Sunday, June 7, 2009

LGBTQ Immigration

Hello CAPACD members,

Congratulation on the 10th year anniversary and growing stronger!

Since immigration is one of the issues that NCAPACD is supporting/taking, I'm writing in hopes to gain NCAPACD support in one of presssing issue the Filipino Community is being faced with: Immigration rights of LGBTIQ

On Friday, April 3, 2009, Shirley Tan was threatened with deportation and separation from family which included her life partner, Jaylynn “Jay” Mercado, her 12 year old twin sons, and Jay’s 76 year old mother, of whom she was the primary care giver. Tan was unable to be petitioned for U.S. citizenship by her life partner of 23 years, Mercado, because the U.S. federal law does not recognize their union as a family based on their identification as women and their partnership as lesbians. Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-D) was able to postpone her deportation until April 22, 2009.

Senator Feinstein introduced a very rare private bill on behalf of Shirley Tan; Shirley will not have to leave the USA for now and hopefully never. The essence of its introduction is that Tan does not have to leave the USA on May 10th, in terms of the voluntary order issued by DHS. This enables her to stay in the USA, legally, until the private bill passes ( a rare occurrence)- and if it does not come up for a vote then she can stay for the duration of this Congress’s session, which has approximately a year and nine months left. However Shirleys ultimate saviour will be UAFA and nothing else!

This is unbelievably miraculous and indeed an extraordinary measure on behalf of the family. This also gives all our wonderful activists, LGBTIQ organizations, and community supporters an opportunity to hit the streets, the phones, the faxes, the e-mails, the blogs etc. and to fight like crazy for the Uniting American families ACT (UAFA) – in truth the only real long term option for Shirley and the 40,000 other couples/families in this dire situation.

A few articles are link below to give you Shirley Tan background/story and what's happening at the White House:

So, when we talk about Immigration, please don't forget the LGBTIQ community and include them in the advocacy efforts. All the help and support NCAPACD can provide is greatly appreciated.

In solidarity,

Angelica Cabande

SoMa Community Action Network (SOMCAN)

Director of Organizing

415.202.5689 direct office

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