“The immigration system is in desperate need of reform and that reform must include LGBT immigrants and families,” said HRC President Chad Griffin in a press release. “Comprehensive immigration reform is about protecting those who are vulnerable and living in the shadows.”
HRC said of the 1 million LGBT immigrants in the US, about 1/3 are undocumented, and about 32,000 LGBT couples are binational. HRC is taking these numbers into account wile redefining their goals on the issue to include:
Keep LGBT Families Together, Create a Pathway to Citizenship, Improve the U.S. Asylum System for LGBT Applicants, and Protect the Health and Safety of LGBT Immigrants. Under each principle, key problems are highlighted that urgently requires legislative solutions.
HRC has a checkered past when handling minority populations within the LGBT spectrum, and the event last week harkened back to some of those. In 2007, HRC ran into problems when working on a federal non-discrimination bill that omitted gender identity from the list of protected classes.
This push to support immigrant rights will be expressed in their work nationally, as well as at Pride events around the country. A comprehensive “9 problems deserving solutions” memo has been released that includes citizen sponsorship for same-sex couples and allowing asylum status for LGBT refugees.
They’ve also released a video detailing the issues faced by undocumented LGBT people.