When Congress overhauled the nation’s immigration laws in 1950, it was still in the grip of the McCarthy Red and Lavender Scares. Consequently, Congress banned Communists and “persons afflicted with psychopathic personality” from entering the U.S. That latter clause was added by a Senate Judiciary subcommittee with the express purpose of excluding “homosexuals and other sex perverts.” The legislation that was ultimately signed into law didn’t mention homosexuals, but the U.S. Public Health Service consistently interpreted the language to be “sufficiently broad to provide for the exclusion of homosexuals and sex perverts.” When Congress addressed immigration reform again in 1965, it added “sexual deviation” to the list of characteristics that would preclude immigration. But even then, the law didn’t single out homosexuality for exclusion, but it nevertheless remained official immigration policy even after homosexuality was removed from the American Psychiatric Association’s list of mental disorders in 1973.
The nation’s doctors may have changed their understanding of gay people, but immigration authorities did not. That change wouldn’t come about until Congress again set out to reform the nation’s immigration laws again in 1990. This time, Congress decided to lift the political litmus test which automatically barred Communists and people with other potentially controversial political views from entering the U.S., and it also specifically struck down the exclusion of entry based on sexual orientation. When President George H.W. Bush signed the bill into law, gay people, for the first time, could enter the U.S without fear of automatic exclusion if their sexuality were discovered.
The new law was supposed to go further, with a clause which was intended to eliminate the automatic exclusion of people with AIDS from immigrating. But the law contained another clause which left it up the Health and Human Services Department to determine the list of communicable diseases which would prevent travel and immigration to the U.S. That list, as of 1990, still included HIV/AIDS, thanks to an amendment added to a 1987 appropriations bill by Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) which required that HIV/AIDS be included on the list of excludable diseases. When public health officials tried to remove AIDS from the list, it touched off a massive political firestorm of opposition from conservatives. HHS backed down, and the HIV travel and immigration ban would remain in place as an interim policy. When HHS moved to remove AIDS from the list in 1993, Congress retaliated by approving a measure that made the HIV/AIDS immigration and travel ban law. That ban was finally lifted in 2010.
Guatemalan actor Enrique Salanic has been blocked from entering the United States ahead of the U.S. premiere of his award-winning movie “José,” by the U.S. embassy in Guatemala.
The film is to premiere in New York City on Jan. 31, and Salanic is still campaigning to be granted entry to the U.S. “José” has received critical praise and has won the Queer Lion at the Venice Film Festival and other awards. “José ” focuses on Salanic’s young, gay character falling in love for the first time while living with his mother in Guatemala.
The U.S. embassy in Guatemala has twice denied his non-immigrant visa applications, citing a concern that he is a “flight risk” because he lives with his parents in Guatemala and has no permanent address in the U.S.
“Denying Enrique Salanic his entry visa to promote his work in a film produced, financed and distributed by American citizens and companies represents just one way in which the current administration’s immigration rules impact U.S. businesses, and it perpetuates the negative impression the world has of America. Denying entry to a man who has already successfully studied in the U.S. just because he is from Guatemala is unjust and cruel,” Outsider Pictures’ Paul Hudson said.
US Customs and Border Patrol agents at a migrant processing center in Texas allegedly attempted to humiliate a Honduran migrant by making him hold a sign that read, “I like men,” according to emails written by an agent who witnessed the incident.
The emails — obtained by CNN — were sent to the agent’s supervisor and outlined the March 5 episode in which a Honduran man was forced to hold a piece of paper that said, “Me gustan los hombre(s),” which translates to “I like men,” while being paraded through a migrant detention center.
The incident is one of many, per the emails, in which the CBP agent allegedly witnessed several colleagues displaying poor behavior and management’s failure to act.
Well that’s a two-fer for US Customs and Border patrol. At one time humiliating the immigrant and demonstrating their homophobic bigotry!
The Office of Refugee Resettlement is preparing for the possibility of another surge in family separations. Internal documents obtained by Slate show that ORR has modeled a scenario in which the Trump administration’s border policies could require the detention of thousands more immigrant children. To help cover these potential costs, the documents say, HHS will seek supplemental appropriations from Congress.
The documents also indicate that HHS plans to pay for child separation by reallocating money from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, which, according to its website, “provides a comprehensive system of care that includes primary medical care and essential support services for people living with HIV who are uninsured or underinsured.” Per the documents, the process of transferring those HIV/AIDS funds has already begun.
In addition, HHS plans to reallocate $79 million from programs for refugee resettlement, a move that could imperil social services, medical assistance, and English language instructions for refugees in the U.S., as well as programs for torture survivors.
You’d think they could claw back a few bucks from their goddamn tax cut to pay for this problem they created?
Oh wait. Then trump and his cronies wouldn’t get their kickbacks.
Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday to solve the issue of family separation at the border, which his administration created and enforced while keeping in place key components of the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy of prosecuting illegal border crossings along the U.S-Mexico border. While the administration will continue prosecuting crimes of “improper entry”, the administration will “maintain family unity, including by detaining alien families together where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources,” according to the order’s text.
“We are keeping families together and this will solve that problem. At the time we are keeping a very powerful border and it continues to be a zero tolerance, we have zero tolerance for people that enter our country illegally,” Trump said. He added falsely that no one has had the “political courage” to take care of the issue which he claims has gone on for over 60 years.
In actuality the family separations at the border began earlier this year, when Trump’s own Attorney General Jeff Sessions under orders from the White Hoouse mandated that all people caught crossing into the U.S. illegally be referred for criminal prosecution. Under that policy, adults were sent to jail under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security, while children have been held in facilities run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Since the policy was implemented, over 2,000 children have been separated, according to government figures.
The House is slated to vote Thursday on two immigration bills, one of which appears doomed while the other has only a moderate prospect of passing. Lawmakers in general are not remotely close to a consensus on what an immigration solution might actually look like.
Trump’s EO does nothing to alleviate the suffering of children already separated from their parents, who already may be deported. And if you think this government is in any way prepared for the massive task of reuniting children with their parents who are still awaiting court proceedings and being held in custody, well, I have a lovely resort in Mexico I can get for you cheap.
Vice President Mike Pence came to Columbus Friday for a speech on the Republican tax reforms but was repeatedly heckled by protesters in the crowd. The event was part of a victory lap tour for the White House organized by America First Policies, a group created by allies of President Trump to promote his agenda.
The speech in Columbus was the 15th of its kind since February according to organizers with America First Policies. The vice president was interrupted six times by protesters upset about the White House’s immigration policy taking children away from their parents after crossing the border and Pence’s views on homosexuality.
Pence spoke in front of a crowd of a couple hundred people at the Renaissance Hotel Downtown Columbus. The protests started just moments into his speech. One by one each one was escorted out by police or security. Pence largely ignored them and stuck to his prepared remarks.
Meanwhile outside the venue the “Welcome Mike Pence: Big LGBTQ Dance Party” was organized by Jay Smith. “We decided to go with the dance party because it’s fun, it’s a loving event. When people dance they’re happy,” Smith said. “We want to demonstrate for the LGBT community, especially those struggling with their gender identity or sexual orientation, that while this administration doesn’t have their back, we have their back and that we’re going to be fighting for them every day.”
“The LGBTQ scene here is very strong, and very much supported by the city, from the mayor down,” Sable Coate, one of the drag queens co-hosting the event added. “It’s funny because, I always tell my friends in other cities: you can’t believe how gay Columbus, Ohio, is until you’ve been there to experience it!. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he chose to come to Columbus during Pride Weekend. We have to show them we’re here in peace, we’re here in happiness, we’re here to celebrate, but we don’t agree with your choices regarding our community and all we want as Americans is equality.”
Whatever happened to the good old angry LGBT protests that actually did some good and wasn’t embarrassing?
Lifelong confirmed bachelor and closet case Republican Sen. Lindsey(belle) Graham speaking live on CNN defended the Trump administration’s loathsome policy of ripping migrant children out of the arms of their mothers saying. “If you don’t like me working with President Trump to make the world a better place, then I don’t give a shit.
Lindsey Graham live on @CNN: “If you don’t like me working with President Trump to make the world a better place, I don’t give a shit” pic.twitter.com/iNnqiYjZpV
According to six officials who attended or were briefed about the meeting, Mr. Trump then began reading aloud from the document, which his domestic policy adviser, Stephen Miller, had given him just before the meeting. The document listed how many immigrants had received visas to enter the United States in 2017.
More than 2,500 were from Afghanistan, a terrorist haven, the president complained. Haiti had sent 15,000 people. They “all have AIDS,” he grumbled, according to one person who attended the meeting and another person who was briefed about it by a different person who was there.
Forty thousand had come from Nigeria, Mr. Trump added. Once they had seen the United States, they would never “go back to their huts” in Africa, recalled the two officials, who asked for anonymity to discuss a sensitive conversation in the Oval Office.
Sarah Sanders issued a statement blasting the paper and denying that Trump had made the comments.
“General Kelly, General McMaster, Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Nielsen, and all other senior staff actually in the meeting deny these outrageous claims and it’s both sad and telling the New York Times would print the lies of their anonymous ‘sources’ anyway,” Sanders said.
Konathan Jayes-Green, co-creator of UndocuBlack Network, a group of black immigrant community organizers commented:
“I am disgusted but not surprised … it’s consistent with the racist, anti-black, queerphobic xenophobe Donald J Trump truly is. It was evident from his decision to end TPS [temporary protected status] for Haiti that he’s both willingly ignorant of who Haitian immigrants are and deeply committed to ending migration of Black and Brown immigrants to this country.
Former Mexican President Vicente Fox on Friday knocked President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, reiterating that Mexico will not pay “for that f—– wall.” “Be clear with US tax payers. They will pay for it,” Fox told Trump in a tweet.
Reports emerged Thursday evening that Trump was coordinating with House Republican lawmakers to build the proposed wall using U.S. taxpayer dollars, despite his campaign pledge that Mexico would pay for the project.
Trump on Friday appeared to concede that American taxpayers would foot the initial bill for the wall. In a tweet blasting the “dishonest media,” Trump wrote that “any money spent on building the Great Wall (for sake of speed), will be paid back by Mexico later.”
Jennicet Gutierrez, the undocumented trans activist who last heckled President Obama last monnth at the LGBT Pride reception at The White House, has written an op-ed at the Advocate in which she explains her “unplanned action” (Which by the way a little birdie tells us was planned all the time since Gutiérrez was invited as somebody’s +1 with the help of GetEqual. Allegedly.)
“It became a critical opportunity to interrupt the president during his speech on behalf of my undocumented trans sisters who are suffering daily in immigrant detention centers.
“Though unplanned, my action was about continuing to place trans immigrant women at the front lines of our movement. It was the result of an urgent need for my community to collectively lift our voices and bring visibility.
Gutiérrez then goes on to trash Advocate writer Dawn Ennis and her original story.
“[Advocate columnist Dawn Ennis’s] piece diverted attention from the real issues at hand — the dire conditions of trans women of color. And this is appalling. The writer missed a tremendous opportunity to inform her readers about the serious injustice that I was trying to bring to light: undocumented trans women facing horrific and inhumane conditions in detention centers.”
Gutiérrez also adds:
“The interruption at the White House was not about just me. It is about the continuous state-sanctioned violence and oppression my community faces every day. It is about the silence inflicted upon us by media and many mainstream LGBTQ organizations.”
“If my organizations had been too concerned with respectability and politeness, our voices would still be silenced, the average person would still be unaware of the seriousness of trans women in detention centers, and trans women of color would still be abused and suffering in detention centers with no one to speak up for them.”
Now let me start out by saying the issues she brings up are deplorable. As are many others in our community and they must be taken care of. And while I am an old-time activist and do believe in protests and actions they must be well planned, done properly, and be inclusive.
But try as she might Gutiérrez is wrong when she says it was now “all about her”. It was about her and her issue alone. One that is important, but affects very few individuals in the trans community. And she does not include undocumented L,G, and B detained immigrants who are also abused. Her “community” it seems only turns out to be “T”.
For Gutiérrez to say that its not “all about her” a trans undocumented woman of color. Well that’s just bullshit and someone has to call her out.