Press release cross-posted from #Not1More: http://www.notonemoredeportation.com/2015/06/24/whpride/

PresObama-interruptedWASHINGTON, DC — Just moments ago, Jennicet Gutiérrez  interrupted the President during the White House pride celebration shouting “President Obama, release all LGBTQ immigrants from detention and stop all deportations.” As a transgender woman who is undocumented,  Gutiérrez said she could not celebrate while some 75 transgender detainees were still being exposed to assault and abuse in ICE custody at this very moment.

“The White House gets to make the decision whether it keeps us safe, “explains Gutiérrez  “There is no pride in how LGBTQ and transgender immigrants are treated in this country. If the President wants to celebrate with us, he should release the LGBTQ immigrants locked up in detention centers immediately.”

Gutiérrez came to the US from Mexico, seeking safety and economic opportunity.  Gutiérrez has become one of many voices advocating for LGBTQ immigrants: upon arrival, she found community among other transgender immigrants, many of whom had been detained in ICE custody. Gutiérrez was a founding member of FAMILIA TQLM, established to advocate for LGBTQ immigrants often excluded in the immigration debate. The work of the organizations she represents, Familia QTLM and GetEQUAL, was echoed yesterday when 35 Congresspeople signed a letter sent to ICE demanding the agency release LGBTQ immigrants out of concern for their safety.

Groups are preparing for a national week of action to end detention, July 7th to 11th, calling for an end to an immigrant detention system described by the New York Times as “cruel and harmful.”

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#Not1More is a campaign made of individuals, organizations, artists, and allies to expose, confront, and overcome unjust immigration laws.

Familia QTLM works at the national and local levels to achieve the collective liberation of LGBT Latin@s by leading an intergenerational movement through community organizing, advocacy, and education.

GetEQUAL is a national grassroots social justice organization whose mission is to empower the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community and allies to take bold action to demand full legal and social equality, and to hold accountable those who stand in the way. For more information, go to www.getequal.org. You can also follow GetEQUAL on Facebook at www.facebook.com/getequal or on Twitter at @GetEQUAL.