July 7, 2020 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

At the Intersection of Civil Rights, LGBTQ+ Community Stands With DREAMers

On Monday, Dec. 11, the LGBTQ+ community took a stand for the rights of the embattled undocumented Americans known as DREAMers, an acronym for immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as minors. At a press conference held at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Mi Centro location in Boyle Heights, multiple undocumented LGBT people shared their fears and concerns about deportation, and pressed for Congress to pass legislation to allow them to stay in the United States.

The DREAM Act (which stands for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act) would provide qualified applicants a path to permanent residency in the U.S. The bipartisan legislation was first introduced in 2001 and was subsequently reintroduced four times. Each time the bill failed to pass.

For undocumented LGBT immigrants, deportation carries extra risks. In many cases, their countries of origin have harsh, discriminatory policies and homophobic and transphobic cultures that would threaten their health and safety.

“Deportation is comparable to a death sentence for LGBTQ people in many parts of the world,” said Los Angeles LGBT Center Director of Policy and Community Building Dave Garcia. “Same-sex relationships are criminalized in nearly 80 countries worldwide. Rescinding DACA would put thousands of these young people at risk by forcing them to return to countries where human rights for LGBTQ people are nonexistent.”

According to a report from the UCLA Williams Institute, there are over 75,000 LGBT DREAMers in the U.S. and over 36,000 enrolled in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the vast majority of whom live in California, Texas, Illinois, New York, and Florida.

In 2012, following the most recent failure to pass the DREAM Act, President Barack Obama issued an executive order that substituted as a watered-down version of the DREAM Act. The order, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), was later rescinded by President Donald Trump, casting the 800,000 enrollees into a state of legal uncertainty. Multiple lawsuits currently exist that challenge the repeal.

The event brought together a coalition of immigrant and LGBTQ advocacy groups, including the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Equality California, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), CenterLink, Latino Equality Alliance (LEA), UCLA Dream Resource Center, and LGBT Center OC.

The debate surrounding the DREAM Act has gained new relevance with the upcoming budget negotiations in the House of Representatives.

Despite having a majority of the seats, Republicans are unable to pass a budget to fund the government. In order to avoid a government shutdown, they must rely on the Democrats, who have a long list of demands in exchange for their votes – chief among them, protections for DREAMers.

The deadline for a funding bill is December 22.

More than 80 LGBTQ community centers and 26 statewide LGBTQ organizations from across the country signed letters to leadership in the United States Senate and House of Representatives urging Congress to pass the DREAM Act.

“Brought to our country as children, many of these individuals do not even remember the country they came from and consider America to be their only home,” the letter states. “Congress must pass the DREAM Act to protect 800,000 immigrant youth – including LGBT youth – from deportation. This is a moral imperative.”

Related Posts

Local Leaders Celebrate Supreme Court LGBT Discrimination Ban

June 16, 2020

June 16, 2020

Supreme Court votes 6-3 in case Bostock v. Clayon County, Georgia By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles-area leaders are celebrating the...

City of West Hollywood’s ‘One City One Pride’ LGBTQ Arts Festival

June 12, 2020

June 12, 2020

Features a ‘virtual platform’ for arts and cultural events: May 22 through June 30 By Staff Writer Each year, the...

North Hollywood Gay Latino Bar ‘Cobra’ Closed for Business

June 12, 2020

June 12, 2020

Instead adopts virtual entertainment method By Toi Creel The effect of COVID -19 has not only taken a toll on...

LA Pride Pulls out of Black Lives Matter March Facing Backlash

June 10, 2020

June 10, 2020

LA Pride organizers face backlash after seeking police permit By Sam Catanzaro L.A. Pride will not be involved in an...

Requiring CA to Collect Data on COVID-19’s Health Impacts on the LGTBQ Community?

May 15, 2020

May 15, 2020

Currently, California collects data on COVID-19’s impacts on different races/ethnicities; SB 932 would expand this data collection to include the...

How COVID-19 Impacts Black LGBTQ+ People

May 15, 2020

May 15, 2020

Amidst horrifying racial disparities, “COVID While Black and Queer” is a new data initiative that will shine a light on...

PBS Celebrates Pride Month with PRIDELAND

May 15, 2020

May 15, 2020

Short-Form Digital Series and New One-Hour Special with Host and Actor Dyllón Burnside, Exploring LGBTQ+ Identity in the U.S. South...

Covid-19 & HIV: Who Are You Choosing To Be?

May 15, 2020

May 15, 2020

By Staff Writer A free zoom seminar this Friday, May 15, 2020 from 12:00-2:00pm. This weeks event covers Covid-19, HIV:...

CA Attorney General Urges FDA to Eliminate Bias Against Gay and Bisexual Men for Blood Donations

April 24, 2020

April 24, 2020

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra led a multistate coalition in submitting comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human...

Over 1,000 COVID-19 Cases Confirmed as WEHO’s Rate Continues to Rise

April 23, 2020

April 23, 2020

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed over 1,000 new cases of the novel coronavirus...

GLAAD to Host COVID-19 Event Featuring Pete Buttigieg and More

April 22, 2020

April 22, 2020

LAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, announced that Billy Porter, Pete &...

Over 500 Medical Professionals Sign Letter The FDA To Eliminate Ban On Gay And Bisexual Men Donating Blood

April 16, 2020

April 16, 2020

GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today released an open letter penned by over...

Lawmakers Ask State and Counties to Collect Data on LGBTQ Community and COVID-19

April 14, 2020

April 14, 2020

Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblymember Todd Gloria, Chair and Vice-Chair of the California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus respectively, sent...

WeHo’s High COVID-19 Rate

April 1, 2020

April 1, 2020

City of West Hollywood has highest rate of COVID-19 in LA Countywide, LGBTQ population at risk By Sam Catanzaro As...

Elderly LGBT people in California at high risk for COVID-19 illness

April 1, 2020

April 1, 2020

By Staff Writer 162,000 LGB and 9,000 transgender elderly people in California at high risk for COVID-19 illness, according to...