Aside from their South Texas location, Roberto further shared that Texas Civil Rights Project organized their Dia de los Muertos altar in Austin, Texas for the first time, where they honored Mayela Villegas, who worked closely with many members of TCRP. According to Roberto, Mayela was a “a brave human, immigrant and also trans woman, died in the U.S. after months of advocating and fighting tirelessly for the right to live a safe life.” They also honored Melissa Nuñez, a “trans activist who has been expelled under Title 42 and who was murdered in her home country.”
TCRP honored the people who died under Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody. Their Austin and South Texas Dia de los Muertos events each had 800 holiday lights, one for every 10 people, according to border patrol’s count.
“We started to focus Dia de Muertos at the Texas Civil Rights Project on immigration back in 2018 after the family seperation crisis. Then we focused on a gentleman by the name of Martin Gomez Arellano who had perished inside a tractor trailer. In the years after we have tried to honor the lives of our clients. His family was one of them, Carlos Hernandez Vasquez is another… I hope that we can continue to celebrate the people, the brave immigrants who continue to come across to this country, who continue to show the world that despite whatever fake laws and policies people want to put out there, it’s all connected.”