Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-04-18
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Ask Lambda Legal: Immigration reform is an LGBT issue
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Iván Espinoza-Madrigal
2013-03-26

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Q: Why are LGBT groups working on immigration issues and what does the recent debate about comprehensive immigration reform have to do with the rights of LGBT individuals and families?

We often hear that our immigration system is broken. But too few people understand how this terribly broken system disproportionately harms many hardworking LGBT people and people living with HIV. As immigration reform comes to the forefront, proposals and plans aimed at repairing and overhauling the immigration system must include critically important protections needed by millions of hardworking Americans, including LGBT and HIV-affected people.

For instance, reinforcing family unity has long been a fundamental tenet of sound immigration policy: Family unity and the support networks it engenders contribute to a stable community and healthy society. Accordingly, immigration law has long recognized that a U.S. citizen's foreign-born spouse should be granted immigration protection and relief. Without such immigration relief, families can be ruthlessly torn apart. Far too many people in the LGBT community are enduring this nightmare because bi-national same-sex couples currently are denied these family unity protections. Truly comprehensive immigration reform must promote and protect family unity and equality by recognizing the rights of bi-national same-sex couples.

Also, immigration reform should also be informed by the experiences of LGBT and HIV-affected immigrants, who are especially vulnerable. Many transgender, gender-nonconforming and HIV-affected people flee to the U.S. to escape various forms of persecution. Many of these victims depend on our asylum and immigration laws for protection and relief.

Immigration reform must create a path to legalization and U.S. citizenship. There are approximately 418,000 undocumented lesbian, gay and bisexual immigrants in the US today. Without this path, LGBT immigrants will remain trapped in a double closet—afraid of disclosing their sexual orientation or gender identity, and afraid of disclosing their immigration status. The threat of deportation creates significant public safety risks, because immigrants are more likely to be targeted for acts of violence. Undocumented victims of hate crimes and discrimination are often without redress because they are reluctant to seek justice out of fear of arrest and deportation. Undocumented witnesses are also hesitant to come forward to help investigate and resolve crimes. Fear and hiding pose serious public safety risks for entire communities.

The threat of deportation also creates public health risks. For example, immigration status can present a significant barrier to HIV testing, medical care and treatment because undocumented people often are afraid of accessing hospitals. By creating a path to legalization, we can make it safer for people to get tested for HIV, and to access lifesaving HIV treatment. Because HIV testing and treatment are important steps to helping curb the HIV epidemic, immigration reform can help protect public health. In this way too, bringing people out of the shadows by creating a path to legalization benefits every American regardless of sexual orientation, immigration or HIV status.

If you feel you have been discriminated against based on your sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status please contact our Legal Help Desk at www.lambdalegal.org/help.


facebook twitter 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.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

VIEWPOINT Catholic LGBTQIs see mixed record in first five years of Francis papacy 2018-04-18 - Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of DignityUSA, recently issued the following statement in conjunction with the fifth anniversary of the election of Pope Francis: ...


Gay News

MLK's assassination reminds nation of gun violence 2018-04-11 - The 50th anniversary of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination is, sadly, a searing reminder of unaddressed gun violence in the ...


Gay News

GUEST COLUMN How #METOO Becomes Culture Change; Tradeswomen and Sexual Harassment 2018-03-28 - From a speech at the Chicago Women's History Center Screening of Anita Hill: Speaking Truth to Power, Jan. 13, 2018. Like so many ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINTS Cardinal Cupich, Church and families 2018-03-28 - Cardinal Cupich says Church should learn from families. We hope it will learn from all families. In a recent address at the ...


Gay News

SENIOR MOMENTS Letter from Palm Springs 2018-03-28 - Never in a million years did I ever think that I'd go to a gym. It's so out of character that I ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINTS The Seasoned Life 2018-03-14 - You might find this hard to believe, but it's true. Before I came to earth I had already picked out my parents ...


Gay News

GUEST COLUMN For theater critics, diversity, cultural connection imperative 2018-03-07 - A few years ago, at a town hall addressing the controversy that arose over reviews of Steppenwolf's production of This Is Modern Art, ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINTS Billy Graham's ministry of LGBTQ intolerance 2018-03-07 - The Reverend William ( Billy ) Franklin Graham Jr. ( 1918-2018 ) has died at the age of 99. Too often, hagiographies are ...


Gay News

GUEST COLUMN My journey, my story 2018-02-28 - I honestly knew ever since I was able to speak that I was not like other little girls. However, I didn't understand why ...


Gay News

THE AMAZON TRAIL My daily last straw 2018-02-28 - What exactly is the last straw? I thought it was the presidential buffoon's goading of North Korea, but I was wrong. Our government ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our 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.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


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     
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.