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Nation’s leading LGBT advocacy organizations stand firm for immigration reform

May 1, 2013

The following is a statement released today in response to evangelicals’ threat to withdraw support for comprehensive immigration reform legislation if it includes a provision that recognizes same-sex binational couples. The statement can be attributed to the National Center for Lesbian Rights, GLAAD, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, United We Dream and Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project:

Our primary goal is to pass a commonsense, compassionate immigration reform bill that puts our nation’s undocumented men, women and children on a pathway to citizenship. That pathway would provide at least 267,000 LGBT undocumented people the opportunity to become full participants in our economy and our democracy.

We do not believe that our friends in the evangelical faith community or conservative Republicans would allow the entire immigration reform bill to fail simply because it affords 28,500 same-sex couples equal immigration rights. This take-it-or-leave-it stance with regard to same-sex binational couples is not helpful when we all share the same goal of passing comprehensive immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship.

We all deserve a chance to live with dignity, to pursue our dreams, and to work for a better future and better quality of life.

Our current immigration system is broken. It dehumanizes, scapegoats and vilifies all immigrants, including LGBT immigrants, and their friends and families. Comprehensive, compassionate immigration reform is an urgent priority for our nation and the LGBT community. We stand firmly that the following principles must be included if we are to truly have comprehensive immigration reform legislation:

  • Provide a pathway to citizenship.
  • Ensure that family unity remains at the heart of immigration law and policy.
  • End unjust detentions and deportations.
  • Uphold labor and employment standards and ensure that the enforcement of immigration law does not undermine labor and employment rights.
  • Promote a dignified quality of life for border communities by establishing oversight mechanisms to ensure border agencies uphold basic civil and human rights protections.
  • Ensure immigrant members of our community are not relegated to permanent second-class status.
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