Immigrant and LGBTQ Rights organizations come together to demand LGBTQ inclusion on Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill
A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators is in the process of creating a framework for Comprehensive Immigration Reform for more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country.
This press conference will call on the “Gang of Eight”- bipartisan Senators - to advance reforms that will help this substantial sector of the immigrant community. So far the Gang of 8 has shown it plans to exclude UAFA, the legislation introduced by Rep. Jerold Nadler, that will allow same-sex couples immigration equality, where the American partner can sponsor a foreign same-sex partner or spouse for a green card.
Make the Road New York, LGBTQ rights organizations, local elected officials call on Senate “Gang of Eight” to ensure immigration reform proposal includes LGBTQ families and individuals.
Who: Make the Road New York, The LGBT Community Center of New York, The New York City Anti Violence Project, Brooklyn Community Pride Center, The DOMA Project, The Sex Workers Project at Urban Justice Center,, Out4Immigration, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Rep. Nydia Velazquez (tentative), Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio, NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn, NYC Council Members Daniel Dromm, Letisha James, Melissa Mark-Viverito and Jimmy Van Brammer, immigration equality.
When: Monday March 18, 2013 at 12pm (doors at 11:30am)
Where: At the LGBT Community Center of New York, 208 West 13th Street (Take the 1, 2, or 3 to 14th Street and 7th Avenue; A, C, E, or L to 14th Street and 8th Avenue; F or M to 14th Street and 6th Avenue)
What: Press conference to speak on urgency of this issue, hear stories of LGBTQ community members who are directly affected.
Context: A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators is in the process of creating a framework for Comprehensive Immigration Reform for more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country. Gary Gates of the Williams Institute estimates that at least 267,000 of those undocumented immigrants are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer (LGBTQ). This press conference will call on the “Gang of Eight” to advance reforms that will help this substantial sector of the immigrant community.
The group of organizations released this statement: “As officials and groups that serve and empower the LGBTQ community, we daily see how immigration and LGBTQ issues intersect: the man who would love nothing more than to petition for his husband and partner of 20 years but who cannot under current immigration laws; the lesbian who is facing the prospect of violence in her country of origin because she did not file an asylum claim within one year; the transgender woman held endlessly in immigration detention, where she is vulnerable to harassment and abuse. These issues relate to fundamental rights and, in many cases, they are matters of life and death for LGBTQ immigrants. It is therefore imperative that any bill for immigration reform arising from Senate negotiations provides substantive equality for LGBTQ immigrants and addresses the serious issues faced by LGBTQ community members.”
Hopefully the questions will include:
Melanie Nathan’s Questions:
Can UAFA proceed as a stand alone bill at this time or is the only hope for binationals the illusive Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR)?
What are the strategies if UAFA is not included in CIR?
Of the 267,000 undocumented immigrants how many are estimated to be in Binational same-sex relationships and if they are not, surely the call to include LGBTI people in CIR is irrelevant as those people do not have immigration inequality as do binaitonal same-sex couples – they stand in the exact same position as other undocumented immigrants. So how does the plight of the 267,000 further the goal for equality under the immigration law?
The 267,000 who are not binationals are included in CIR – but same-sex spouses seeking green cards are not. How does touting the 267,000 do anything to further equality? It does nothing except to try and hoodwink other LGBT supporters into thinking that CIR is the imperative and only solution for UAFA, while no effort is being made to pass it as a stand alone Bill.
What is plan B for binational same-sex couples if plan A is CIR?
If DOMA is held by SCOTUS to be unconstitutional in June, exactly what impact will that have on binational same-sex couples and how will the various categories of hardship/ prejudice be remedied – a. for exiled couples b. for those illegally in U.S.A. and c. those currently subject to deportation orders? Will we still need UAFA attached to CIR for OUR binational same-sex couples and why?
While the conference may be to shout from the rooftops, begging for inclusion, hopefully the hard questions will be asked and a new look taken at strategy – as so far the idea of hitching UAFA onto CIR has been a failed quest. The organization Immigration Equality should be held accountable for the failure.