Activists in NM city rally around LGBTQ migrants

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Members of AVID in the Chihuahuan Desert volunteer at the Las Cruces Womxn’s Rally in Las Cruces, N.M., on Jan. 19, 2019. Photo courtesy of AVID in the Chihuahuan Desert.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. | Ivan, a 25-year-old gay man from Uganda, entered the U.S. on Christmas Day 2018 when he crossed the Rio Grande from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, to El Paso, Texas.

Ivan told the Washington Blade during an interview at the offices of Alianza of New Mexico, a Las Cruces-based HIV/AIDS service organization, on July 15 that anti-gay discrimination and his family’s decision to reject him because of his sexual orientation prompted him to leave Uganda.

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Gay Guatemala congressman-elect sharply criticizes migrant agreement with US

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Aldo Dávila, center, participates in a protest against the “safe third country” agreement his country’s government signed with the Trump administration. Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers.

GUATEMALA CITY | A gay Guatemalan congressman-elect on Saturday sharply criticized the “safe third country” agreement his government signed with the White House that requires migrants who pass through Guatemala on their way to the U.S. to first seek asylum in the country.

“[Guatemala] does not have the conditions to receive migrants in a dignified way,” Aldo Dávila told the Washington Blade during an interview in Guatemala City.

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Trump administration: HIV status used to justify family separation at border

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) questions Chief Brian Hastings.

As President Trump continues to praise his administration’s plan to beat the HIV epidemic by 2030, a top Trump administration official says an immigrant’s HIV status is enough to justify family separation at the border.

Brian Hastings, chief of Customs & Border Patrol, made the remarks during a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing Thursday under questioning from Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.).

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Transgender woman from El Salvador dies in ICE custody

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A transgender woman from El Salvador died June 1 while in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody.

An ICE press release says Johana “Joa” Medina Leon, who was identified by her birth name, passed away at a hospital in El Paso, Texas.

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We look back on 2018, a midterm year for a country that’s just living on a prayer

By : Jeremy Williams and Ryan Williams-Jent
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It’s been two years since we, as a country, entered into the reality that is the Trump Administration. The country feels more divided than ever and the phrases “fake news” and “it’s all a witch hunt” are commonplace.

The violence that seems to define who Americans are these days is also there, particularly in Florida, where there has been no justice for the five transgender women of color who were murdered and yet another mass shooting—this time at a high school in Parkland, Fla.—pulled the focus of the world to our state.

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LGBT History Project: Frances Kellor and the Birth of Multiculturalism

By : Victoria A. Brownworth, SPECIAL TO WATERMARK FROM THE LGBT HISTORY PROJECT
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Few topics in American politics under President Trump elicit more controversy than immigration. The same was true in early 20th century America when waves of immigrants flooded Ellis Island, causing fears that the country would become “overrun with foreigners,” as Henry Cabot Lodge wrote in 1891. With open borders, 30 million Europeans moved to the U.S. between 1850 and 1913. By 1920, about 15 percent of the U.S. population was foreign-born – much as it is in 2018.

It was into this milieu of a burgeoning immigrant population, as well as the Great Migration of freed black slaves, that Frances Kellor defined herself as one of the most important and radical social reformists of her time. Kellor’s progressive political and social stance was dominated by her belief that society had to be a true melting pot–a term she disliked–and not just a poetic metaphor of one. She is credited with creating the concept, if not the term, of multiculturalism.

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LGBT activists join protests against Trump immigration policy

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: The Human Rights Campaign and the National Center for Transgender Equality are among the groups that took part in the #FamiliesBelongTogether rally against President Trump’s immigration policy that took place in D.C. on June 30, 2018. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

LGBT rights advocates across the country on Saturday took part in protests against President Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy.

Human Rights Campaign Foundation Director of Faith Outreach and Training Lisbeth Meléndez Rivera, National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Mara Keisling and the National LGBTQ Task Force staffers are among those who took part in the #FamiliesBelongTogether rally that took place in Lafayette Square across the street from the White House. Lin-Manuel Miranda is among those who spoke before a march took place on Pennsylvania Avenue.

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‘Queer Eye’ season two gets June premiere date

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: ‘Queer Eye’ L-R: Bobby Berke, Karamo Brown, Jonathan Van Ness, Antoni Porowski and Tan France. Photo by Robert Trachtenberg. Courtesy of EW.

“Queer Eye” season two will premiere on Netflix in June.

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Trump touts economy, restrains bluster in State of the Union speech

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: President Donald Trump speaks at the 2018 State of the Union. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

President Trump delivered a State of the Union address Tuesday night emphasizing economic development and proposed changes to immigration and infrastructure as LGBT groups continued to hammer him with accusations he has abandoned civil rights.

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University of Central Florida president addresses immigration concerns

By : Anna M. Johnson
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University of Central Florida President John C. Hitt

ORLANDO – University of Central Florida President John C. Hitt sent out a statement to the college community Jan. 30 about President Donald Trump’s executive order restricting entrance to the United States. The order prevents people who hold a passport from or were born in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia from travelling to the U.S.

Hitt’s email addresses the restriction in the context of university officials and students.

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Google launches fund that could donate $4M to ACLU, others

By : Wire Report
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) – Google has created a crisis fund that could raise up to $4 million for four immigrant rights organizations.

Google has confirmed a USA Today report that it is funding an initial $2 million for the fund that can be matched with up to $2 million in donations from employees. The money will go toward the American Civil Liberties Union, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, the International Rescue Committee and the U.N. Refugee Agency.

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College students protest Donald Trump’s deportation plans among rising reports of bullying

By : Wire Report
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College students at campuses around the United States marched and rallied Nov. 16, urging administrators to protect students and employees against immigration action under a Donald Trump presidency.

Rallying supporters on social media with the hashtag #SanctuaryCampus, organizers said actions were planned at more than 80 schools, including Vermont’s Middlebury College, where about 400 people gathered, and Yale University, where demonstrators numbered about 600.

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