Beyond Borders is a caucus of the Red Nation (TRN), which is a grassroots organization dedicated to the liberation of Indigenous people all over the world and the liberation of all marginalized and colonized peoples of the world. Here is an excerpt from the principles of unity that govern our praxis:
We are Indigenous revolutionaries. We are comrades and relatives first and foremost. We practice radical democracy and compassion for all relatives. Despite differences in organizational role or affiliation, we are equals in struggle. We are anti-capitalist and anti-colonial. We are Indigenous feminists who believe in radical relationality. We do not seek a milder form of capitalism or colonialism—we demand an entirely new system premised on peace, cooperation, and justice. For our Earth and relatives to live, capitalism and colonialism must die. We belong to long traditions of Indigenous resistance. We claim our rightful place among all freedom fighters around the world. We are not the first, nor will we be the last. We are the ancestors from the before and the already forthcoming. By carrying this history forward, we actively create the world in which we want to live. We seek to not just challenge power, but to build power. We are not simply a negation of the nightmarish colonial present—colonialism, capitalism, heteropatriarchy, imperialism, and white supremacy—we are the embodiment and affirmation of a coming Indigenous future, a future in which many worlds fit. We believe that all oppressed nations have the right to self-determination—to decide their own destinies. We, The Red Nation, are self-determining peoples. We enact the principles of freedom and integrity in how we seek to live as good people of the earth.
The Beyond Borders Caucus (BBC) of TRN seeks to mobilize solidarity and support for our refugee and migrant relatives who are impacted by colonial borders, border militarization, and border imperialism. We believe that our communities need to play an active role in supporting our migrant relatives on stolen land. We seek to educate our communities about how colonial regimes such as the US government are criminalizing and incarcerating undocumented communities, who are refugees seeking a better life. The United States stole our lands through violence, white supremacy, settler colonialism, and genocide, and we know that the United States, and colonial regimes like it, have created the conditions in which our relatives are migrating from their homelands. Many of the refugees and migrants coming into the United States are also Indigenous people, therefore a migrant justice movement must have an anticolonial and decolonial praxis. We must create the space in which refugees and migrants are given support to participate in authentic radical liberation that requires struggles and movements to intersect because our peoples and communities do.
Beyond Borders Caucus
Who We Are
BBC was adopted as an official caucus of TRN on September 6, 2019. BBC formed after several TRN members traveled to Rarámuri territory—also known by its colonial name, Tornillo, Texas—to participate in the Tornillo Port of Entry occupation. The occupation brought awareness to three thousand youth who were being held in concentration camps with little to no medical service, food, or basic human rights.
BBC builds solidarity with those directly affected by the current border imperialist regime, which has historically devastated the living conditions of migrants and pushed them out of their own homeland, forcing them to look for another. We center migrants by giving them a platform to share their stories and authentically participate in radical liberation.
We organize to support undocumented communities. We acknowledge that for Indigenous people to be free, undocumented and Palestinian people must be free. Indigenous nations have historically had ties with our relatives across the Global South and we seek to call on those kinship ties as we continue to build and organize beyond borders. We seek to strengthen relationships between Indigenous nations and educate our communities about the entwined histories of settler colonialism, capitalism, patriarchy, and white supremacy with the hope that we can continue to build struggle.
We recognize that in order to build better relationships, we need to invest the time to listen and learn from migrant communities, including being open to learning more languages. We will meet on a biweekly/weekly basis and work with organizations that have been doing this work by educating our community, collecting donations, and centering these struggles. We will have roles such as cochair, secretary, and archivist to guide and organize our efforts. We will adopt more positions if there is a need as we grow.
Role within TRN
BBC shall be fully accountable to the membership and leadership of TRN. Through its work, this caucus shall uphold TRN’s principles of unity and participate in a democratic-centralist manner. BBC will inform and be informed by the work of the membership and leadership of TRN. All members of BBC are expected to become TRN members.
We are in the belly of the beast. New Mexico is a border state, and our communities are directly affected by what is going on at the US-Mexico border. New Mexico houses three detention facilities. One of these facilities incarcerates our LGBTQ2+ relatives at the Cibola Trans pod, which sits at the base of Mount Taylor, a mountain sacred to many of the region’s Indigenous nations. Another camp was recently constructed in Estancia, New Mexico.
We are for internationalism and for the abolition of all borders. We seek to build kinship networks between communities that have been historically marginalized and silenced by colonial and settler states. We reject current notions of citizenship that are built upon the genocide of Native people, exploitation of Native resources, and labor of all who are poor and colonized. We are anticolonial, antipatriarchal, antiprofit, and anticapitalist, and we want to build the struggle for liberation.
We seek to organize with all undocumented people who are still in the shadows: Indigenous, LGBTQ2+, sex workers, and farmworkers. We want to build solidarity between struggles, regardless of beliefs, languages, or geographic locations. We are explicitly pro-Palestine and demand the abolition of all settler-colonial institutions, walls, borders, blockades, checkpoints, and theft of Palestinian lands. From Palestine to Turtle Island, all borders must be abolished for our people to live!
We have an Indigenous-centered perspective of migrant justice and organizing that rejects the settler state’s notions of citizenship and instead creates solidarity between Indigenous people and undocumented migrants. We look to queer feminist frameworks of intersectionality to guide our politics. We ask questions like “What would it look like if Native nations asserted their sovereignty to offer sanctuary to undocumented migrants and refugees?” and “What does solidarity look like between Indigenous nations beyond colonial borders?”
We do not support the appropriation of indigeneity by non-Indigenous or detribalized peoples but, rather, the liberation of all colonized people from oppressive institutions. One can participate, liberate, and agitate without appropriating or further colonizing.
We seek to bring solidarity to undocumented/documented/dacamented people working in exploitative conditions, especially our relatives in the fields or on the streets. This includes boycotting corporations that do not pay farm workers fair wages. We also advocate for the right to unionize and legalize for all and seek to raise awareness about dangerous work conditions in the fields and human trafficking in undocumented communities.
We are informed by the Palestinian struggle for the right of return, the first and second Intifadas, and the international movement Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS). We organize active solidarity with the Palestinian struggle and encourage our members to visit Palestine. We are committed to pressuring the US government to get out of the Middle East.
- 1. Liberation for undocumented relatives is tied to the liberation of Indigenous people. Migrant justice movements must be aligned with Indigenous and Black liberation. Migrant justice movements must reject anti-Indianism, anti-Blackness, colonialism, and capitalism.
- 2. We seek the abolition of the prison industrial complex, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the school-to-prison/detention/deportation pipeline.
- 3. We seek to liberate all farmworkers, street vendors, sex workers, seasonal workers, housekeepers, janitors, caretakers, wage laborers, homemakers (stay at home folks), elders, LGBTQ2+, rural workers, families, and Indigenous peoples from outside of the United States from labor exploitation.
- 4. We demand an end to U.S. foreign policies that subvert democracy abroad and create the conditions in which poor and colonized migrants are exploited for their labor. When they are no longer able to produce, migrants are incarcerated alongside Indigenous and Black peoples in private detention centers that profit off their bodies.
- 5. We demand an end to all forms of incarceration as “solutions” to processing migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees.
- 6. We demand the abolition of all borders from Palestine to Turtle Island.
- 7. We demand an end to family separation whether it is at boarding schools, detention/incarceration facilities, concentration camps, human trafficking, or the foster care system.
- 8. We center the voices of marginalized migrants like street vendors, LGBTQ2+ folks, single-parent households, and disabled folks.
- 9. We organize in a way that denounces the indoctrination of migrant and Indigenous people into U.S. standards of success and belonging. We reject notions of U.S. nationalism and believe that migrants have inherent rights to migration, and basic human rights, regardless of their “contributions to” or indoctrination in U.S. society.
- 10. Machismo culture is patriarchy and it must be smashed! There have been Femicides of over 2,559 women across Latin America and to be in solidarity with the movement for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls across Turtle Island we demand that all women/femmes live free without fear.
- 11. We stand by undocumented people regardless of their race, social status, or circumstances. We seek to move beyond the notion of “model citizens” or “deserving immigrants,” instead accepting undocumented people as relatives who have a right to live free from violence.
- 12. We demand an end to all U.S. funding for the state of Israel and other settler colonial countries, and support the right of return for all Palestinians.
- 13. We demand that the U.S. government take immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025. The United Nations anticipates upwards of 250 million climate refugees by 2050. We demand the U.S. government provides resources for developing countries to fund a just transition and a robust public infrastructure to mitigate the impacts of climate-fueled disasters. We know that the United States is the number one polluter and contributor to climate change; for the world to live, the military, all prisons, and extractive industries must be eliminated. We thus encourage everyone to adopt the Red Deal as their platform on climate change.
- 14. We recognize the inherent interconnectedness of our struggles. We recognize that without liberations for us all, there will be no freedom for any of us.
Hope-Siihasin Alvarado is the chair of the Red Nation Albuquerque Freedom Council, a Native liberation grassroots organization. Hope is also the chair of the Beyond Borders Caucus, which serves as a vehicle for anticolonial migrant justice organizing and works internationally to bridge Indigenous struggles. Hope, who identifies as a Chicanx and Diné (Navajo) genderqueer femme organizer and Indigenous queer feminist, has organized with the Red Nation for about five years. Hope recently graduated from the University of New Mexico with a BA in Native American studies and a double minor in intercultural communication and peace studies. They currently work as the Native movement builder with the Black Mesa Water Coalition. Hope believes that what happens to the land happens to our bodies and that the global struggle for Indigenous liberation is a movement for everyone, and we all have a place in it.