September 10, 2014- Many of our friends in the LGBT movement gathered at the White House yesterday to raise their voices in disappointment over President Obama’s recent announcement that he will wait until after the November midterm elections before issuing executive action on immigration. While we know that the ongoing intransigence of the House of Representative’s leadership has brought us to this stalemate, President Obama has prioritized political expediency over doing the right thing by the 11 million undocumented and their families.
NQAPIA stands in solidarity with the organizations including Immigration Equality, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, GetEqual, Freedom to Marry, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, United We Dream, League of United Latin American Citizens that are taking to the streets, to Pennsylvania Avenue, and to Capitol Hill. We too have taken to the streets, to the House of Representatives, and to the White House in recent actions to call for immigration reform that provides relief for LGBT immigrants. In recent weeks, we have joined Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific lslander (AAPI) and other immigrant community advocates in escalating action on the White House and the Congress.
One of these actions marked a particular moment in the LGBT and AAPI communities on Thursday, Septmeber 4 as Ben de Guzman, NQAPIA Co-Director for Programs delivered 2,776 postcards to Gautam Raghavan from the White House Office of Public Engagement, calling for immigration reform. This hand-off signaled one of the last public actions for both men, as both Ben and Gautam announced their stepping down from NQAPIA and the White House respectively. NQAPIA is proud of Ben’s service and is also sad to see Gautam go, after working with him as the White House’s liaison to both the AAPI and LGBT communities for a number of years.
While these two public servants step off this stage with our best wishes, NQAPIA will continue to fight for immigrants’ rights. As Ben noted at a press conference last week, “This is not about politics, this is about people’s lives.”