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Come to DebConf10!

Hello World,

I have heard some comments in IRC about not coming to DebConf10
because of bad press of the USA border policies. We discussed this in
our last localteam meeting and decided I was to send an e-mail with
some comments about it. Please note this e-mail has my personal views
on the topic and has not been reviewed by other members of localteam,
so as to keep it as personal as possible. All the views here are mine
and do not necessarily represent the views of localteam [2].

The objective of this e-mail is to entice people who are so far not
coming to DC10 out of concern with the USA border policies to seek
further information about it. I do not consider their concerns as
unfounded, but my personal experience after living 10+ years in USA in
a variety of visas (I'm from South America) do not correlate with such 
concerns. Things seem to be improving at the border, at least from my 
anecdotal account.

As I said, I don't think the issues people have raised are of course
unfounded. Traveling is always a risk and nothing beats the safety of
staying within known premises. But with that risk you also have a huge
pay-out. If you have attended previous DebConfs you know very well how
enriching an experience it can be, both for yourself and for the

In the same vein, receiving people from different countries is also a
risk for the host country and there are plenty of people in USA that
do not see the point on taking that risk (and thus the strengthening
of border policies). Luckily, that is not the case of absolutely any
New Yorker I have met in 10+ years here. You will definitely be
visiting one of the most accepting societies I have ever experienced.
(That on itself should be worth the trip!)

The part that really kills me is that the Debian project really goes
beyond particular countries. In our last DebConf 'unspecified' was the
largest 'country' among our participants [1]. It makes me cringe that
the people in USA who wants to close out the country are not only
getting away with it, but also hurting Debian while at it.

I don't want to start a thread here and by no means I want people to
be on the defensive. If you have good reasons not to attend, it is
clearly your call. But if you haven't thought much about it and you
are letting yourself go with what you have heard here and there, you
are welcome to stop by the channel #debconf-nyc and ask around. We
have great legal counsel to help us with these matters and if needed
we can even track your arrival to make sure you came in just fine.

Thanks for listening and (hopefully) see you in NYC!

Pablo (aka DrDub)

[1] http://media.debconf.org/dc9/report/, page 26
[2] and our registrations for DC10 is going very well, by the way :)

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