Pressure Builds for Inclusive, Comprehensive Immigration Reform

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getequal_smLGBTQ Activists Host Press Conference Calling on Senate “Gang of 8” to Introduce Inclusive Bill

BOSTON, MA — Today, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) activists — including immigrant activists who identify as LGBTQ — will hold a press conference outside of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office to call on the “Gang of 8” in the Senate to introduce an LGBTQ-inclusive immigration reform bill. The latest reports from Capitol Hill indicate that an immigration reform bill will be introduced within the next week, but all reports indicate that the bill will not include various provisions that specifically concern LGBTQ immigrants.

Today’s event is being held in conjunction with a big national push for comprehensive immigration reform. More information about the large march and rally in Washington, DC, can be found at www.citizenship-now.org/april10. More information about events across the country can be found at www.citizenship-now.org/echoevents/.

DETAILS:

Date/Time: Wednesday, April 10, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern

Location: Outside the John F. Kennedy Federal Building, Boston (home of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services)

Confirmed Speakers: Sasha Kaufmann, GetEQUAL Massachusetts; Gerry Scoppettuolo, Stonewall Warriors; Mario Rodas, Student Immigration Movement and Human Rights Campaign

“If comprehensive immigration reform is to truly be comprehensive, it is essential that the needs of the LGBTQ community not be left out of the legislation,” said Cathy Kristofferson, co-lead organizer for GetEQUAL Massachusetts. “In 2009, Sen. Chuck Schumer promised support for binational couples, yet that support — along with a clear pathway to citizenship for the estimated 267,000 LGBT undocumented immigrants, asylum for victims of homophobia abroad, and harsh detention conditions — still seem to be missing from the Gang of 8’s offering.”

As recently as March 8, polling of Latino voters shows strong support for immigration reform legislation that includes lesbian and gay binational couples. Support for ending the separation and exile faced by LGBTQ Americans who are unable to sponsor their partners for residency is strong among Latino Catholic and Evangelical voters as well. The Immigration Equality/Latino Decisions poll shows that 64% of Latinos favor inclusive immigration reform (link: http://tiny.cc/11rbvw).

GetEQUAL continues to call for an immigration reform bill that includes a fair and humane pathway to citizenship for the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. (including LGBTQ undocumented immigrants), the DREAM Act, the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), an end to harsh enforcement policies, and an end to the one-year ban for asylum seekers.

Founded in 2010, GetEQUAL is a national grassroots organization whose mission is to empower the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community and our allies to take bold action to demand full legal and social equality, and to hold accountable those who stand in the way. For more information, go to www.getequal.org. You can also follow GetEQUAL on Facebook at www.facebook.com/getequal or on Twitter.

[From a News Release]