This statement can be attributed to the National Center for Lesbian Rights, GLAAD, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, United We Dream and Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project, GetEQUAL, Lambda Legal, Equality Federation, National Center for Transgender Equality and National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance.
Later today, House Republicans will meet to discuss the future of immigration reform. They have a choice. They can either follow the political will of the country and pass serious, comprehensive legislation that will give 11 million people – including at least 267,000 LGBT immigrants – the chance to come out of the shadows and have a clear and direct path to citizenship, or they can continue to play political games and risk the future of millions of men, women and children and the GOP.
The choice is theirs, but the responsible answer is clear.
Now is the time for the House to act. No more posturing, no more piecemeal provisions, no more extremist amendments.
As a coalition of LGBT organizations committed to compassionate, comprehensive immigration reform we celebrated two major victories last month – the passage of the bipartisan Senate immigration bill and the demise of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – but our fight is far from over. While the end of DOMA is historic and will provide an estimated 28,500 same-sex binational couples with an easier roadmap to citizenship, we are still advocating for a path forward for all 11 million undocumented immigrants, including the 267,000 LGBT immigrants.
Comprehensive, compassionate immigration reform is an urgent priority for our nation. Americans overwhelmingly support comprehensive immigration reform. Poll after poll, no matter their party affiliation, demographics or geography, show that Americans want their elected officials to fix the country’s patchwork of failed and mismanaged immigration policies, which is why a bipartisan bill passed in the Senate.
The Senate’s bill, while a major step forward, made a mistaken political calculus to trade the well being of our nation’s border communities for an unnecessary $40 billion worth of overkill “border security.” This reckless and injudicious spending will have a harmful impact on our communities that live on the border and undermine the principles of humane enforcement.
As the House GOP meets behind closed doors this afternoon, we urge them to heed the recent remarks by former President George W. Bush, ‘I think it's very important to fix a broken system, to treat people with respect…Good policy yields good politics.’
House Republicans, we strongly urge you to support good immigration reform policy.