Here is the invitation to the event related to LGBT asylum/immigrant issues organized by RUSA’s friend and colleague Sebastian Maguire:
All are welcome to a community reception to discuss the challenges encountered by New York City’s immigrants, especially those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ).
The anti-immigrant and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric emanating from the national stage has put the issue of LGBTQ immigrants front and center. Given our own positions as an immigration lawyer and an asylee, we feel the need to respond.
Our city is in a position to show the rest of the country how this population should be welcomed rather than vilified or used to justify odious speech against other groups (e.g., Muslims). Unfortunately, programs aimed at serving LGBTQ immigrants–nearly 40% of the city’s LGBTQ community is composed of recent immigrants–are severely lacking and those few very admirable efforts that do exist are severely overburdened. Adding to the problem is the precarious position many LGBTQ immigrants find themselves in once they arrive here. We have heard many stories of the challenges facing these individuals as they try to safely and successfully integrate into American society.
We want to provide a forum for others who are interested in learning about this important issue and sharing ideas on what can be done. There will be a brief presentation but most of the time will be for participants to meet other like-minded individuals.
We hope this meeting ignites a discussion about how immigrants, LGBTQ folks, and allies can bring attention to individuals who belong to both communities and need services that reflect this.