Wednesday, August 17, 2011

In a Broken Immigration System, DOMA Adds Another Layer of Injustice Bi-national lesbian couple waits for answer; DOMA holds their future hostage (Seg

For Immediate Release: August 15th, 2011
Contact: Julie Gonzales, CIRC,, 720-891-2712 | Jessica Cook Woodrum, One Colorado, 720-412-3772,

Denver, CO - Abandoned as a child, abused, and mistreated, a young lesbian woman made her way from Mexico to the United States and built a life alongside the woman she loves. However, Mrs. Hernandez's future (who asks that her full name not be used) now hinges on a decision from an immigration judge. But new prosecutorial discretion guidelines for bi-national same-sex couples from John Morton, the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, could prove to be crucial for her future, as they address the way immigration judges should apply and interpret the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

"It is absurd that someone like Mrs. Hernandez is facing deportation from her partner and the life they have built together, due to a traffic stop. This happens to thousands of families across the country as a result of increased local law enforcement collaboration with ICE. Unfortunately, DOMA makes our already broken immigration system even worse," said Julien Ross, Executive Director of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, "DOMA denies committed same-sex couples any rights in sponsoring their spouse, and often leaves their families with few options for changing their situation."

Ross continued: "The real solution would be to recognize Mrs. Hernandez's marriage, and allow them the same rights as any other married couple under immigration law. But at the very least, ICE should follow their own guidelines on discretion and stop her deportation immediately."

Mrs. Hernandez met her partner, a US citizen born and raised in Denver, and fell in love in 2006. They were married in Iowa in 2010. However, as a result of DOMA, their marriage is not recognized for immigration purposes and her partner is barred from sponsoring Mrs. Hernandez for legal status.

When Mrs. Hernandez was pulled over for a minor traffic violation in 2008, she was detained and spent nearly 3 months at an immigration detention center. Since that time, the couple has spent more than $20,000 on the legal battle to fight her deportation case and to have their marriage recognized and respected by immigration courts.

"No loving, committed couple should be torn apart by the laws of our country," said Brad Clark, Executive Director of One Colorado. " Mrs. Hernandez and her partner have made a lifelong promise to take care of each other, and their marriage should provide them with security to build a life together. But because of these unjust, discriminatory laws, their family hangs in the balance. That's just plain wrong."

A decision on Mrs. Hernandez's case is expected on August 19th at the Denver Immigration Court. In the coming days, community organizations will be working to mobilize support. Please contact Julie Gonzales, Director of Organizing for the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition at, or Shannon Masden, Field Manager for One Colorado at to get involved.


The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC) is a statewide, membership-based coalition of immigrant, faith, labor, youth, community, business and ally organizations founded in 2002 to improve the lives of immigrants and refugees by making Colorado a more welcoming, immigrant-friendly state. CIRC achieves this mission through non-partisan civic engagement, public education, and advocating for workable, fair and humane immigration policies.

One Colorado is a statewide advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring equality and opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Coloradans and their families. With offices in Denver, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, and Grand Junction, One Colorado effectively improves the lives of LGBT Coloradans by lobbying the General Assembly, executive branch, and local governments on issues like safe schools, relationship recognition, and LGBT health and human services. Learn more about

Para Distribuicón Inmediata: Lunes, 15 de agosto del 2011

Contactos: Julie Gonzales, CIRC,, 720-891-2712 (bilingüe) | Jessica Cook Woodrum, One Colorado, 720-412-3772, (inglés)

Bajo un sistema roto de inmigración, DOMA agrega otra capa de injusticia

Pareja bi-nacional lesbiana espera una respuesta; DOMA tiene su futuro rehenes

Denver, CO - Abandonada como niña, abusada y maltratada, una jóven lesbiana salió de México, llegó a los Estados Unidos, y construyó una vida al lado de la mujer que ama. Sin embargo, su futuro ahora depende de una decisión departe de un juez de inmigración. Pero John Morton, el Director del Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas (ICE, por sus siglas en inglés) acaba de mandar nuevas directrices de discreción prosecutorial para parejas bi-nacionales del mismo sexo, y pueden ser decisivos para el futuro de Sra. Hernandez (quien pide que su nombre completo no sea usado) porque tratan de la manera que los jueces de inmigración deben interpretar y aplicar la Ley de Defensa del Matrimonio (DOMA, por sus siglas en inglés).

"Es absurdo que alguien como la Sra. Hernandez está enfrentando una deportación de su pareja y la vida que han construida juntas, por causa de una parada rutinario de tráfico. Esto pasa a miles de familias al nivel nacional por la mayor colaboración entre la policía local y ICE. Desafortunadamente, DOMA empeora el sistema de inmigración ya roto," dijo Julien Ross, Director Ejecutivo de la Coalición para los Derechos de Inmigrantes de Colorado (CIRC, por sus siglas en inglés), "DOMA niega las parejas comprometidas del mismo sexo cualquier derecho a patrocinar a su esposo o esposa, y por la mayoría de los casos, deja las familias sin la oportunidad de cambiar su situación."

Ross continuó: "La solución verdadera sería reconocer el matrimonio entre la Sra. Hernandez y su pareja, y darles los mismos derechos que reciben todas las otras parejas casadas bajo la ley de inmigración. Por lo menos, ICE debe seguir sus propios directrices de discreción y cancelar su deportación inmediatamente."

La Sra. Hernandez y su pareja, una ciudadana nacida en Denver, se conocieron y se enamoraron en el 2006. Se casaron en Iowa en el 2010. Sin embargo, bajo DOMA, su matrimonio no es reconocido bajo la ley de inmigración y la pareja no puede patrocinar a Sra. Hernandez por un estatus legal.

Cuando Sra. Hernandez fue parada por una infracción de transito en el 2008, fue detenida y pasó casi 3 meses en la cárcel de inmigración. Desde entonces, la pareja ha pagado más de $20.000 para batallar legalmente en contra del caso de deportación y para que las cortes de inmigración reconozcan y respetan a su matrimonio.

"Ninguna pareja comprometida y cariñosa debe ser separada por las leyes de nuestro país," dijo Brad Clark, Director Ejecutivo de One Colorado. "Sra. Hernandez y su pareja han hecho una promesa de por vida de cuidar la una a la otra, y su matrimonio debería de proveerlas con la seguridad de construir una vida juntas. Pero por estas leyes injustas y discriminatorias, su familia está en duda. Es una gran equivocación."

Esperan una decisión en el caso de Sra. Hernandez el 19 de agosto en la Corte de Inmigración de Denver. En los siguientes días, movilizarán varias organizaciones de base en apoyo. Favor de contactar a Julie Gonzales, Directora de Organizar con CIRC,, o a Shannon Masden, Manager de Campo con One Colorado, para involucrarse.


La Coalición para los Derechos de Inmigrantes de Colorado (CIRC, por sus siglas en inglés) es una coalición estatal de organizaciones de inmigrantes, fé, sindicatos, comunitarias, negociantes, y aliadas fundada en el 2002 para mejorar las vidas de inmigrantes y refugiados a través de asegurar que Colorado esté más acogedor y pro-inmigrante. CIRC alcanza nuestra misión por involucramiento cívico no-partidista, educación pública, y abogacía para una reforma migratoria justa.

One Colorado es una organización estatal de abogacía dedicada a asegurar la igualdad y oportunidad por Coloradenses lesbianas, gay, bisexuales, y transgéneros (LGBT) y sus familias. Con oficinas en Denver, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, y Grand Junction, One Colorado mejora las vidas de Coloradenses LGBT a través de abogacía en la Asamblea General, el poder ejecutivo, y en gobiernos locales en temas como escuelas seguras, reconocimiento de relaciones, y salud y servicios humanos para la comunidad LGBT. Aprende más en

Globalization and Migration workshop

This past Saturday at the AFSC headquarters, we had our amazing workshop on Globalization and Migration. The workshop was designed to dissect the immense topics that are Globazation and Migration while taking into account the economic components as well. As epic and overwhelming as these topics sound, we were able to design a workshop that attempted to tackle the monster of a topic. There were about 35 people in the audience and they were all fully engaged. The activities were enlightening and were well received by the audience.

Globalization Y Migration Head, Heart and Feet from participants:
I learned…
That we can teach each other a lot of things.
The difference between the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
About Nigeria standing up for its people against Neoliberalism.
About the key players and the important terms to know when talking about neoliberalism.
That activities make it easier to show what’s going on
That popular education actually works
That it’s really important to come together and pull some of these things apart, and THEN act
We need to work together as nations and fight at a global level

I felt…
Happy about how this workshop turned out
Excited about being with like minded people
That truth wins out in the end
More equipped
More connected to the suffering caused by the system and my role in it
Inspired by everyone’s contributions
Like I thought really hard today

I will…
Educate myself about resistance in other countries, like Nigeria
Take what I learned to the streets
Do a workshop at CIRC
Talk about the root causes of migration more
No longer buy name brands
Look for more opportunities for action and education around globalization
Bring it to build on our work at RAP
Bring it to my Social Justice faith leaders group, and other faith communities

*written by Fadima Gologos