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Need for immigration reform takes center stage again

May 4, 2010

Immigration reform continues to be a volatile issue nationwide. The Task Force, a longtime advocate for comprehensive and humane immigration reform, slammed the April 23 signing of Arizona’s new immigration law. Under the measure, police officers can in part question people about their immigration status if there is “reasonable suspicion” they may be in the country undocumented.

“Arizona’s new immigration law is draconian and inhumane. It has no place on the books anywhere. The potential for racial profiling, infringement of civil liberties, and violence and harassment against individuals and their families just going about their daily lives is enormous,” said Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey.

She added, “Comprehensive immigration reform is critically needed, but targeting and demonizing people is not the answer; stripping people of fundamental rights and common humanity is not the answer. Our political leaders must work toward reform that is fair and humane. This law is neither. It is a cruel, quick fix that demeans our country’s values of freedom, justice and equality.”

A few days later, U.S. Senate Democratic leaders such as Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), along with Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), released a framework for Congress to follow when crafting a comprehensive federal immigration reform bill.

Of particular note was the specific inclusion of LGBT binational families via provisions of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), which would allow U.S. citizens and residents to sponsor their foreign-born same-sex partners.

The Task Force appreciates that the blueprint includes strong commitments to family unification and a path to citizenship for the many undocumented people who are working hard to build their lives in the United States. Still, we remain troubled by the framework’s heavy enforcement provisions, and will continue to work in coalition with other progressive allies to ensure that lawmakers pass fair and humane comprehensive immigration reform.

For more information about UAFA and immigration reform, please visit the Immigration Equality Web site.

For more detailed information about the Task Force’s ongoing commitment to immigration reform, click here.

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