Today congressional news outlet The Hill published an op-ed by GLAAD acting president Dave Montez, in which he calls on the U.S. House of Representatives to act on immigration reform, as the lives of 11 million men, women and children, including 267,000 LGBT immigrants, hang in the balance.
In the op-ed, Montez highlights the fact that poll after poll shows that, across political, geographic and demographic lines, Americans overwhelmingly support comprehensive immigration reform. Last month, the Senate passed the immigration reform bill by a wide 68-32 margin, and though far from perfect (in particular because of provisions that make draconian demands for excessive enforcement provisions and border armament), it is now time for the House to act.
Montez also affirms the LGBT community's commitment to ensure compassionate, comprehensive immigration reform becomes a reality: "The LGBT community is in this for the long fight. We are tired of seeing LGBT immigrants and their and our friends and family members struggling just to live and work and contribute to our society."
As a result of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), married couples like undocumented immigrant Felipe Sousa-Rodríguez and his U.S. citizen husband Juan – who, because of DOMA, was not allowed to sponsor his spouse for a green card – no longer have to live with the constant fear of being torn apart. Yet, as Montez writes, "even as they celebrated this historic moment, Felipe knew so many of his undocumented friends and family are still waiting, in limbo, for a roadmap to citizenship of their own."
GLAAD is part of a coalition of LGBT groups in support of a fair and humane comprehensive immigration reform. Every day we fail to reform our system, 1,100 families are torn apart. The LGBT community is watching to ensure House Democrats work with their chamber’s leadership to update our antiquated immigration policies to reflect our county’s commitment to keep families together.