Members of Congress Commit to BGLT-Inclusive Immigration Reform

On July 15th, Taquiena Boston, Director of Multicultural Growth and Witness for the Unitarian Universalist Association released the following statement:

The Unitarian Universalist Association joins the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) coalition in urging the swift passage of comprehensive immigration reform legislation that includes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) immigrants and their families. Our faith teaches us that we are all members of one human family. We stand on the side of love with all immigrant families to call for humane and comprehensive immigration reform.

A system that breaks apart families is itself broken. LGBT immigrant families are at extremely high risk for being denied basic rights and services not only because of their immigration status but because their families are not equally recognized by U.S. law. We will not be silent while families are separated. Same-sex couples should have the same opportunity as straight couples to prove that their families deserve to stay together. Transgender immigrants and travelers should be able to obtain documentation without undue questioning or harassment. We stand proudly behind our allies in the U.S. Congress who understand that the only way to fix our immigration system is to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill that includes LGBT individuals and families.

The UAFA coalition represents more than thirty groups, including faith groups and organizations focused on immigrant rights, worker justice, and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The six members of Congress who spoke at the press conference included Representatives Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Mike Honda (D-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). They expressed the urgent need to change current immigration laws and called on their colleagues to help them pass comprehensive, inclusive immigration reform legislation before the end of 2010.

Also speaking at the press conference were Erwin De Leon, the immigrant half of a D.C. based bi-national couple, and Karen Narasaki, the president of the Asian American Justice Center.  Narasaki is a Unitarian Universalist who attends All Souls Church, Unitarian.  De Leon, whose husband can’t sponsor him for legal permanent residency in the U.S. under current immigration policies, spoke at the Standing on the Side of Love event on Capitol Hill in April.

For more information, see full press coverage of the event and read the joint statement released by the coalition.  To learn more about the UAFA coalition, please see the Immigration Equality Action Fund website.