For decades the LGBTQ community has been punished for the core “crime” of existing and surviving in our genders and sexualities. Despite harsh legislation and social stigma, we built a LGBTQ liberation movement to protect ourselves, to survive and claim our right to live brightly beyond fear, and to play our part in making a better world. We cannot falter in that vision, and our work towards it must continue.
This country’s broken immigration system is but one threat to that vision. Everyday detention centers and the deportation machine are robbing our LGBTQ immigrant kin of their basic sanity, humanity, and dignity for doing what our people have always done: existing and surviving. We must fight back against this assault on our communities and our bodies, and the gains of our movement. If the LGBTQ community does not see LGBTQ immigrant lives as precious and worth fighting for, who will?
While SONG prepares to march this coming Saturday, August 2, in Washington, D.C., to say #Not1More deportation, today we are taking a stand as transgender, gender non-conforming, and queer people to demand an end to the continued, detainment and imprisonment of our people, especially those of us who are trans, people of color, undocumented and poor.
SONG, together with Familia: Trans and Queer Liberation Movement (TQLM), Transgender Law Center, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Get Equal, and other organizations issued a letter (http://southernersonnewground.org/equalitycaucusletter/) to the Equality Caucus on Friday inviting them to join us in pressuring President Obama for full inclusion of LGBTQ people in forthcoming executive action on immigration.
This morning, we gather at the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus office calling on the seven LGBT co-chairs to publically come out in support of demands from the LGBTQ community that include:
- Immediate administrative relief and work authorization for LGBTQ identified and HIV positive undocumented immigrants
- Expand administrative relief to the fullest extent of the law to include LGBTQ undocumented immigrants that have been criminalized for their survival
- Eliminate the use of solitary confinement
- End all programs (including 287g and Secure Communities) that allow local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities to collaborate to profile people based on race, gender, and sexuality
In addition, we are calling on the Equality Caucus to use its relationships to call for a meeting with White House representatives to discuss the inclusion of these demands in executive action with the people most directly affected, members of the undocumented LGBTQ community.
The Equality Caucus is a marker of a long history of fighting for visibility in the political realm. As LGBTQ people who have helped make that possible, we understand that the Equality Caucus, which exists in our name, is responsible for representing our whole community. The Equality Caucus must take a stand to protect and represent every member of the LGBTQ community, including undocumented immigrants. LGBTQ immigrant communities can’t afford to wait, and neither can we.
What Can You Do?
1. CALL THE CONGRESSIONAL LGBT EQUALITY CAUCUS TODAY STARTING AT 10 AM!
Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus
Executive Director Brad Jacklin
“Hello my name is (insert name) calling from (city & state) as an LGBTQ person/ally to demand that the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus stand with undocumented LGBTQ immigrants. I urge the caucus to make a statement to President Obama that says that the expansion of administrative relief must not exclude LGBTQ undocumented immigrants that have been criminalized for their survival; and that the President needs to meet with undocumented LGBTQ people themselves as they are the ones truly affected and should be at the table advocating for themselves.
Today, LGBTQ leaders are sitting-in at the Equality Caucus because President Obama will act soon around immigration and the issues affecting LGBTQ undocumented people are just too critical to wait and see if President Obama will give us what we need.”
2. USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO TELL THE CONGRESSIONAL
LGBT CAUCUS MEMBERS TO TAKE ACTION
Post on the Equality Caucus Wall at https://www.facebook.com/LGBTEqCaucus
Personal and tailored facebook posts are the best!
“The Equality Caucus must take a stand to protect and represent every member of the LGBTQ community, including undocumented immigrants. Join other LGBT leaders to pressure President Obama and call for executive action on immigration that includes undocumented LGBTQ people.”
Follow SONG live updates of events at @ignitekindred
“@LGBTEqCaucus undocumented LGBTQ immigrants can’t wait! #not1more precious life ripped out of our communities! Stand with us not against us!”
“(insert twitter handle) use the @LGBTEqCaucus! Tell POTUS executive action on immigration must include LGBTQ undocumented immigrants!”