Five Ways HRC is Responding to Trump’s Latest Attacks on LGBTQ Immigrants, Refugees & Asylum Seekers

by HRC Staff

Donald Trump’s administration keeps trying to shut our borders in order to block immigrants, asylum-seekers and refugees from getting to the U.S.

Post submitted by former Senior International Policy Advocate Jeremy Kadden

Donald Trump’s administration keeps trying to shut our borders in order to block immigrants, asylum-seekers and refugees from getting to the U.S. HRC has worked with our allies and partners to push back at every opportunity and try to restore America’s place as a beacon of hope for the world’s most vulnerable people.

Here are five of the Trump-Pence administration’s recent attacks, and how HRC has pushed back:

  1. Muslim ban: In February 2020, the Trump-Pence administration expanded its hateful Muslim Ban to include six additional countries. HRC has long worked with our partners to oppose the Muslim (and now African) Ban because it blocks LGBTQ people from those countries who may be traveling to the U.S., including refugees who are seeking resettlement here. 
    • HRC is working with our partners in supporting passage of the NO BAN Act in the House of Representatives, which would block the Muslim Ban now and in the future. 
  2. Public charge: While the U.S. has long blocked people from immigrating if they will be completely dependent on government services, this administration has expanded that to block anyone who uses almost any public service, even if they are mostly able to support themselves. 
    • HRC submitted comments opposing this cruel rule in 2018 and 2019 because it is especially harmful to the poor and particularly harms LGBTQ immigrants who may need government sponsored health care for transition-related health care or treating HIV. 
  3. Fees: Without providing justification, the administration raised fees for a variety of immigration and asylum processes. 
    • HRC submitted comments opposing this rule because LGBTQ people often seek asylum in the U.S. and often lack the means to pay for asylum services, because of the discrimination they are fleeing in their homes. 
  4. Employment authorization: Asylum seekers cannot legally work in the U.S. for six months after filing for asylum. HRC has long worked with partners to try to shorten that waiting period because it makes life even harder for people who are often already traumatized and vulnerable. But the Trump-Pence administration has extended it to a full year, which will make it even harder for asylum seekers to support themselves while they await a decision on their case. 
    • HRC submitted comments in January 2020 opposing this rule. 
  5. Third country agreements: LGBTQ people - and transgender women in particular - face enormous discrimination and violence in a number of Central American countries. Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, known as the “Northern Triangle,” have seen dangerous spikes in violence in recent years, forcing thousands of people from those countries to seek safety in the U.S. Rather than take them in and allow them to apply for asylum, the administration has declared those countries to be “safe” for sending asylum seekers back. 
    • HRC has called out this awful policy and shared the powerful stories of some of the LGBTQ people fleeing violence in those countries, which demonstrate why we must take them in. 

Immigration has long been an LGBTQ issue, and HRC will continue to fight Donald Trump and Mike Pence’s hateful agenda. The best way to overturn these dangerous policies and so many others is to defeat them at the ballot box in November. 

Find out more about HRC and immigration, refugee and asylum issues here. And learn how you can get involved here.