Immigration equality is a citizens' equal ability or right to immigrate their family members. It also applies to fair and equal execution of the laws and the rights of non-citizens regardless of nationality or where they are coming from. Immigration issues can also be a LGBT rights issue, as government recognition of same-sex relationships vary from country to country.

Immigration and migrant rights issue

In 1999, President Bill Clinton sent a bill to Congress that would have equalized immigration rights for people from Central America and Haiti. Clinton said the bill would correct the imbalance in immigration laws that gave advantage to people who fled communist regimes such as Cuba and Nicaragua. Like Nicaraguans and Cubans, many Salvadorans, Guatemalans, Hondurans and Haitians fled human rights abuses or unstable political economic conditions in the 1980s and 1990s, but the latter received unequal treatment that granted to the Nicaraguans and Cubans. The "Central American and Haitian Parity Act of 1999" never passed, but would have offered immigration equality protections to migrants from Haiti, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.[1]

Haitians particularly sought immigration equality in the Elián González affair in 2000 when they organized demonstrations in Miami during an international tug of war between Cuba and the US. They protested what they said was discrimination against Haitian immigrants by the INS and the behavior of elected officials who lobbied for Elián González to stay in the US, yet ignored the plight of Haitian refugees and the repatriation of Haitian children.[2]

In 2004, The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, expressed concern about the plight of the Haitian people as the country was sliding further into chaos. Cuba, Jamaica and Canada said they will not send people back to Haiti, but President George W. Bush warned Haitians they will be sent home if they try to flee to the US. In a matter of a few days, the US Coast Guard intercepted some 500 people in boats fleeing Haiti and sent them back. The US was not sending back Cubans fleeing similar situations and regimes, and many argue that immigration equality rights between the two nationalities should apply.[3]

In 2006, protests continued for immigration equality rights for the Haitians as Lawyers protest Deportation of Illegal Immigrants to Haiti.[4]

LGBT immigration issues