National LGBTQ Task Force Policy Director Allen Morris

As the battle over immigration continues to rage in the halls of Congress, and as Texas government officials continue to defy federal law and the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court, Allen Morris, policy director for the National LGBTQ Task Force, has issued the following statement warning that bad immigration policy could have dire consequences for LGBTQ people seeking asylum:

“As immigration negotiations loom, we cannot leave out how this is impacting LGBTQ asylum seekers, specifically our trans siblings. The ‘safety’ of our borders and people in need of safety should not be used as tools for political games.

“A vast majority of lawmakers can’t say they’ve ever been to the border; I have. I’ve witnessed the pain and sorrow. I’ve worked in direct services and brought the stories of those impacted back to Washington, D.C.

“I’ve witnessed how the state of Texas has used ‘Operation Lone Star’ as a tool of deception and xenophobia.

“President Biden promised fairness and a humane asylum system. Closing the border would dismantle asylum while pouring credence into the previous administration’s extremist ‘great replacement’ lies. I implore President Biden to reconsider what’s on the table and work with us to ensure dignity and humanity.

“This process — the media scrutiny, the vilifying of migrants — isn’t new. Many of us have lived this reality for decades.

“Extremists want you to believe there is a ‘crisis’ at the border. The only crisis is a broken system that requires rebuilding. The needs of LGBTQ, disabled and Black or brown asylum seekers have either been disregarded or, worse, used as a tactic to incite fear.

“Restricting asylum without thinking of the impact is alarming and shows the willingness of lawmakers to bend to unfounded political pressure while dehumanizing the most marginalized.

“Saving asylum is critical, and applying for asylum is a constitutional right. The right side of history takes courage even in the midst of principled struggle.”

Read Morris’ statement in full here.

— Tammye Nash