New Ellis Island virtual border policy summit to feature regional leaders, elected officials

This Friday, border stakeholders will convene at the New Ellis Island (NEI) Virtual Border Policy Summit to explore the challenges at the southern U.S. border and discuss concrete and meaningful solutions to build a roadmap of welcoming for the entire nation.

The New Ellis Island event, organized by the Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR), will include several panel discussions led by border residents and experts tackling a diverse array of topics, including: creating a welcoming and orderly border; increasing law enforcement transparency and accountability; promoting economic opportunity and growth at the border; and combating policies designed to prevent border communities from thriving.

“In a moment where the voices of border residents are being drowned out or ignored by many politicians and lawmakers who prefer to use our communities and struggles as pawns in their political game, the New Ellis Island Virtual Border Policy Summit provides a much-needed platform to elevate policy solutions from the border, for the border, and discuss strategies to build a more compassionate and humane border and immigration system,” said Fernando García, executive director of BNHR.

“Last month on Juneteenth, BNHR united Black, Brown, and immigrant communities throughout the border region at the 8th edition of our ‘Hugs Not Walls’ event, which brought families together on the Rio Grande who have been separated by inhumane and unjust immigration laws. This week’s summit is an opportunity to find real policy and administrative solutions to end the suffering of those same families and thousands more, and underscore the urgent need for changes to our draconian and outdated immigration laws.”

Registration for the New Ellis Island Virtual Border Policy Summit is free and open to the public. The event will also be live-streamed to BNHR Facebook and Twitter pages.

WHAT: New Ellis Island (NEI) Virtual Border Policy Summit

WHERE: Register for the online event here.

WHEN: Friday, July 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. MDT

WHO: Hosted by the Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR) and featuring the participation of border residents and experts, including the following officials and organizations, among others:


  • U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX)
  • Arizona State Rep. Charlene Fernandez
  • Arizona State Sen. Rosanna Gabaldon
  • Arizona State Sen. Martin Quezada
  • Sixth Bishop of the Diocese of El Paso Mark J. Seitz
  • Commissioner of El Paso David Stout
  • Former Texas State Sen. Jose Rodriguez
  • Consul Emeritus of Honduras Tony Banegas
  • Sheriff David Hathaway of Santa Cruz County, AZ
  • U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) – invited


  • Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance (RITA)
  • La Unión Del Pueblo Entero (LUPE)
  • Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley
  • Human Rights Watch
  • ACLU of Texas
  • Texas Civil Rights Project
  • Washington Office on Latin America
  • Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy
  • Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce (TAMACC)




For more information on the Border Network for Human Rights, click here.  For previous stories on BNHR, click here.