Ariz. Law Bad for Gay Binational Couples

BY Michelle Garcia

April 29 2010 2:05 PM ET

Immigration Equality, one of the nation's top organizations lobbying
for
rights for LGBT families in the realm of immigration, is condemning
Arizona's controversial new law.

The legislation, signed by Gov. Jan Brewer last week, would authorize police to stop anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant to demand proof of citizenship.

"The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community knows all too well how easily people who 'look different' can be singled out for harassment and prosecution," writes Immigration Equality executive director Rachel Tiven. "In addition, LGBT immigrant families are too familiar with the double burden of immigration discrimination. Now Arizona’s LGBT families have yet another reason to be alarmed. The state’s new law threatens to tear apart families, separate children from their parents and rip apart loving couples who are building their lives together. Forty percent of LGBT binational couples in the United States include a Latino family member. For them, and their loved ones, Arizona is now the most dangerous place in America."

Tiven also called the law "heinous" and added that the Arizona policy was illustrative of the need for "comprehensive immigration reform that protects all families."

Traveling on Air Force One on Wednesday, President Barack Obama called Arizona's immigration law a "shortcut" that would fan the flames on this major issue, rather than solve the problems involved.

"What I think is a mistake is when we start having local law enforcement officials empowered to stop people on the suspicion that they may be undocumented workers, because that carries a great amount of risk that core values that we all care about are breached," Obama said according to the Los Angeles Times.

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder has also called the law "unfortunate" and said the Department of Justice was considering challenging it.









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