Over 32 LGBTQ Community Organizations Form the Labor and Immigrant Rights May Day March “Queer Contingent” in Support of the Uniting American Families Act, Dream Act and an End to Deportation Violence and Healthcare Discrimination.
On Tuesday May 1, 2012, The “Queer Contingent” (QC) is marching in the May Day mobilization to advocate for immigration reform and an end to violence against LGBTQ immigrants in the streets, in detention centers, immigration courts and classrooms. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer organizations throughout Los Angeles are participating in a large contingent which will march from Olympic and Broadway to City Hall along with the many immigrant groups and individuals.
“Our visibility is important to let the immigrant community know we are in solidarity and we hope they can understand that immigration and immigrant workers’ issues also affect the LGBTQ community,” says Bamby Salcedo, a Mexican Transgender woman and immigrant who has faced detention in the past.
The Queer Contingent supports a clear comprehensive immigration policy that protects human dignity for trans and queer people. Migrant LGBTQ individuals experience high-levels of violence, mistreatment and abuse in ICE detention centers and also experience unfair treatment in the courts and in the workplace. In addition, the QC supports legislation that ensures LGBTQ students who are undocumented Americans a clear pathway to a fair and just education.
“My parents brought me to the United States at the age of six and now I am facing deportation,” says Marco Valadez, a college student. “I have lived most of my life in Los Angeles, I call this city home. I don’t know what I will do if get deported to Mexico. I will be ripped away from my family and deprived of my support network that love and support me for who I am” says Valadez, an openly gay man facing deportation to Mexico, a place he has not visited since childhood.
Current immigration policy is tearing families apart, and especially families of LGBT communities, often overlooked by immigration reformers. LGBTQ couples are marching to demand equal rights for binational couples; currently of the estimated 40,000 binational and dual non-citizen same-sex couples are not eligible to petition for their partners’ residency under immigration law.
“Marriage equality is a multi-faceted issue. Many binational same-sex couples are not able to petition their residency for their partner and live comfortably like other couples,” said Alfredo Lee, Latino Equality Alliance board member. “It’s important that mainstream LGBTQ advocacy groups explore how immigration affects LGBTQ individuals nationwide.”
The May Day “Queer Contingent” will begin to march at Noon at Olympic and Broadway.
Endorsing organizations: Los Angeles Queer, Asian Pacific Islander Equality LA, Asian Pacific Aids Intervention Team, Xin Fronteras, Coalicíon Translatin@s, Bienestar Human Services, Dream Team LA, Proyecto Orgullo, Latino Equality Alliance, Satrang, California Faculty Association Latino & LGBT Caucus, Equal Action, Matadors for Equality, The Wall Las Memorias, Asian Pacific American Student Services, Koreans United for Equality, xQsí Magazine, Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council, Mario Wire, Lambda Legal, Asian Pacific Islander Queer Women Transgender Activists, Gay and Lesbian Center LIFEWORKS, Equality California, Unite Here Local 11, Asian Pacific Pride Council, ACLU of Southern California, Gender Justice, Destination LA, Multi-ethnic Immigrant Worker Organizing Network, Legacy, National Asian Pacific Families Against Substance Abuse.