Immigration summit will strengthen relationships among immigrant and allied organizations and coordinate broad-based campaign strategy for 2008 and beyond

(San Francisco,CA, February 7, 2008) — At the height of this critical election season, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and its allies are traveling to Washington, D.C. February 10-12, 2008 to take part in the second Fair Immigration Reform Movement Summit to launch the “Building America Together” campaign to revive political momentum to fix America’s broken immigration system.

Nearly 100 immigrant rights organizations from 30 states, many from key presidential battleground states, will combine their efforts with those of the Campaign for Community Values, which is calling on the nation’s voters to replace politics of division and “on your own” political mentality with policies of inclusion that promote the common good, like humane immigration reform, health care and home mortgage reforms. A major component of this effort will be a massive national pledge campaign and petition drive that will challenge policymakers to refrain from pursuing policies that divide our communities.

“Change only comes about when all of us bring our voices together and work towards that common goal of fairness and equality for all. Our immigration policies are not making anyone feel safer or more secure—It is doing shameful damages to our families who are just trying to make their way. Now, more than ever, is the time to come together”, said Noemi Calonje, NCLR Immigration Project Director. “Vital members of our communities, including immigrants, are suffering and struggling right now because of Congress’ lack of action.”

The campaign will challenge policy makers to stop scapegoating immigrants and end divisive rhetoric that pits groups against one another. Hundreds of organizations and thousands of community leaders are expected to sign this pledge—urging officials to find ways to solve our nation’s problems through shared solutions.

NCLR is committed to helping overcome the immigration hurdles faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender immigrants. U.S. immigration law unfairly discriminates against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and people with HIV and/or AIDS. Since 1994, NCLR’s Immigration Project has provided free legal assistance to thousands of LGBTQ immigrants nationwide, and provides direct representation to LGBTQ immigrants in impact cases and individual asylum claims. In addition, NCLR provides assistance to private attorneys representing LGBTQ immigrants in proceedings before the Immigration Court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, the Federal Courts of Appeal, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

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.