LGBT leaders: ‘America’s immigration system is broken’Around the Nation, Online Only, Top Highlights Friday, September 5th, 2014
In an op-ed for The Advocate, Ana Ma, COO and chief of staff of HRC, and Matthew McClellan, the executive director of the National Council of La Raza Action Fund, urge President Obama to take action on immigration reform.
Ma and McClellan write, “Two of the most pressing civil rights issues facing our nation today are fixing our broken immigration system and achieving equality for the LGBT community. And those who live at the intersection of this battle, who just happen to be members of the undocumented LGBT population, are among the most vulnerable individuals in our country.”
Singling out LGBT immigrants as individuals who face “particularly abysmal conditions in detention,” they write, “LGBT detainees are routinely and inappropriately placed in solitary confinement “for their own protection.” They suffer staggering levels of abuse and harassment, and they are often denied access to appropriate medical care. Therefore, proper safeguards must be in place to ensure equal treatment and physical safety while in detention. If LGBT immigrants cannot be detained safely, alternatives to detention must be an option.”
Since the Senate passed bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform over a year ago, the House has failed to act. “The country cannot wait indefinitely for the House to act,” they write. “Until Congress does its job, President Obama must step in to provide whatever relief he can so that we are not subjecting a segment of the undocumented community to suffer even more acutely.”
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