Illinois native fights for LGBT-immigrant rights
As Congress prepares to take up the contentious issue of immigration reform, leaders of LGBT organizations are working to make sure that their constituents aren’t left out of the debate. Gay-rights activists scored a significant victory last month when a legislative framework for comprehensive immigration reform—introduced by Sens. Charles Schumer and Robert Menendez as well as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, all Democrats—included a highly sought provision: It would allow for LGBT citizens and legal permanent residents to sponsor their foreign national partners for U.S. residency.
A prominent voice in the immigration debate belongs to 16 year-old Immigration Equality, a New York- and Washington, D.C.-based non-profit that works on behalf of LGBT and HIV-positive immigrants. And a prominent voice within Immigration Equality belongs to Illinois native Julie Kruse, the organization’s policy director. Kruse recently talked with Windy City Times about her background—which includes a significant amount of time spent organizing in Chicago—and the work that Immigration Equality has done on the federal-policy level.