21 May 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Allegedly Queer

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The creative juices are flowing. This one is courtesy a commentator using ‘allegedly queer’ as an insult for Yasmin Nair after her critique of Uniting American Families Act over at Queer Cents. Now, many bi-national same-sex couples took offense to the post given their own personal struggles. Few really saw why Ms. Nair was raising such an issue with UAFA. It’s a piece of legislation that serves a privileged few, keeps marriage and family as central to citizenship, and might detract from efforts at comprehensive immigration reform.
My own views on gay immigration politics are summed up here:
The movement for immigration reform–permeated in heterosexuality–has to incorporate queer voices and politics, and not just from ‘Immigration Equality‘, which mainly advocates for gay American citizens without really questioning the problems with the conception of ‘citizenship’ — a construction imbued in routine violence. Given the experiences of a second-class queer citizenship, what should constitute gay immigration politics is an inclusive effort to recognize citizenship as a violent construct that must not be denied to those who seek it.
While we are at it, can I take a moment to say that the DREAM Act also has a myriad of problems, and at the heart of it is the fact that it favors a meritocratic privileging, perpetuating the notion of “if you work hard in America, nothing is impossible?” That American dream is fallacious and a lie for many who do face structural barriers and inequalities to achieving that dream. And without the community service option, a lot of otherwise eligible youth might be doomed. It is with a heavy-heart that I support this act and UAFA because at the end of the day, I don’t want immigration options to be limited. No borders, no binaries.
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