Gay Rights Group: Immigration Deal ‘Leaves Out Too Many LGBT Immigrant Families’

By Melanie Arter | November 21, 2014 | 10:07am EST

(AP Photo)

( – The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) welcomed President Barack Obama’s amnesty deal, but criticized it for excluding too many LGBT immigrant families.

“We applaud the vision and courage of our President in making good on his promise to act on immigration reform. We know that this is a first step and we are gratified that many of the cruel policies of the past will be replaced with more humane and effective strategies,” NCLR Policy Director Maya Rupert said in a statement Thursday night.

“However, we remain deeply concerned that the plan leaves out too many LGBT immigrant families. LGBT families are less likely to have legally recognized or biological relationships with each other, and thus relief based wholly on familial ties will exclude too many LGBT families,” Rupert said.

NCLR is a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education, according to its website.

Rupert also complained that the deal will negatively affect the transgender community.

She added that “many of the restrictions requiring consistent employment and limiting access for people with non-violent criminal histories will disproportionately impact LGBT immigrants, especially in the transgender community.”

Rupert called the president’s announcement “a good start,” adding that the NCLR “remains committed to working with the White House and the new Congress leadership to fix our broken immigration system, not just for LGBT families but for as many immigrant families as possible.”

In a speech Thursday night detailing executive actions he planned to take on immigration, Obama offered millions of illegal aliens who are currently in the United States the chance to “come out of the shadows and get right with the law,” as CNSNews.comreported.

He described the “deal” this way: “If you’ve been in America for more than five years; if you have children who are American citizens or legal residents; if you register, pass a criminal background check, and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes--you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily without fear of deportation.

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