Southern LGBTQ Activists Protest Immigration Policy at GA Immigration Court
16 civil rights and LGBTQ activists are staging a protest over the treatment of undocumented sexual minority immigrants at the U.S. Immigration Court in Atlanta, GA. Southerns on New Ground, a group that works with LGBTQ people of color in the south and has an operation here in Richmond, is part of the campaign and is hoping to drum up support for their cause.
At this moment 16 Immigrant Rights, Racial Justice and LGBTQ leaders in Georgia (including SONG Founder Suzanne Pharr, Co-Director Caitlin Breedlove, and Board Member/Co-Director of Project South, Stephanie Guilloud) are participating in a non-violent civil disobedience at the U.S. Immigration Court in Atlanta, GA to stop today’s deportations. – SONG
You can watch live footage from the protest here. The following statement accompanies the video:
“If the President can stop the deportations of military families, he can stop breaking apart other families as well,” explains Marisela Medina. “All my children think about is the day I could be taken away. Instead the President should grant relief to my family and all families. What is he waiting for?”
The group cites the Secure Communities deportation program active in Georgia since 2009 and the 287g agreements in counties like Cobb andGwinnett and the state’s HB87 as creating an atmosphere of terror that hurts public safety and needlessly deports the very people who would benefit from reform.
They say that the President has the legal authority and the moral obligation to stop their suffering by expanding the already existing deferred action program, especially as immigration reform meets challenges in Congress.
In explaining why he was participating in the action, Jose Luis Romero stated, “Everyday immigrants face the risk of deportation just by taking our children to school. Today is no different. It’s just that now we take that risk as we defend the rights of our entire community. We’re doing everything in our power to stop deportations, now it’s time for the President to do everything in his power to give us relief.”
Suzanne Pharr added, “Very large numbers of both immigrants and LGBT people live in the South and face threats of violence if we live openly. I oppose the human crisis caused by detention and deportation and I support dignity and safety for all our people. We’re working together to create a South built on justice.”
If you’d like to help SONG and the other groups participating in todays event, consider:
1. Writing a Blog or Op/Ed telling your own story about why this is important to you.
2. Join our twitter campaign (goal—100 tweets to @MHarrisPerry and @MHPShow) to ask Melissa Harris-Perry, MSNBC TV host, to have Paulina Helm-Hernandez (SONG Co-Director) on her show to tell their viewers that it is PAST TIME to unite the fight for lives of LGBTQ people with the fight for the lives of immigrants and people of Color and the poor. We are uniting and have been. More people just need to know!!!!
3. Share our Memes on Facebook – These can be found at www.facebook.com/ignitekindred
4. Make a donation to legal fees or bail fund for leaders – Please go to www.notonemoredeportation.com for evolving information about how to give.
If you can help, please let Hermelinda Cortes at SONG know how and share with her (Hermelinda@southernersonnewground.org)
“Come kick it with us!”July 14, 2016
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