This statement can be attributed to the National Center for Lesbian Rights, GLAAD, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, United We Dream and Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project, and the National Center for Transgender Equality.
(San Francisco, CA, July 23, 2013)— This afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives will meet to discuss the so-called KIDS Act, a piece of craven political theater that threatens to tear apart immigrant families. Singling out some immigrant youth for a path to citizenship while subjecting their families to constant fear of deportation is as senseless as it is out of step with the American public. It’s time to stop playing politics with people’s lives.
As a coalition of the nation’s leading LGBTQ advocacy organizations committed to comprehensive, compassionate immigration reform, we seek nothing short of a roadmap for citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country, including at least 267,000 LGBTQ people. Through organizations like United We Dream and the Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project, LGBTQ youth have played a vital role in the DREAMer movement. Together with their straight allies, they will not settle for House Republicans offering a crumb to some and deportation for the rest.
The Republicans pushing this misguided legislation are the same politicians who killed the DREAM Act in 2010, opposed deferred action for DREAMers to prevent them from deportation in 2012, and then voted to defund the initiative last month. It’s time for these politicians to make a choice: either deliver a real solution on immigration and start to rebuild their political brand with the fastest growing demographic in the country, or step further and further away from mainstream Americans with extreme proposals that fall short of a real, long-term solution.
The Senate has done their job. Last month, the Senate passed a bipartisan bill that includes, among other provisions, a historic path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, reunification provisions to bring back together families torn apart by deportations and detentions, and the strongest DREAM Act ever written.
The Senate bill is far from perfect. In exchange for its passage, the Senate pledged $40 billion of spending for ‘border security.’ This wasteful overkill will have a harmful impact on border communities, particularly LGBTQ immigrants living on the border, and undermine the principles of humane enforcement. However, the legislation brings us one important step closer to reforming our immigration policies and keeping more families together.
Nearly 9 in 10 voters would not support a House bill that strips away this path to citizenship; it’s time for their leaders to listen to public will. If House Republicans are serious about fixing our broken immigration system, they will stop the brinkmanship and propose a real solution.