Task Force: “Long past time to reform our broken immigration system”
After President Obama’s speech today on immigration reform, the Task Force’s Rea Carey responded:
It is long past time to reform our nation’s cruel and broken immigration system. Arizona’s draconian and inhumane immigration law was a reaction to the lack of any substantive federal response to this ongoing challenge. Without federal action, the president and Congress should expect a lot more of these misguided and extreme state-based laws. At least 22 states are considering copying Arizona’s punitive law. This is simply unacceptable. Congress and the president must exercise leadership by passing and enacting comprehensive federal immigration reform that is both fair and humane.
This matters to the entire country, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families. Today, there are 12 million undocumented immigrants, including at least half a million LGBT people who are forced to live in the shadows of our society. We need humane detention standards, a path to citizenship for undocumented people, asylum for those persecuted because of sexual orientation or gender identity, and family unification of the estimated 36,000 binational couples who cannot live together in this country because federal law bans recognition of their relationships. Immigration reform is a national issue; it is an LGBT issue. It’s time for Congress and the president to step up and act now to reform this failed system. Our country has waited too long for action and solutions.