Lambda Legal Urges President Obama: Stop Mass Deportations

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June 5, 2014

Lambda Legal joined 14 other LGBT rights groups in urging President Barack Obama to take "swift executive action" to suspend the detention and deportation of undocumented immigrants.

A letter to the President, signed by the 15 organizations, explains that an estimated 267,000 LGBT Americans are undocumented, and they continue to be torn from their families and communities by deportations. Many LGBT immigrants came to this country to escape persecution and injustice for who they are.

Despite new regulations pursuant to the Prison Rape Elimination Act, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has failed to take adequate steps to protect LGBT people from abuse in detention centers, transgender women continue to face particularly harsh and inhumane conditions. The Obama administration has now deported 2 million people, and spends far more on immigration detention and deportation than any other law enforcement activity. "Instead of increasing public safety," the letter reads, "this approach has torn apart families and communities and undermines trust in government at all levels."

In addition to suspending deportations, the letter calls on the President to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and to curtail the use of detention, ending the detention of vulnerable individuals such as those who are LGBT, pregnant, or have disabilities, and of any person who poses no risk to public safety.

Read and download the letter here.

Sign a related petition to protect asylum seekers from punitive immigration policy.