Today, HRC responded to the Trump-Pence Administration’s cruel decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The five-year-old program has allowed hundreds of thousands of young people who were brought to the U.S. as minors to stay in the country, to continue their studies and to continue making positive contributions to our nation. It is estimated that approximately 75,000 of these “Dreamers” are LGBTQ, and HRC has endorsed the 2017 DREAM Act (H.R.3440/S.1615), which was introduced in Congress in July to explicitly authorize the government to stop the deportation of Dreamers. HRC has also signed on to a letter in support of Dreamers, which was signed by over 1,850 governors, state and municipal officials, civil organizations and faith leaders.
“This is yet another hateful decision by the Trump-Pence Administration,” said Alejandro Avilés, HRC’s Director of Outreach and Engagement. “A White House that has pardoned human rights violators like Joe Arpaio and espoused racism and white nationalism has now decided that hundreds of thousands of young people - many of whom have never known a home outside the U.S. -- are no longer welcome here. Students, with bright futures ahead of them, ready to help make our country truly great, will be sent back to places they don’t remember, breaking families apart and setting our country back immeasurably.”
As many as 75,000 Dreamers who benefited from DACA are LGBTQ. For them, the prospect of deportation contains additional element of uncertainty, since they may be sent to countries that have poor LGBTQ human rights records. For example, in El Salvador, transgender women have faced such a tremendous upsurge in violence that the United Nations called for an investigation into the situation.
In August, HRC spoke to an LGBTQ Dreamer, Sheridan Aguirre, about his experience as an LGBTQ DACA recipient living in Texas. HRC also joined FIRM, CASA, Planned Parenthood, MoveOn and more for a National Day of Action to defend DACA recipients.