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LETTERS Trump attacks marginalized communities
2017-09-06

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Dear Editor:

President Trump recently made two announcements—and, as in the past, both are direct attacks on our communities.

First, the Trump Administration sent the official memo to the Pentagon outlining the directive to ban transgender individuals from serving in the military. As discussed when this was first announced, we believe this was a political move to please the President's homophobic and transphobic political base. The memo outlines that the Secretary of Defense has six months to implement the directives, and immediately halts any funding to be used for current transgender service members' health-related costs.

We join our LGBTQ communities across the country in denouncing this blatantly discriminatory and destructive policy. We are grateful to our friends at Lamba Legal and other organizations for their hard work and efforts in trying to prevent this policy from going into effect.

Second, we are outraged by President Trump's pardon of Joe Arpaio, the convicted sheriff from Maricopa County, Arizona. Arpaio was in violation of a court decision by continuing to racially profile Latino immigrants.

We've seen a surge of racism, homophobia and white supremacy since Trump announced his candidacy for President, and under his Administration things have only gotten worse. It is Trump's actions, like pardoning Arpaio, that give permission for racists to act.

Both announcements represent attacks on LGBTQ and Latino individuals across the country. Instead of spending his time and energy helping individuals affected by Hurricane Harvey, the president has chosen to needlessly attack already marginalized communities. Not only is this a distraction from the dysfunction that is his administration, but it is dangerous and divisive policy.

Now more than ever, we commit to protecting and advancing the rights of our communities. We are working with both local and state officials to ensure that our rights are protected in our back yard. We ask you join us in asking the Governor, and all of our elected leaders in Illinois to speak up against the President and his administration's policies now!

We won't back down—not now, not ever.

In action,

Association of Latino/as Motivating Action (ALMA)

* * *

Sept. 5 statement by Association of Latino/as Motivating Action:

No more closets, and no more shadows!

President Trump's announced today that his administration is going to move forward and end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This announcement unfortunately is not a huge surprise. What else can we expect from a President that does not denounce White Supremacists; that pardons convicted elected officials charged with racial profiling; that bans brave transgender military service members?

ALMA stands with the 800,000 DACA recipients across the country. Undocumented young people who are going to school, or working, to support their families and giving back to their communities.

We will never turn our backs on our young people. In fact, the Administration may have activated many undocumented young people and their allies to mobilize.

Years ago, Chicago's LGBTQ undocumented young people said it loud and clear: no more closets, and no more shadows. Speech after speech, young undocumented immigrants, many of them LGBTQ, publicly came out as both undocumented and LGBTQ. Our young LGBTQ undocumented, undocuqueer, activists have been leading the movement and they will continue to lead. ALMA joins the thousands of people condemning the Administration's decision.

We urge our Congressional Delegation to step in and find a permanent legislative solution to help undocumented immigrants. We cannot wait.


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