LGBT Asians join fasting campaign for immigration reform

NQAPIA Co-Director for Programs Ben de Guzman  (right) and NAKASEC Executive Director DJ Yoon at the Fast4Families Tent in Washington, DC

NQAPIA Co-Director for Programs Ben de Guzman (right) and NAKASEC Executive Director DJ Yoon at the Fast4Families Tent in Washington, DC

The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) committed this week to continue to fight for immigrants’ rights in Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities. Today, NQAPIA joins our partners and allies in Washington, DC to call on our lawmakers to do the right thing and pass immigration reform. This action comes on the heels of a week that has seen NQAPIA staff, board, and volunteers in Washington, DC, Chicago, IL, and San Francisco, CA take part in the Fast for Families campaign. Over the course of this past week and heading into the holidays, NQAPIA will continue to put our bodies on the line to fight for justice for immigrants and our families.

Last Friday in Washington, DC, NQAPIA Co-Director for Programs Ben de Guzman kicked off the NQAPIA solidarity fast and joined national leaders including DJ Yoon, the Executive Director of the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC). NQAPIA and NAKASEC have been key partners in fighting for immigration reform with the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA).

“NQAPIA is proud to join #Fast4Families and we salute the bravery of our friend and colleague DJ Yoon, who as one of the original #Fast4Families fasters along with Eliseo Medina and Christian Alvarez, sacrificed for 22 days for immigration reform. As I indicated at the evening vigil when I broke my fast, LGBT people know what it means to love in the face of adversity and we are with you in solidarity.”

“NAKASEC fights for immigrants’ rights shoulder to shoulder with NQAPIA,” said DJ Yoon. “We know that all immigrants and their families face challenges because of the broken immigration system and that LGBT people in our communities also face an additional set of barriers. Our fight for justice is for ALL people and can leave no one behind.” NQAPIA’s ongoing campaign for immigrants’ rights will continue to build off of our successes in 2013, which include:

• Delivering over 5,400 postcards to the Senate and the House of Representatives from constituents around the country calling for immigration reform;
• Forums in Chicago, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and San Francisco raising awareness about LGBT AAPI communities and the impact of immigration reform; • “Uncovering Our Stories” multimedia campaign that brings powerful voices from over a dozen LGBT AAPI immigrants and family members directly affected by the broken immigration system in video, online narratives, and a written publication;
• Direct mobilization of over 100 volunteers for grassroots public education efforts in Washington, DC, Portland, OR, Twin Cities, MN, Central New Jersey, suburban Virginia, Staten Island, NY, Portland, OR, and Honolulu, HI.

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