LGBT groups support amendments to immigration bill that will protect workers

The Task Force and other groups issued a statement today regarding amendments to the Title 4 provisions of the immigration bill that will be debated by the Senate Judiciary Committee this week. The statement below 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, Equality Federation, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance and GetEQUAL:

This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee reconvenes to consider amendments to the proposed immigration reform legislation that impact how people can work in the U.S. Getting this right will provide immigrants and their families an important way forward and is critical to the ultimate passage of the legislation.

Previous attempts at immigration reform have failed in part because of these work visa issues. We cannot afford to fail again.

We must pass compassionate, comprehensive immigration reform that provides workers with an opportunity to build a better life for their families and meet our country’s economic needs, while protecting the rights and educational opportunities of workers who are already here. As advocates for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, we are dedicated to supporting amendments that will provide full equal rights for all workers, protect workers from exploitation and trafficking and provide a fair way to allocate employment-based visas.

However, the need for a reformed employment-based system must be balanced with our long-standing commitment to reuniting families and encouraging immigration from diverse countries. The reformed employment-based system should stand alongside the family sponsorship and diversity visas, not supplant it. Reform must not relegate crucial principles of family unity and diversity in the process.