NEW YORK, Jan. 29, 2013 - Today, President Obama presented his proposal for comprehensive immigration reform, including critically important protections for LGBT binational couples and their families. Lambda Legal issued the following statement from Iván Espinoza-Madrigal, Lambda Legal Staff Attorney:
We are pleased that the experiences of LGBT families are being addressed by the President's plan. The Obama Administration's plan includes critically important protections needed by millions of hardworking Americans. Those who dismiss the needs of LGBT families and suggest that we can only protect some people but not all are not being true to deeply held American values of fairness.
LGBT undocumented immigrants are among the most invisible of the invisible. Many inhabit a double closet, afraid of disclosing their sexual orientation and/or gender identity and afraid of disclosing that they are undocumented.
Our current immigration system is broken. Gross inequities in our country's current immigration system disproportionately harm LGBT people and people living with HIV in extremely grievous ways. Too often, binational same-sex couples and their families are torn apart. We need reform to address these critical problems.
Since the 1970s, Lambda Legal has been committed to fighting for the rights of LGBT immigrants. Without a path to legalization, LGBT and HIV-affected immigrants who are victims of hate crimes or who experience sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV discrimination or other civil rights violations often are deterred from seeking justice, out of fear of arrest or deportation. Furthermore, many immigrants rely on asylum and immigration relief for protection from persecution in their home countries based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status.
Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work. www.lambdalegal.org
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