Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq.

(Las Vegas, NV, January 29, 2013)—Today, President Obama laid out a broad proposal for legislation that will overhaul U.S. immigration policy and replace it with a humane and workable system. In a much-anticipated address in Las Vegas, President Obama announced general principles he would like to see included in forthcoming legislation. The White House subsequently released a factsheet containing additional information and more detailed proposals, including a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and the substance of two pieces of legislation that have been particularly important for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) immigrants.

In the factsheet, the President included the principles of the DREAM Act, which is legislation that provides a streamlined path to citizenship for young people who came to the country as children and are going to school or serving their country. LGBTQ DREAMers have played a crucial role in the DREAMer movement. The President’s factsheet also included the principles of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), which gives U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents the right to sponsor their same-sex permanent partners to immigrate to the United States.

NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell attended the address.

Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq.:

“It is clear that after long suffering we may finally see true progress on meaningful immigration reform. In a historic speech today, President Obama made clear that he supports an accessible and straightforward path to citizenship, recognition of ALL families and a process for keeping those families together, including same-sex couples and families headed by LGBTQ parents, and citizenship for DREAMers. This is what we must see. As the process continues, we are committed to assuring that reforms truly provide the dignity, recognition, and fairness the President suggested. We need a plan animated by humanity, not punishment.”