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AHRC Calls for Action for LGBTQI as President Biden Lifts Muslim Ban & Starts Immigration Reform

Thanking President Biden on Quick Immigration Action with a Hope for added considerations for LGBTQI refugees and asylum seekers

Newly inaugurated President Joe Biden signed several executive orders today including the repeal of the Trump administration’s travel bans, which barred people from many African and Muslim-majority countries from coming to the United States. The Biden administration also sent a sweeping immigration bill to Congress. We say THANKS and we must go further.

The bill will rebuild the U.S. refugee resettlement program, and includes the NO BAN Act, which prohibits discrimination based on religion in our immigration system. It also provides would provide a way for citizenship for millions of people in the USA.

For decades America has waited for immigration reform that would reflect compassion, humanity and be welcoming to immigrants. This immediate action on the very day of inauguration reflects the sincerity of the campaign promises by the Biden Harris administration. African Human Rights Coalition is relieved at the promise that the harm suffered by asylum seekers and refugees at the hands of the Trump administration will be mitigated in the short term, and rectified in the long term, with the hope that the shock of the past 4 years renders an awakening that must serve to provide solutions to deeply embedded issues that prevailed even before Trump took office.

It is now incumbent on us all to ensure that the new administration goes as far as possible to give effect to robust reform. No one should be left behind when it comes to opening our doors when in need of refuge.

African Human Rights Coalition calls on President Biden and the new administration, the Democratic U.S Congress and Senate, to take special cognizance of the fact that over 70 countries around the world criminalize LGBTI individuals and that the paths as refugees and asylum seekers for persecuted lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, unlike heterosexual counterparts, is fraught with added dangers and impossibilities.

To this end this administration must seek innovative solutions AND swift LGBTQI resettlement. At the very least we are accountable to ensure that quotas are established in such a manner so as to ensure people who are escaping sexuality criminalization and persecution are not left to linger in countries which purport to provide sanctuary, yet foster the same criminalization, and thereby are in fact hostile hosts, exacerbating trauma and failing safety. LGBTI people should be entitled to live according to their sexuality and gender identity, and America must lead the world in making this possible.

By Melanie Nathan African Human Rights Coalition ( Executive Director

pronouns: she / her / hers


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