Home > Press Releases > Immigration Equality Action Fund Calls on Democrats and Republicans to Include LGBT Immigrants in 2016 Platforms

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 7, 2016

Contact:
Jackie Yodashkin, Immigration Equality Action Fund
jyodashkin@immigrationequality.org / 917-620-4502

Immigration Equality Action Fund Calls on Democrats and Republicans to Include LGBT Immigrants in 2016 Platforms

New York, NY — Today, Immigration Equality Action Fund called on the Democrats and Republicans to include lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender immigrants in their platforms.

“The recently released draft of the Democratic Platform goes a long way to emphasize policies that would benefit both LGBT people and immigrants, but does not address the unique intersection of these populations,” said Immigration Equality Executive Director Aaron C. Morris. “Because LGBT immigrant families flee countries where they cannot access marriage equality, they are not considered family by the U.S. government and are left out of family protections. In addition, the draft platform seeks to protect immigrants who are vulnerable in immigration detention, but does not acknowledge the exponentially heightened risks LGBT immigrants face when trapped in detention facilities.”

Below are two proposed planks that Immigration Equality is calling on both parties to include their 2016 platforms:

LGBT Rights as Human Rights. In many countries, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are routinely persecuted and tortured because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. In the United States, we recognize that LGBT rights are human rights. As a human rights defender, the United States grants asylum and other protections to many LGBT immigrants. Those seeking safety in our nation on this basis should not be subjected to additional abuses when they ask us for protection. As such, Democrats commit to ending the detention of all LGBT people in immigration detention facilities, where they are at a severely high risk of violence and sexual assault. Instead, more humane, immediate, and cost-effective alternatives to detention – such as parole – should be used.

LGBT Family Reunification. Democrats support the right of all families to have equal respect, responsibilities, and protections under the law. We are also strongly committed to keeping families together, including LGBT families. We recognize that in many countries, the LGBT community has no access to marriage equality. This prevents asylum-seeking and refugee families from relocating together to the United States, separating families for years. As such, Democrats commit to ensuring that same-sex permanent partners and their children are recognized as families for the purposes of immigration where a couple has no access to marriage.

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Immigration Equality Action Fund is the nation’s leading LGBTQ immigrant rights organization. We advocate for LGBTQ and HIV-positive immigrants and families. Because we serve more LGBTQ immigrants than any other organization, we spot patterns and trends that no one else sees. We take that experience to the capital and fight to ensure the safety and well­being of our community.