March 17, 2014
Administrative Offices: 5326 East Beverly Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90022 (323) 727-7896 Fax: (323) 727-0284
Community Service Centers: Hollywood Center 4955 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90027 (323) 660-9680 Fax (323) 660-6279 San Fernando Valley Center 8134 Van Nuys Blvd, Suite 200 Panorama City, CA 91402 (818) 908-3820 Fax (818) 908-3844

BIENESTAR Supports Extraordinary Family Reunification Efforts of Undocumented LGBTQ youth and All Parents at USA/Mexican Border Crossing BIENESTAR is a unique social service organization dedicated to positively impacting the health and well-being of the Latina/o, LGBTQ, and other underserved communities in Southern California. BIENESTAR supports the youth and parents that are presenting themselves at the Otay Mesa border crossing in San Diego this week. They are DREAMers, mothers, fathers, and children looking for safety and a way to reunite their families. They took the courageous step of placing themselves into immigration custody and are asking for humanitarian parole and asylum. As an organization that works to promote healing, family acceptance, rights, and equality of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) people, BIENESTAR is particularly concerned with the welfare of LGBTQ youth and diverse families who are and will be in the custody of ICE. The individuals requesting asylum know this country as their home, and have contributed to the fabric of our society for many years. Furthermore, they have faced violence and persecution in Mexico because of their sexual orientation. While there are many LGBTQ women and men, elders, and children participating in the action this week, below are three human beings who have consented to share their stories: - Yordy Cancino is currently in immigration detention in San Diego. Yordy has lived in and studied in California since he was a child, and was the GSA President at his high school in L.A. Though he graduated Salutatorian, his high school was unable to provide resources or inform him on how to pursue higher education. Feeling out of options, Yordy returned to Mexico. - Alex Aldana came to Pomona with his mother and younger sister on a visa when he was 16. Growing up, Alex experienced abuse from his father for being gay, but graduated high school despite changing schools five times. In 2011 his grandmother became very ill and in 2013 Alex risked traveling to Mexico to see her. - Hector Velarde is a 17-year-old US citizen from Sacramento. In 2009, he was forced to flee to Mexico with his mother after she received a traffic ticket. Life has been horrifying for Hector in Mexico because of the violence he faces due to his sexual orientation. His mother, Maria, is attempting to return to the US with Hector and his siblings. These individuals above reflect the many young people who enrich our country socially, socially, morally, and economically. As an organization that believes in family unity and LGBTQ equality, we have a responsibility to provide a safe haven for them and for the many diverse families that are attempting to return home this week. We, BIENESTAR, call on President Barack Obama to exercise discretion in order to allow Yordy, Alex, Hector, Maria, and all those who seek protection within our borders, to come home. Bring them home. In solidarity,

East Los Angeles Center 5326 E. Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90022 (323) 727-7896 Fax (323) 727-7985 Pomona Center 180 E. Mission Blvd. Pomona, CA 91766 (909) 397-7660 Fax (909) 397-7661 Long Beach Center 1464 Cherry Ave Long Beach, CA 90813 (562) 438-5800 Fax (562) 468-5200 South Los Angeles Center 130 W Manchester Ave. Los Angeles CA 90003 (323) 752 3100 Fax (323) 752 3420 AHF/Bienestar El Monte Clinic 3131 Santa Anita Ave #109 El Monte, CA 91733 (626) 444-9453 Coachella Center 53-990 Enterprise Way, # 6B Coachella, CA 92236 (760) 398-3166 Fax (760) 398-3009

Oscar De La O President/CEO BIENESTAR

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