conceived immigration policies and practices that seperate families.
The historic #HugsNotWalls returned for the eighth edition on Juneteenth. The event provides a for reflection within our border community and the nation. Over 200 families on both sides of the border were able to briefly hold each other for a few precious minutes.
We were honored that this event was memorialized in a powerful Netflix documentary “A 3 Minute Hug” which captures both the joy and heartbreak of families separated by U.S.- Mexico border policies. The short but bittersweet reunion that took place during the unique event sent a strong message of love, hope, and resistance. The documentary was directed by Everardo Gonzalez and executive produced by Gael Garcia Bernal. The short film was released globally on the streaming service on October 28, 2019.
Stories of Reunification
“My daughter’s name is Gabriela, she is 5 years old and she was a year old when she saw her daddy for the last time. Even though they talk by phone, thanks to this event, she was able to meet him in person and hug him; she hadn’t remembered the last time that happened. The situation was always very difficult for her because her older sisters were able to go visit their dad and she was always asking, why can’t I?” – Laura Murillo, Gabriela’s mother.
“I hadn’t seen my daughter in seven years, so I was really happy and excited to see her, but my heart is still missing two pieces because I have another daughter in Washington and one more in Colorado. I can’t see them because I can’t travel, but yesterday was a very special and happy day and I am very grateful for all of you and with God for making this possible. I will be eternally grateful.” – Policarpio Duran.
How Your Genoristy Helps
Grant and donor funding is where most of our funding comes from. Your contribution goes immediately into action through any of our campaigns:
* Assiting essential workers who could not qualify for federal financial assistance
* Assist a marginalized community member (homeless, undocumented, transgendered, or others) obtain a community ID as an alternative form of photo identification to help them integrate into city government, public safety departments, local economy, and everyday social interaction without fearing fines, tickets, or even arrest for not having proper identification.
* Collect data concerning Abuse by Any Lay Enforcement through our Abuse Documentation Campaign and not only publish results, but use the data to educate legislators
Some of our Successes and Progress During Most Challenging of Time
Met and shared with Vice President Kamala Harris the discussions and concrete ideas for a more welcoming border through our New Ellis Border Policy Summit - New Ellis Island of which she expressed much interest to work toward with us.
Fighting Exclusion and Discrimination at the Border during the COVID-19 Pandemic. BNHR only educated and shared information on fighting COVID-19, but also vaccinated hundreds of in our community, especially our community members in areas like Montana Vista and Canutillo
Assisted Commissioner Holguin with assistance in reaching out to those same areas for rental, utility bill assistance for those who needed assistance to fill out forms to qualify for the financial relief
**The Walmart Racist Attack and #ElPasoFirme: A Call Against White Supremacy **
August 3, 2021, marked the two-year anniversary of the mass shooting at an El Paso, TX Walmart. This senseless shooting cut short twenty-three lives, the majority Latino, and left twenty-six wounded, and a border community forever changed. The shooting was the deadliest attack against Latinos in recent history. Propagated and fueled by the false narrative under the Trump administration that immigrants are criminals, normalizing white supremacy, and encouraging xenophobic violence - a white supremacist gunman violated our community, specifically targeting Mexicans and immigrants. BNHR continues to denounce efforts and actions that effectuated this heinous crime and maintains that Brown, Black, and immigrant communities receive their rightful treatment with dignity and respect. We will continue our demands for a society that respects each other and embraces a new narrative that encompasses human and civil rights in the nation, beginning at our border.
Thank you for your generosity!
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