If you are an individual: Although most of the work done by the LGBTQ Immigrant Rights Coalition is done through collaboration amongst the various members, there are some things you can do as an individual if you want to support our work.
- Keep in touch: Sign up for the newsletter, and connect to our social networks. This is the best way to let you know about the ongoing campaigns and upcoming events.
- Tell your story: If you have a story that connects to the work we are doing on LGBTQ immigration, please consider sharing it with us. Submit your story here.
- Donate: The work we do takes time and resources. Please consider making a donation to support ALMA’s work on immigrant rights.
- Volunteer: Contact one of our member organizations and ask how you can support their work on immigrant rights.
- Get your organization involved: If you are part of an organization in Illinois, ask them to consider being a part of the LGBT immigration coalition. Below are the details.
Become a Member of the Coalition
If you are part of an Illinois-based organization or institution interested in being part of the LGBTQ Immigrant Rights Coalition, we ask that you:
- Read the mission and vision of the LGBT immigrant rights coalition, as well as our political perspective on immigration reform and inclusion of same-sex couples, as described below;
- Include the leadership and/or board of directors in the decision-making progress;
- Keep in mind that ALMA’s staff can provide limited support, including presentations related to the issues and/or membership. Contact us for more information.
The LGBTQ Immigrant Rights Coalition is made up of institutions that focus on serving gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people, working to advocate for immigration legislation and public policy that:
- Respects human and civil rights;
- Is inclusive of same-sex couples and LGBTQ individuals;
- Provides conditional path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants residing in the U.S;
- Promotes family unity, including for same-sex partners;
- Guarantees that immigrants and U.S. citizens are free from arbitrary detention;
- Supports immigrant integration into U.S. society;
- Ensures worker’s rights and employer accountability in the labor market;
- Eliminates inhumane conditions that immigrants face in detention centers;
- Reforms ineffective and expensive border enforcement strategies.
In order to play an effective role in achieving the stated policy goals, the members of the coalition collaborate to:
- Engage the LGBTQ community in immigrant rights work, including businesses, institutions, legislators, and grass-roots organizations;
- Increase visibility of LGBTQ people affected by immigration policy to highlight the intersections amongst these communities, specifically through personal testimonies and media campaigns;
- Support immigrant rights organizing, public policy advocacy, and resource-gathering through collaboration;
- Engage immigrant rights organizations and institutions whose work is not LGBTQ-specific to include LGBTQ issues, stories, and institutions in their public advocacy and internal structure and values;
- Dialogue with faith-based institutions for their support of LGBTQ inclusion in legislation and advocacy.
- Put pressure on elected officials to advocate for policy that promotes immigrant rights and is inclusive of LGBTQ people.
Each of the member organizations supports the work of the coalition according to their own resources and capacity. Institutions who would like to join efforts would work with the current partners to identify a collaborative and sustainable level of commitment and participation that is beneficial to all parties involved.
An ideal member of the coalition would be an LGBTQ-focused advocacy group, social service agency, cultural association, social justice organization, college club, or faith-based group, that:
- Is committed to immigrant rights and LGBTQ equality, and the inherent intersections;
- Engages in working collectively to promote immigration and public policy that reflects the coalition’s values through a multiplicity of strategies;
- Currently has, or is willing to adopt, an institutional non-discriminatory policy that includes sexual orientation, country of origin, gender expression, and immigration status as protected groups;
- Is open to continuing or strengthening dialogue and a collaborative relationship with non-LGBTQ specific organizations doing immigrant rights advocacy;
- Is able to allocate institutional resources towards the success of the work of the coalition, including a consistent representative who can attend meetings, participate in on-going dialogue, and designate time to work on achieving the coalition’s goals.
As part of the LGBTQ Immigrant Rights Coalition these institutions are part of an expanding network of passionate, like-minded organizations and community leaders, providing ample opportunity to increase outreach through exposure to new audiences and communities. Additionally, membership facilitates access to new information and resources for the member organizations and constituencies, in particular to strengthen capacity to work with LGBTQ individuals and same-sex couples, including those who are undocumented.
Being a member of the coalition also allows your institution to be an integral part of the fight for equality. LGBTQ people and immigrants are two of the last groups whose explicit denigration and criminalization for political gain is still permissible. The denials of basic rights to LGBTQ people and immigrants stem from common sources exploiting fear based on prejudice and ignorance of our intersecting experiences. For these practical reasons alone, LGBTQ people and immigrants must work together to prevent the ascendancy of the hate, fear, and exclusion that threatens both communities.
For more information on the work of the LGBTQ Immigrant Rights Coalition visit almachicago.org/immigration, or reach our part-time coordinator via e-mail or at (773) 661-0926.