- April 12, 2013
This post comes from Mario Rodas, Diversity Co-Chair and Member of the Board of Governors for the HRC Boston Steering Committee
HRC Boston is certainly gearing up to make a big push for immigration reform in New England.
This past weekend, HRC Boston – the Boston steering committee of the Human Rights Campaign – was an enthusiastic sponsor for the Rally & March for Immigration Reform with a Path to Citizenship, led by labor and immigrant organizations. More than 700 hundred immigrants, clergy, workers, labor union members, and supporters joined the rally at the historic Faneuil Hall in Boston, which has been called the “Cradle of Liberty.”
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Joe Kennedy, both HRC-endorsed candidates, rallied along for inclusive and fair immigration reform. Both elected officials gave remarks in Spanish, and Sen. Warren pointed out that her “Spanish may not be great but it comes from the heart.” In her remarks, Sen. Warren also said that we are stronger because we are diverse, creative, and we are the different people that keep America vibrant and strong.
Also this week, on April 10th, I spoke proudly on behalf of HRC Boston and the Student Immigrant Movement in a press conference along with GetEQUAL, Stonewall Warriors, and other supportive groups to show support for LGBT-inclusive comprehensive immigration reform. It took place in front of the John F. Kennedy building outside the Boston office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to call on the U.S. Senate to support an immigration reform package that includes protections for LGBT immigrants. This gathering happened simultaneously and in solidarity as tens of thousands of immigrants and allies rallied in Washington, DC. The time is now to fix our broken immigration system and ensure that this incredible opportunity is an inclusive and comprehensive one.
This change is not going to happen on its own. We have to stay active, get organized, and work together. Immigration affects many LGBT Americans, and we must ensure that when this change happens, it is inclusive of a broad spectrum of people with varying family, work, and immigration histories. Last week, the Human Rights Campaign announced immigration reform as a national priority. There is an estimated 267,000 undocumented LGBT immigrants currently living in the US. And there has to be a pathway to citizenship for these individuals as DOMA prevents same-sex sponsorship for immigration-related purposes. And there are so many other barriers that prevent LGBT immigrants from being granted relief and be able to stay with their loved ones.
Over the coming weeks, HRC will chronicle the stories of a diverse group of Americans who are harmed every day by this country’s immigration laws. Stay tuned to HRC Blog for more.