Press

Task Force responds to Obama announcement of inclusive immigration policies

Date: 
January 29, 2013

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Task Force: ‘Creating a path to citizenship is an LGBT issue’

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force commends President Barack Obama for moving forward on immigration reform inclusive of the path toward citizenship for undocumented immigrants, including specifically for DREAMers, and a plan to treat “same-sex families as families by giving U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents the ability to seek a visa on the basis of a permanent relationship with a same-sex partner.” While the president did not mention same-sex couples in his immigration speech laying out his broad vision today in Las Vegas, he did address them in the White House principles document.

The Task Force is advocating for comprehensive immigration reform and equal treatment for all, which should include a clear path to citizenship; humane detention standards; asylum for those persecuted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity; family unification; respectful and appropriate treatment of transgender and HIV-positive immigrants; and a policy that addresses enforcement needs in a manner that is consistent with existing due process and civil rights laws.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“President Obama today put forth a vision of immigration reform that is inclusive. Today, there are 11 million undocumented immigrants, including hundreds of thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who are forced to live in the shadows of society.

“Creating a clear pathway to citizenship will ensure better and brighter futures not just for them, but for our entire country. America wouldn’t be what it is today without the grit, guts, ingenuity, creativity and work ethic of millions of immigrants who have come to this country with a dream. These dreams built and have sustained America — from science and industry, to agriculture and domestic work, to commerce and innovation. The American dream dies when the dreamers are shut out.

“The president’s plan recognizes this, and also addresses the painful and unjust reality facing thousands of committed same-sex couples and their families. His support for ending discrimination against binational same-sex couples acknowledges the cruelty of forcing loving couples to live apart or live abroad; of making them choose between family and country.

“We thank the president and urge him to stand strong for the sound and fair principles he put forth today. We stand with immigration rights organizations and activists advocating for full and fair immigration reform for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country. Respectful treatment of hardworking individuals and families is a most basic American value that we must uphold. Creating a path to citizenship is an LGBT issue.”

To learn more about the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, follow us on Twitter: @TheTaskForce.

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The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund builds the grassroots political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. The Task Force Action Fund does this through direct and grassroots lobbying to defeat anti-LGBT ballot initiatives and legislation, and works to pass pro-LGBT legislation and other progressive initiatives. The Task Force Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation incorporated in New York. Contributions to the Task Force Action Fund are not tax-deductible.