FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 20, 2014
Executive Order fails to protect most LGBT immigrants from deportation
New York, NY – The White House has announced that President Obama will unveil his immigration package, and that the majority of those who may be eligible for relief are the parents of U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents. Because U.S. law has long refused to recognize lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families, a package that requires formal ties appears to exclude LGBT immigrants. Immigration Equality welcomes the impact the President’s order will have on millions of undocumented individuals, but we are deeply concerned for the millions left out, especially the vast majority of LGBT immigrants who remain at risk of deportation to fundamentally unsafe places. Though Immigration Equality, in partnership with a coalition of national LGBT and immigrant rights organizations, has advocated for an LGBT-inclusive package, our community appears to have been left out again.
“President Obama’s executive order is an historic moment for many immigrant communities,” said Caroline Dessert, executive director of Immigration Equality. “We celebrate with the millions who will have the opportunity to live and work without fear of deportation. But once again, it appears that the LGBT community has been excluded from a law designed to protect vulnerable people.”
“The President’s choice to require formal familial ties to qualifying citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents appears to exclude LGBT immigrants from accessing legal protections,” said Aaron Morris, legal director of Immigration Equality. “Our priority moving forward is to ensure that immigration law recognizes LGBT families and protects LGBT immigrants from deportation to homophobic and transphobic countries.”