What: Press conference calling on self-proclaimed allies of LGBT and immigrant communities Democrats Nancy Pelosi, Eric Swalwell, and Mark Takano to release young gay Latino DREAMer Yordy Cancino. Latino activists are also urging Democrat Janice Hahn to join community members in calling ICE to grant discretion on Yordy’s case, so he can reunite with his family and community.
When: Friday, April 11, 10:30 AM
Where: BIENESTAR Hollywood Center, 4955 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027
Who: Organized by the San Fernando Valley Immigrant Youth Coalition, GSA Network, National Queer and Trans Latina Alliance, and National Immigrant Youth Alliance. Confirmed speakers include: Alexander De Leon from Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA Network), Luis Nolasco from National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA), Myisha Arellano from San Fernando Valley Immigrant Youth Coalition (SFV-IYC), and Ronnie Veliz from National Queer and Trans Latino/a Alliance (NQTLA)
Statement by Gay-Straight Alliance Network:
Yordy Cancino is a leader who worked to transform his high school and his city of Los Angeles as the president of his high school's Gay-Straight Alliance club and as a member of the national youth leadership organization Gay-Straight Alliance Network. GSA Network empowers young people to push back against homophobia and transphobia in their schools and GSA clubs like Yordy's provide safe spaces for youth to be themselves and organize to ensure all young people -- no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity -- have the opportunity to succeed.
Today, as Yordy faces a judge and potentially deportation, thousands of other GSA youth leaders like him are participating in GLSEN's National Day of Silence, taking a vow of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools. But the silence faced by our undocuqueer brothers and sisters has long gone un- or under-acknowledged. Many are in the closet about their immigration status even in their GSA clubs, where they should be able to proudly and fully be themselves. Yordy's situation on this day -- as thousands of youth across the country honor the silence faced by LGBTQ youth -- is a powerful and painful reminder that silence and oppression are not simple and that we have so much work to do before all LGBTQ youth in this country can live, love, and pursue their dreams.
The Vice-Chair of GSA Network's Board of Directors, himself a recent high school alum, has started a petition to release Yordy, and already GSA activists have united in support. On this Day of Silence, GSA Network calls on LGBT youth champions Michelle Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Mark Takano to stand with Yordy and with all LGBTQ immigrant youth being held in detention and demand ICE execute prosecutorial discretion in Yordy's case.
This week several LGBT DREAMers in ICE detention had their credible fears for asylum denied. One of them is Yordy Cancino, a gay immigrant son who grew up in California. Yordy is a leader who worked to transform his high school and his city of Los Angeles as the president of his high school's Gay-Straight Alliance club, and as a member of the national youth leadership organization Gay-Straight Alliance Network. GSA Network empowers young people to push back against homophobia and transphobia in their schools.
Today, as Yordy faces a judge and potentially deportation, thousands of other GSA youth leaders like him are participating in GLSEN's National Day of Silence, taking a vow of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools.
After working so hard in high school and being accepted to his dream university, Yordy was unable to afford the $54,000 a year needed to attend. Feeling highly depressed, he felt like he had no choice but to return to Mexico to continue his studies. Being back in Mexico has been extremely dangerous. Yordy is gay and has been attacked in Mexico. He also has been followed from the metro to his house trying to be kidnapped. He fears daily for his life.
Yordy has lived in the United States since he was a child and Los Angeles is his home.
About Bring Them Home: From March 10 - 18, several groups of immigrant youth or DREAMers and families presented themselves at the Otay Mesa border crossing in an extraordinary family reunification effort and sought asylum or humanitarian parole. These youth and families had previously lived in the United States, where they worked, studied, raised children, and contributed to the community in numerous other ways. However, they were either deported due to harsh federal programs or forced to self-deport due to conditions created by anti-immigrant policies such as Arizona’s SB 1070, which made life unlivable. Separated from family, and faced with violence and persecution in Mexico, these families have now courageously placed themselves into immigration custody and asked for permission to return home.
Sign the petition to Bring Yordy Home and all LGBTQ immigrants in ICE detention http://bit.ly/FreeYordy