Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-04-16
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

THEATER REVIEW Our Class THEATER REVIEW Our Class
Playwright: adapted by Ryan Craig from a play by Tadeusz Slobodzianek. At: ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times

LGBTQ forum addresses key immigration issues
by Yasmin Nair, Windy City Times
2011-10-05

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email
Congressman Mike Quigley. Photo by Erica Demarest


The Chicago-based LGBTQ Immigrant Rights Organization hosted a town hall forum to discuss immigrant issues Sept. 27 at the Adler School of Professional Psychology.

Mona Noriega, commissioner of human relations for the City of Chicago, was the moderator and took online questions ( as the event was streamed live online ) as well as inquiries from the floor. Panel presenters included U.S. Reps. Luis Gutierrez, D-Chicago, 4th District; and Mike Quigley, D-Chicago, 5th District.

Other panelists included Karen Zwick, supervising attorney for the LGBT Rights Initiative at the National Immigrant Justice Center ( NIJC ) ; Fred Tsao, policy director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights ( ICIRR ) ; Reyna Wences, co-founder of the Immigrant Youth Justice League ( IYJL ) ; and Tania Unzueta, advocacy coordinator for the Association of Latino Men for Action ( ALMA ) . Unzueta is also a co-founder of IYJL.

Both lawmakers left an hour after the start of the forum, while the remaining panelists stayed to take questions from the audience in the room. The panel addressed four issues particularly relevant to the LGBTQ immigrant community: prosecutorial discretion, as outlined in an Aug. 18 Obama administration memorandum that lists 19 factors, including age at entry and a lack of a criminal record that enforcement authorities take into account when considering immigration and deportation cases; same-sex binational couples and the Defense of Marriage Act; detention conditions for LGBTQ immigrants; and asylum on the basis of sexual orientation.

As to the issue of prosecutorial discretion, Gutierrez said that it provided "an opportunity to show the strength of the movement." Both he and Zwick emphasized that the memo did not mean that immigrants no longer faced the possibility of being picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement ( ICE ) . Zwick said the benefits "should not be overstated."

Gutierrez talked about the Uniting American Families Act ( UAFA ) , proposed legislation which would enable LGBT citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their same-sex partners for immigration. He said that "UAFA will be an important part of CIR." Both legislators talked about the importance of recognizing a broader definition of family that would recognize LGBTQ relationships.

Kevin Goodwin took the floor to describe the struggle facing him and his Indonesian partner, who is applying for asylum.

On the issue of asylum on the grounds of sexual orientation, a key problem has been the one-year deadline ( from the time of arrival ) by which LGBTQ individuals must apply. Many immigrants miss the deadline simply because they don't know about it in the first place. Gutierrez said that a new proposed version of CIR would eliminate the deadline.

The Department of Homeland Security and ICE detained 400,000 this past year and amongst them are LGBTQ immigrants who have been reporting instances of sexual harassment and assault and discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Quigley spoke of the attempt to get the General Accounting Office to investigate such charges. In April, NIJC released a mass civil-rights complaint about the "abuse and mistreatment" of thirteen immigrant detainees in the custody of the DHS. Gutierrez said, "We don't need legislation to keep a prison safe."

Following the legislators' departure, the remaining panelists took questions. Wences, speaking about the asylum issue, said that "we have to be very careful about categories, by making and reinforcing categories we are leaving out LGBT people" who do not fit the official requirements.

Unzueta pointed out that prosecutorial discretion was complicated for undocumented immigrants. As an example, she said that drinking under the influence was, under normal conditions, a misdemeanor but without a driver's license— which undocumented people cannot get— it becomes an aggravated felony, making someone ineligible for prosecutorial discretion: "Someone who's a citizen is not treated the same way."

A audience member asked about access to lawyers which is difficult or impossible for most people picked up by ICE. Panelists acknowledged the problem. Another raised the issue of the continuing emphasis on family and relationships as a strategy, evident in the lobbying around immigration reform, and wondered about whom that left out. Unzueta and Wences acknowledged that expanding definitions of family was not enough but that it was an issue of strategizing how to "navigate the options we have, which are very limited." Tsao said that emphasizing family was a way to engage the conservative religious community.

The LGBTQ Immigrant Rights Coalition is composed of several local organizations, including Amigas Latinas, ALMA, IYJL, Congregation Or Chadash, ICIRR and NIJC; Julio Rodriguez of ALMA asked all concerned organizations to consider joining. This was the first forum to bring lawmakers to a public forum on the two issues of immigration and LGBTQ issues, there have also been three community forums in previous years, hosted by the former Chicago LGBTQ Immigrants Alliance, members of which were also in attendance here. [ Disclosure: This reporter was part of that alliance. ]


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.

Chicago House brunch to honor Jakobbson 2014-04-22
LGBTQ individuals come out for Hillary at event 2014-04-22
Prop 8 opponents set wedding date; trans teacher's return 2014-04-15
ASK LAMBDA LEGAL: LGBTs in immigration detention facilities 2014-04-15
HRC backs Brad Schneider in IL 10th District 2014-04-15
Obama pushing voting rights at Texas event 2014-04-11
Conversion therapy bill falls in state House 2014-04-11
Transgender veteran cop to run for OK state house 2014-04-09
Political Science Panel considers LGBT public policy 2014-04-09
Tom Daley is gay, not bi; fun. joins LGBT-equality campaign 2014-04-09
Harvey Milk stamp; political writer compares gays, Star Trek 2014-04-09
Wis. has first trans elected official 2014-04-09
Remarks by the President on equal pay for equal work 2014-04-08
Band fun. UN Free & Equal Campaign Equality Champion 2014-04-08
Executive Orders on workplace leave out LGBTs 2014-04-07
MPSA forums address LGBT global, media issues 2014-04-07
Amnesty discussion focuses on LGBT rights 2014-04-07
51+ LGBTQ groups back #Not1more to end deportations 2014-04-03
UN Development Commission: Don't trade away LGBT rights 2014-04-03
ABA honors Quigley's work to enhance justice system 2014-04-02
Prison Rape Elimination Act helps LGBT immigrant detainees 2014-04-02
Group: Deportation can be death sentence for LGBTs 2014-04-02
Anti-gay church vandalized; Scouts remove gay leader 2014-04-02
World Vision reverses course on employment policies 2014-03-27
Dominican LGBTs back ambassador; Tokyo billboard 2014-03-26
Graham called "ambiguously gay"; controversial Mozilla CEO 2014-03-26
President Obama names director, Office of Nat'l AIDS Policy 2014-03-24
Ferrand sues law firm over botched election filing 2014-03-24
Rhode Island gay Speaker of the House resigns following raid 2014-03-23
VP Biden: LGBT rights integral part of U.S. foreign policy 2014-03-23
Republicans voting yes to marriage survive challenges 2014-03-20
Groups prepare for Advocacy Day 2014-03-19
Gov. Jerry Brown gets LGBT award; AVER co-founder dies 2014-03-19
Few surprises dot Illinois primary elections 2014-03-19
Stonewall drops Guinness beer over St. Patrick's sponsorship 2014-03-17
Equality IL PAC $150K candidate contribution 2014-03-13
Pro-marriage equality GOP rep. taking heat in bitter primary 2014-03-13
Groups say taxi outing threat no laughing matter 2014-03-12
ELECTIONS 2014 Early voting through Saturday 2014-03-12
ELECTIONS 2014 Windy City Times Guide to the Gays 2014-03-12





Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
the online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 



 

Lady Tajma Hall dies
 
Gay-owned B&B offers warmth in Rogers Park
 
LGBTQ Senior Housing applications to open up
 
Villa Loretta adds a touch of Hollywood to weddings
 
CHM declares 'One Love' with wedding expo
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now








  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.