Lawmakers Urge Obama To Include LGBT Protections In Immigration Executive Action
President Obama must act as soon as possible protect LGBT immigrants and their families, the lawmakers said in a letter. The Obama administration said it won't take executive action on immigration reform until after the November elections.
Several members of Congress are calling on President Obama to include LGBT protections in upcoming executive action on immigration reform.
Forty-four lawmakers signed an open letter to the president Monday, saying he should take immediate action to ensure relief for LGBT immigrants who, under the current immigration system, face separation from their families, violence in detention, and deportation to countries where it's not safe to be LGBT.
"[I]t is imperative that you use the tools at your disposal to ensure that families stay together, that immigrants are not put in harm's way, and that LGBT people are not subjected, at the hands of the American government, to the dangers from which they have fled," the representatives said in the letter.
This comes weeks after Obama administration officials announced Sept. 6 the president won't take executive action until after the November elections, due to political reasons.
"We are disappointed in your decision to delay executive action on immigration, yet we remain hopeful that you will take prompt and bold action to provide relief of hundreds of thousands of LGBT individuals and their families who are suffering and whose future in our country remains uncertain due to unjust policies," the lawmakers said in the letter.
Additionally, the representatives recognized — as Obama has repeatedly stated — that Congress must act on comprehensive immigration reform legislation to establish, what they said, are "the sweeping changes necessary to fully protect the lives and well-being of our nation's immigrant families."
A handful of the lawmakers included in the letter are co-chairs of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, which also urged the Obama Administration to act on LGBT-inclusive immigration reform in August after LGBT immigration activists staged a sit-in demonstration at their offices.