A “Queer” Contingent Joins ICE Detention Center protest, May Day March for Immigration Reform and in Solidarity Against Arizona's SB 1070

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The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community

Calls For Comprehensive Humane Immigration Reform inclusive of LGBT issues.

Los Angeles, CA—On May Day/International Worker’s Day, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) advocacy groups march for humane immigration reform, which protects LGBTQ individuals, their partners, families, and children.  Wearing red shirts and carrying gay flags, a large “Queer” contingent includes members of The Latino Equality Alliance, API Equality LA, Equality California, Coalición Trans Latina, Gamba Adisa, Sin Fronteras, The Wall / Las Memorias, Proyecto Orgullo-BIENESTAR, Faith for Equality, Asian Pacific Aids Intervention Team (APAIT), Proyecto Igualdad, Asian Queer Women Activists, National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce and other LGBT Groups.

“The gay community supports human rights and dignity in the application of federal immigration laws and policies. The LGBT community is well aware of the harm caused to individuals and families that unconstitutional laws like Arizona’s new anti-immigrant law, SB 1070, which criminalizes the undocumented, and California’s Proposition 8, which denies marriage rights to the LGBT community” said Suyapa Portillo, board member of the Latino Equality Alliance and co-founder of Gamba Adisa, queer women, gender non-conforming, and trans people of color collective.  “The LGBT community urges President Obama and Congress to act fairly and swiftly to update immigration laws and policies that are harmful and separate families.”

LGBTQ specific Immigration Reform Action Items include:

  • Uniting American Families Act. If passed, this law would recognize more than 36,000 bi-national same-sex couples in the United States, 47% of which are raising children. 
  • Support the DREAM ACT for all youth and recognition of LGBT and queer youth. Immigrant youth who are LGBTQ-identified must be acknowledged in the larger fight for education and youth self-empowerment. Many undocumented youth will graduate with honors from their universities and will not be able to contribute to society and the economy because of their legal status.
  • Support LGBTQ worker rights within immigration reform. Although many workers are covered under LGBTQ laws and protections in this country, these protections exclude non-documented immigrants.
  • End the 12-month rule to file for asylum seekers. Twelve months is not enough time for LGBTQ immigrants fleeing trauma and violence to obtain adequate resources and representation to file for asylum.
  • Stop abuse against LGBTQ immigrants, particularly transgender immigrants, in detention centers.  LGBTQ people often face physical violence, rape, and emotional and mental abuse in detention. One resounding example is the case of Victoria Arellano’s death in ICE detention; Arellano died marginalized for being a transgender person and cut off from live saving health care. 
  • Stop all forms of militarization and violence at the various borders.  Border militarization must cease immediately, particularly biometrics and infrared technology utilized to criminalize immigrants.
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