Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force/L.A.
c/o L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center / Legal Services
1625 North Schrader Boulevard / Los Angeles, CA 90028-9998
voice: 323.526.2915 / fax: 323.993.7653 / e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
NEWSLETTER: June 1999
NEXT MEMBERSHIP MEETING SET FOR TUESDAY JUNE 15 at 7pm
The next meeting of Immigration Equality will be on the third Tuesday of the month--Tuesday June 15--at 7pm at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center (1625 North Schrader Boulevard in Hollywood, two blocks west of Cahuenga Boulevard and one-half block south of Hollywood Boulevard). We will be meeting in Room 204 (on the second floor) in the library of the Legal Services Department. This month’s topic will be "What's next in gay and lesbian immigration."
DEPORTATION RULES EASED FOR GUATEMALANS AND SALVADORANS
The Clinton Administration has announced that natives of Guatemala and El Salvador who are eligible will be able to suspend deportation proceedings and gain permanent residence more easily because the I.N.S. will presume that they will be subject to "extreme hardship" if returned to Central America. This administrative change could lead to legal permanent residency in the U.S. by nearly 500 000 people from Guatemala and El Salvador, nearly 40 percent of whom are in Southern California.
CANADIAN SUPREME COURT RULES THAT SPOUSE INCLUDES SAME-SEX PARTNERS
The Supreme Court of Canada recently ruled in the case of M. vs. H., a lesbian alimony case, that the term 'spouse' in Canadian law must be equally applied to same-sex partners. Though the underlying question was whether a person in a same-sex relationship had equivalent responsibilities to support a spouse after dissolution of the relationship as a married person does. The Canadian Supreme Court ruled 8-1 that they do, and more broadly that Canadian law must treat different-sex and opposite-sex partners equally. Though the Court also said that it was not legalizing same-sex marriage, it gave the Federal Government of Canada six months to remove discrimination in all Federal statutes. It is expected that gay and lesbian immigration will be one of the areas which will be affected almost immediately.
CLINTON ADMINISTRATION TO MAKE CLEAR LEGAL IMMIGRANTS CAN ACCEPT AID
The Los Angeles Times reported May 25 that in response to studies that welfare use by noncitizen households has dropped 35% from 1994 to 1997, the Clinton administration has issued regulations making it clear that acceptance of non-cash aid can not be used against legal immigrants. Some legal immigrants are not aware that they can accept aid from state and federal sources without it affecting their immigration status. The confusion arises from the phrase "public charge" which appears in U.S. immigration law. The law says that people who wish to become permanent residents or U.S. citizens can not be "public charges" and this has been incorrectly interpreted by some as making them ineligible for all federal or state aid.
CALIFORNIA SUMMER PRIDE SEASON IN FULL SWING: VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!
It's summer again, and that means gay and lesbian pride celebrations in the Southland.
Upcoming events are Los Angeles (June 12-13), Oakland (June 19-20), San Francisco (June 26-27), San Diego (July 23-25) and Orange County (August 14-15). If you would be interested in highlighting gay and lesbian immigration issues and the Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force in particular at any of these events please contact Ron Buckmire at 323.259.2536.
IMMIGRATION RESOURCES AVAILABLE ON THE WEB
The Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force, our parent organization has a website at http://www.lgirtf.org/
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, which has an Asylum Project,
is at http://www.iglhrc.org/
The Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the most prominent U.S. organization devoted to gay and lesbian legal issues has a section of its website devoted to immigration at
The Cato Institute and The National Immigration Forum have placed the text of their 1995
report on demographic and economic facts of Immigration in the U.S. on the web, at
The National Immigration Forum has a website at
The American Immigration Lawyers Association has a very useful website at http://www.aila.org/
The Stonewall Immigration Group, our sister organization in the United Kingdom has a website at
The Immigration and Naturalization Service has its official website at http://www.ins.usdoj.gov/
The law firm of Siskind et al has launched a website which has copies of actual INS forms at http://www.visalaw.com/
The Canadian law firm of SMITH & HUGHES has an OUT/LAW Immigration site at
The Queer Resources Directory, the oldest queer internet archive, has a section devoted to
immigration at http://www.qrd.org/qrd/www/world/immigration
Queer Immigration mailing list
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M I S S I O N S T A T E M E N T
The LGIRTF addresses the widespread discriminatory impact of immigration laws on the lives of lesbians, gay men and people with HIV through education, outreach, advocacy and the maintenance of a nationwide resource and support network