Yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives passed alarming legislation, which if enacted, would severely limit President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The DACA program currently provides much needed relief for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children as long as they do not have a criminal history and are in school or have graduated. DACA allows these young people to come out of the shadows and live fully within their communities, and it allows the Obama Administration to instead focus its resources on those who have been convicted of violent crimes and pose a threat to their communities.
LGBT immigrants would be particularly harmed by this legislation. In a third of countries around the world, it is a crime to be LGBT. Thousands of people every year are arrested, harassed and even murdered because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Sending LGBT immigrants back to these countries would gravely threaten their health and safety.
Fixing our broken immigration system and achieving equality for the LGBT community are both urgent civil rights issues facing our nation. Undocumented LGBT people live at the intersection of the civil rights battle facing both of these movements, making them some of the most vulnerable individuals in our country.
HRC continues to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform that includes the needs of LGBT immigrants. We also continue to encourage the Obama Administration to take any and all steps to help alleviate these problems.