Monday, June 17, 2013

TPOCC And NCTE Join Forces To Lobby For ENDA And Immigration Reform

With a trans inclusive Employment and Non Discrimination Act (ENDA) once again being introduced in the 113th Congress in both houses on April 25 and The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act  currently being debated that will affect our community, the time has come for trans* people across the United States to let our voices be heard and for us to be seen exercising our constitutional rights to talk to our legislators about this important legislation.  

That's why the Trans People of Color Coalition and the National Center for Transgender Equality will team up today to ensure the voices of trans people across the country are represented and the diversity of our community is visible in the fight for justice.

"Immigration reform is equally important in addressing the concerns of transgender and gender non-conforming people. Many immigrants have lived here their whole life or were born here, we need to include the needs and voices of these people into this legislation," said Bamby Salcedo, the president of the Trans Latin@ Coalition.

“Both ENDA and comprehensive immigration reform allow us the opportunity to sustain ourselves and our communities. The experiences of Trans* and gender non-conforming communities of color highlight the reality that  these are not two separate issues. When we Lobby on Monday we will be working to secure legal protections for trans*, gender non-conforming, and immigrant individuals who are already working in our schools and our businesses. We are already here doing the work and deserve to be free from violence and discrimination while we help build this country,” stated Parker T. Hurley, deputy director of TPOCC.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity.   ENDA (H.R. 1755/ S. 815) would create explicit protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people similar to those available under existing federal anti-discrimination laws for other protected classes of workers.

“America prospers when all are given basic protections for economic and job security - and ENDA is a critical piece of legislation to help ensure job security for millions of people and families in the United States, particularly transgender people and people of color that suffer from pervasive discrimination due to societal misunderstandings and stigma. It’s important that the playing field be level for all.” said Kylar W. Broadus, executive director TPOCC. 

Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744) is a bipartisan immigration reform bill with several components, including: (a) creating pathways to citizenship for undocumented youth and adults; (b) preserving family unity by clearing out green card backlogs; (c) expanding protections for asylum seekers and refugees; and (d) reforming immigration detention.

TPOCC and NCTE will gather in Washington D.C. at 8:30 AM EDT at the American Federation of Teachers - AFL-CIO headquarters building at 555 New Jersey Ave NW, 4th Floor, for a rally and briefing before heading to Capitol Hill to tell our stories to House and Senate legislators that will be voting on immigration reform and this much needed trans* human rights legislation.
“We hope this will be one of the most diverse lobby days for transgender Americans on Capitol Hill," added Broadus. "While we realize everyone cannot come to Washington D.C. it is important for us to be here. We will do follow up with those not able to make it here to ensure their voices are heard.”

We hope that you will join TPOCC today 
in lobbying for the passage of ENDA and immigration reform that takes into account the needs of trans" immigrants.  If you can't join us on Capitol Hill please call your congressional representatives offices and ask they do so.

TPOCC is an organization to inspire and nurture collaboration among communities of color dedicated to anti-racism, fighting transphobia and the empowerment of transgender persons of color. We work to strengthen and mobilize individuals, families, and communities by changing laws, educating the public, and building social and economic strength among all persons of color.

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