Tag Archives: immigration

One Nation Working Together

On October 2, 2010, thousands of progressive people will converge on our hometown of Washington, DC for the “One Nation Working Together” march. This march strives to counter the reactionary tone of other recent marches on Washington with a call for “a future of justice at home and peace abroad, where we create good jobs for all of us and take on the great challenges we face as a nation: rebuilding our economy; respecting all families; educating all our children in safe environments; transforming how we use energy; ensuring safe, vibrant, diverse communities; and providing for an economic future built on the principles that America has always aspired to achieve.”

The organizers of this march have reached out to LGBTQ organizations in an effort to show solidarity and build a movement that includes everyone. In return, dozens of LGBTQ groups — including Whitman Walker Clinic, Queers for Economic Justice,  the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, the DC Trans Coalition (that’s us!) and more — have endorsed the march. We’re excited to be part of this effort to look beyond identity and bring people together around our shared values and collective needs.

We hope that you’ll join us on October 2nd as we stand with our social justice allies. After Whitman Walker’s AIDS Walk, the LGBTQ and Youth contingents for One Nation Working Together are meeting up at Freedom Plaza at 10:00AM (on Pennsylvania Ave between 13th & 14th, NW). We hope you will join us there to support the AIDS Walk Washington closing ceremonies. Then, we’ll march as one delegation to the rally.

If you need more convincing, check out this great letter put together by the LGBTQ Table for One Nation Working Together.

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From DC to Detroit, Queer and Trans Activists Making the Connection to Social Justice

Thanks to everyone who helped make the film screening, Trans Pride, the youth cookout and all the other summer events such a success so far! We hope the rest of the summer is just as productive. DCTC has a lot of exciting campaigns, events and projects in the works, so stayed tuned.

We know a lot of our friends and supporters are just getting back from the 2nd annual US Social Forum in Detroit, where over 15,000 community organizers gathered to discuss strategy and vision for building a strong social justice movement. DCTC was an anchor organization for the Greater DC People’s Assembly, one of over 50 such assemblies from across the country that brought our local priorities to the national forum. The DC People’s Assembly resolution was one of the few to mention “that transphobia and homophobia divide our communities, cause widespread suffering and intersect with other systems of oppression to fuel vast social and economic inequalities throughout the world” and to explicitly include the needs of trans communities.  We hope you’ll read the full resolution.

Also, check out the Queer and Trans Peoples’ Resolution for the Safe Self- Determination of Our People, assembled by the Queer and Trans Peoples’ Movement Assembly at the US  Social Forum. As detailed in a new report from Queers for Economic Justice (“A Fabulous Attitude: Low Income LGBTGNC People Surviving & Thriving on Love, Knowledge & Shelter”), issues like poverty, homelessness and immigration all impact trans and LGBQ people. It’s very exciting to hear back from our friends in Detroit that more and more queer and trans activists are beginning to prioritize issues of social and racial justice!

Back in DC, on Friday July 9th at St. Stephens Church (1525 Newton St NW) from 7-9pm, the DC Childcare Collective is hosting a discussion called “A Better DC is Possible!” The panel will discuss ways to bring people together to create a more just DC and will feature representatives from organizations like Empower DC and the Latino Economic Development Corporation. (Childcare provided; Refreshments to follow; $10 donation requested, no one turned away due to lack of funds). DCTC was originally scheduled to appear at this event but has had to cancel. We still encourage all of our friends to come out, support these other awesome groups and keep including trans communities in these crucial discussions!

Trans Day of Action 2010

The DC Trans Coalition formally endorses this march and calls on our allies and supporters who are able to travel to New York City to join our contingent in the Sixth Annual Trans Day of Action for Social and Economic Justice!

When: Friday, June 25, 2010 – 3:00pm
Where:
To Be Announced (NYC)

On June 25, 2010, Trans and Gender Non Conforming People of Color and allies will take to the streets of NYC once again and demand justice to let the world know, that the rebellion is not over and we will continue fighting for justice, raising our voices until we are heard.  We call on all activist and organizers for justice, both local and organizations around the country and world to endorse this call to action and to build contingents to march in solidarity together.  Below are the points of unity which hold together the purpose of this march.

To endorse Trans Day of Action 2010, send an email to endorsetdoa@alp.org.

See below for Points of Unity and more info about the Day of Action.

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Two Ways to Stand With Trans Immigrants THIS WEEKEND.

Everyone deserves documentation in the country they live in, and no one should be denied legal status, whether because of immigration history or being they’re trans. This weekend we are asking our supporters to attend TWO very important actions to support trans migrants and refugees! At 10:45am on Friday March 19th, please attend a City Council hearing to show your support for the immediate halt of the “Secure Communities Program” (see below for more info). Then, on Sunday March 21st, come march with the DC Trans Coalition in the March for America immigration rally! We’ll be gathering by the WWII monument under the DC section between 11:30 and 12 pm.

Trans migrants and refugees face unique and especially difficult problems. Too often, this is not dealt with by either immigration reform or LGBT rights organizations. Stand with us to STOP THE DEPORTATIONS and demand human rights for all! For more general information about the situation of trans migrants and refugees, be sure to read our Press Release endorsing the March for America.

More info about the “Secure Communities Program” from the National Day Laborer Organizing Network: The DC Metropolitan Police Department has signed an agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to implement the FAILED “Secure Communities Program”. Urge the Council of the District of Columbia to demand for an IMMEDIATE halt to this FAILED program.

Attend the DC MPD Oversight Hearing:
Date:
FRIDAY March 19, 2010
Time:
10:45 AM (gathering time)
Location:
Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, ROOM 500
Washington, DC 20004

Real Community Safety, YES!          Fear and Criminalization, No!

* In November 2009, the DC Metropolitan Police Department signed an agreement to forward fingerprint information of arrested individuals (U.S. Citizen and Non-U.S. Citizens) to a database that will notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about the arrestee’s immigration status regardless whether the person is guilty or innocent or the arrest is later deemed unlawful. The program is antithetical to community policing and the core promise of our justice system.

For more information contact: Sarahi Uribe (202)285-9673  sarahi@ndlon.org

Sponsored by: The Latino Federation, DC Jobs with Justice, Empower DC, Latino Action Coalition of DC, National Capitol ACLU, Different Avenues, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, Rights Working Group, DC Latino Caucus, The Latino Association of Mt Pleasant, Mil Mujeres Legal Services, Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care, CARECEN, DC Trans Coalition, Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition and over 100 community and civil rights organizations

DC Trans Coalition Endorses 2010 March for America

For Immediate Release
March 18, 2010
Contact:
Rhodes Perry
(202) 403-7000 / Rhodes.perry@gmail.com

DC Trans Coalition Endorses 2010 March for America
“March Provides Opportunity To Raise Visibility for Trans Immigrants, Refugees and asylum seekers,” Group Says

Washington, DC – The DC Trans Coalition (DCTC) will participate in Sunday’s 2010 March for America, which provides an opportunity for the group to raise visibility around two interconnected and complex issues – transgender, transsexual and gender non-conforming human rights and immigrant rights.  The intersection of these issues continues to be largely ignored and neglected, despite the profound degree of discrimination, humiliation and outright violence trans immigrants endure, all of which jeopardize the most essential rights to life, dignity, and health.

“Tragically, too many transgender immigrants lack culturally competent and understanding legal counsel, or receive inaccurate legal information from attorneys who are not well-versed in this area of the law,” said Alison Gill, a DCTC attorney.  “As a result, trans immigrants fail to obtain immigration documents that correctly reflect their gender identity, file timely or comprehensive applications for asylum, or secure legal immigrant status through marriage to a US Citizen or resident.”

Trans immigrants face additional barriers to the already difficult and demanding legal immigration process. For example, the lack of explicit inclusion of “gender identity” as a protected class for asylum-seekers complicates asylum applications for those attempting to flee persecution. Additionally, many countries continue to require nullification of marriages before recognizing a trans person’s identity, making it more difficult for transgender immigrants to reunite with their families.

Failing to access sound legal advice – and knowing one’s rights in general – leads to increased marginalization of trans immigrants within the U.S., exposing far too many people to exploitation by employers, increased risk of discrimination, humiliation and abuse, negative health consequences of living in the U.S. without legal status, and detention in federal facilities pending removal hearings. Further, many transgender immigrants have experienced rape, sexual assault, harassment and other forms of violence – including the denial of life-saving HIV medications – while incarcerated in immigrant detention center.

“Clearly, more immigration attorneys need to understand the very unique and complex issues trans immigrants experience in particular, and sensitive attorneys unfamiliar with immigration law should recognize that there are good laws on the books addressing treatment of trans immigrants that are unfortunately not enforced and often misapplied,” said Gill.

According to guidelines from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), trans immigrants should be able to access accurate identity documents – i.e. work authorization, naturalization certificates, green cards, etc – in the “outward, claimed and otherwise documented [gender identity] of the applicant.”  Clarification as to what “otherwise documented” is necessary as officials from USCIS enforce this rule inconsistently, typically requiring trans-related surgical procedures prior to obtaining accurate identity documents.  In some extreme circumstances, officials will refuse to correct gender markers on identity documents for individuals who have undergone such procedures for no justifiable reason.

“We believe that no human being is illegal, and that no one should be denied accurate documentation, whether because they are transgender or due to their citizenship status,” said Sadie Ryanne Baker, a DCTC advocate.  “Without such documentation, trans immigrants will continue to be treated inhumanly, and made vulnerable to extreme discrimination, humiliation, underemployment and violence.  We plan to march on Sunday to help raise visibility around these complex issues, in hopes of building stronger coalitions with immigration advocates and ensuring that the good laws on the books are enforced appropriately,” said Baker.

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The DC Trans Coalition (DCTC) is a volunteer, grassroots community-based organization dedicated to fighting for human rights, dignity, and equal access for transsexual, transgender and gender-diverse people in the District of Columbia.