Rainbow Refugee Project
Wednesday, September 19
INTERSECTIONS: The Bridge Between the LGBTQ Community and Immigration System
Speakers: Imelda Maynard – Immigration Attorney; Nia Rucker – Executive Director of ACLU Regional Center for Border Rights office in Las Cruces, Members of Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee, El Paso; LGBTQ immigrant supported by PFLAG Las Cruces Rainbow Refugee Project.
During the summer of 2018, PFLAG Las Cruces, in conjunction with several organizations in the border region including the Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee of El Paso, Comunidades de Accion y de Fe, Border Servant Corps, as well as several faith communities including Peace Lutheran Church and Holy Family American National Catholic Church worked together for the release of two refugee LGBTQ couples from immigration detention centers. The Rainbow Refugee Project continues the commitment of supporting these two couples as they seek asylum here in the U.S. and opens the possibility for continued education and advocacy for the intersections between immigration and the LGBTQ community.
A pot luck supper began this evening’s program and was held at Holy Family Parish Hall from 6-8 pm. Attending from First Christian Church were Jack LeSage, Wayne Huber, and Revs. Lynn and Ric Brightman, and Donna Cavedon.
Following the meal the speakers from the various organizations were helpful as they informed those gathered of many of the issues people seeking asylum in the United States face – those in the LGBTQ community especially.
Jose, Luis, Juan Carlos, Issac shared their stories of their home life, the abuse they often faced in their homes, neighborhoods, schools because they are gay. Looking for a safer life, they chose to seek asylum in the United States yet faced much abuse once they were captured and detained in various facilities.
Ryan Steinmetz has been hosting the couples at his home since these young men’s release. The needs are great, including financial. If you desire to make a donation please make it out to PFLAG Las Cruces with “Refugee Fund” in memo line. Your gift can be sent to: PFLAG Las Cruces; PO Box 2495; Las Cruces, NM 88004.