FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | July 26, 2006
On Friday, March 31, California celebrates César E. Chávez Day of Service and Learning. As we commemorate the life and legacy of this champion of justice, we reflect on the ongoing struggles he has left for us to finish. Hundreds of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of America's cities in recent weeks to demonstrate against dangerous and punitive proposals that would turn undocumented workers into aggravated felons and would build a fortified wall at the US-Mexico border. In San Francisco, approximately 20 demonstrators courageously engaged in a week-long hunger strike to drive home the potentially deadly consequences of the proposed legislation.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) is proud to stand side-by-side with these protesters. We advocate for legislation that would protect-not punish-the hard-working immigrants who pick our food, staff our factories, clean our homes, and care for our children. We support truly comprehensive immigration reform-reform that would focus not on punishment and enforcement but on realistic and positive steps toward legalization and citizenship. In this nation of immigrants, the 12 million undocumented workers who currently contribute to our society deserve fair and just access to civil rights and to citizenship.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights also works for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) immigrants, who face additional obstacles to decent and humane treatment. Current immigration law tears our families apart and denies fair treatment to people who are seeking asylum because they have been persecuted on account of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Every day, we work to change these cruel and unfair policies by providing legal assistance to LGBT immigrants and by working to pass the Uniting American Families Act, which would recognize same-sex couples for immigration purposes. We are committed to the national and international struggle to achieve fair treatment not only for LGBT immigrants, but for all people who come to this country from other nations.
César Chávez himself led the way in linking the struggles for economic justice, for immigrant rights, and for LGBT equality. He understood that the struggle for justice is indivisible. NCLR is proud to carry on his legacy in opposing persecution, oppression, and discrimination in all its forms.
At the National Center for Lesbian Rights, we strive to realize César Chávez's vision of a world in which all workers and all immigrants-regardless of national origin, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or immigration status-can live with safety, dignity, and fairness.
Sí, se puede-it can be done.
National Center For Lesbian Rights
The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.