Queer Undocumented Youth Leaders Push for Inclusive Immigration Reform


Queer undocumented youth from United We Dream’s Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project (QUIP) are in Washington, D.C., committing to organize and advocate for a pathway to citizenship and LGBTQ family inclusion for 11 million Americans without papers.  QUIP leaders will attend an event called “The LGBT Undocumented” this afternoon at the Washington, D.C.-based progressive think tank Center for American Progress.

Next week, United We Dream will hold an 11 Million Coming Out Week of Action, with coordinated activities happening across the country, driving calls and online actions to key Senators like Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and urging LGBTQ inclusion in any legislative proposal.  Dreamers and their parents will share their personal stories and experiences, elevating the need for immigration reform that puts all 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. on the road to citizenship.

“Undocuqueer leaders across the country are calling for a pathway for citizenship that doesn’t leave anyone behind.  We will not choose one issue over the other,” said Jorge Gutierrez, United We Dream’s Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project (QUIP) Coordinator.  “Protecting the unity of our immigrant families and dignity of our LGBTQ communities is at the center of our organizing and advocacy efforts.”

For more info on today’s event, click here or follow the hashtag #Out4Citizenship on Twitter.  QUIP leaders will be available for comment and to share their stories and experiences at the intersection of two powerful, and connected, movements– the LGBTQ movement and the immigrant justice movement.  The event, and the ongoing work of QUIP, will shine a light on issues that affect the LGBTQ undocumented community, ensuring that those most affected are at the core of efforts and conversations around immigration reform.

Queer undocumented youth leaders are also calling on all immigration reform organizations to stand up and demand the inclusion of LGBTQ families in any immigration reform proposals and inviting mainstream LGBTQ advocacy organizations to engage in the immigration debate to push for inclusive reform.  By pledging to “come out,” using a concept that originated in the LGBTQ rights movement, and asking LGBTQ groups to “come out” with the undocumented community, QUIP leaders are bridging the two struggles.

“As a person of multiple identities, I want to ensure that the different facets of my life no longer have to be divided and made to settle,” said Alma Leyva, a QUIP leader from Orange County, CA.  “Winning immigration reform that is not inclusive to LGBTQ community would uplift one identity while continuing to marginalize another. I want immigration reform to recognize all of my humanity.”

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