Carlos Padilla, Coordinator for the Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project (QUIP) to Receive Award from Creating Change

United We Dream Press Releases

January 29, 2015
Contact: Mario Carrillo | | 915.449.6463

Carlos to receive award for his work with QUIP, a program of United We Dream, and promoting intersectional work between the immigrant rights and LGBTQ movements

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Carlos Padilla, a queer undocumented immigrant from Washington State and United We Dream leader will receive the Leadership on Immigration Reform award for his work with the Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project during next week’s National Conference on LGBTQ Equality, the largest annual gathering of activists, organizers and leaders in the LGBT movement, presented by the National LGBTQ Task Force and taking place in Denver.

Carlos issued the following statement,

“It Gets Better” and “Si Se Puede” were two phrases that inspired me as a young queer immigrant boy to dream the impossible. It’s what kept me believing that one day I could change the world so that my family would no longer have to live in fear.

“When I started organizing with the other undocumented youth leaders, I realized for the first time that I had a chosen family that was willing to fight for the liberation of all communities.

“They are the ones who helped me organize Operation Butterfly which helped me reunite with my mother at the southern border fence in Nogales, Arizona, after she was deported five years before.

“I cannot tell you what that moment felt like, to hold my mother after all that time. What I can tell you is that it made me that much more determined to fight for freedom.

“But there is much work left. Even after President Obama moved forward with an executive action that would help millions of undocumented immigrants step forward and live without fear of deportation, his action left so many out, particularly many of the estimated 267,000 LGBTQ undocumented immigrants who have no family connections in the United States.”

“This is what makes our work at QUIP essential. It’s our responsibility to remind our community that many of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters remain vulnerable to unjust detention conditions and deportation, which in some cases can lead to death in countries where your identity is illegal. It is for them we keep fighting until our community can live free regardless of immigration status, gender identity or sexual orientation.”