Lambda Legal Lauds President's Inclusion of LGBT Families in Immigration Plan

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January 29, 2013
Staff Attorney Iván Espinoza-Madrigal

We are pleased that the experiences of LGBT families are being addressed by the President's plan for comprehensive immigration reform, presented today. The plan includes critically important protections needed by millions of hardworking Americans. Those who dismiss the needs of LGBT families and suggest that we can only protect some people but not all are not being true to deeply held American values of fairness.

LGBT undocumented immigrants are among the most invisible of the invisible. Many inhabit a double closet, afraid of disclosing their sexual orientation and/or gender identity and afraid of disclosing that they are undocumented.

Our current immigration system is broken. Gross inequities in our country's current immigration system disproportionately harm LGBT people and people living with HIV in extremely grievous ways. Too often, binational same-sex couples and their families are torn apart. We need reform to address these critical problems.

Since the 1970s, Lambda Legal has been committed to fighting for the rights of LGBT immigrants. Without a path to legalization, LGBT and HIV-affected immigrants who are victims of hate crimes or who experience sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV discrimination or other civil rights violations often are deterred from seeking justice, out of fear of arrest or deportation. Furthermore, many immigrants rely on asylum and immigration relief for protection from persecution in their home countries based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status.

Today's announcement was a step in the right direction. We are eager to work with our allies and Congress to help move this process forward.

Read Lambda Legal's "Immigration Fact-Sheet" for LGBT people and those with HIV.