December 7, 2022 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 The order, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), was later rescinded by President Donald Trump, casting the 800,000 enrollees into a state of legal uncertainty.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

United Against Hate Holds Virtual LGBTQ+ Town Hall

December 1, 2022

December 1, 2022

By Susan Payne A free LGBTQ+ town hall, open to the public, was held in November as part of United...

Compton Man Robbed Men He Met on Grindr, Sentenced to 9 Years

December 1, 2022

December 1, 2022

By Susan Payne A Compton man was sentenced to over nine years for robbing gay men he met on Grindr,...

California Has 10% LGBTQ Representation in Legislature

December 1, 2022

December 1, 2022

California has 10% LGBTQ representation in legislature By Susan Payne Ten percent of California’s legislature will represent the LGBTQ+ community...

Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel Celebrates the Holidays

November 29, 2022

November 29, 2022

Head to the beach this December to experience the hotel’s seasonal family-friendly activities This year, Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel...

Pasadena Reproductive Center Facing Lawsuit for Wrong Implantation

November 23, 2022

November 23, 2022

By Susan Payne A gay couple’s lawsuit against a reproductive center in Pasadena has been trimmed by a Los Angeles...

Los Angeles LGBT Center Honors Transgender Day of Remembrance, Mourns Colorado Shooting Victims

November 23, 2022

November 23, 2022

On the evening of November 21st, the Los Angeles LGBT Center held a candlelight vigil to honor Transgender Day of...

California to Send First Openly Gay Immigrant to Congress

November 23, 2022

November 23, 2022

By Susan Payne Long Beach voters ushered in two historical election firsts for the region during this year’s election.  Robert...

Phoebe Bridgers Covers Holiday Version of ‘So Much Wine’ Benefiting Los Angeles LGBT Center

November 22, 2022

November 22, 2022

By Susan Payne Singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers released a cover of the Handsome Family’s song “So Much Wine” from 2000. This...

Los Angeles LGBT Center Brings Together LGBTQ+ Seniors and Youth for First Intergenerational Thanksgiving Celebration

November 18, 2022

November 18, 2022

Three years after the grand opening of the Anita May Rosenstein Campus, the Los Angeles LGBT Center will celebrate the...

Palm Springs Pride Parade ‘Say Gay’ Draws Large Crowd

November 18, 2022

November 18, 2022

By Susan Payne The 36th annual Greater Palm Springs Pride Parade this month drew a large crowd and highlighted the...

LGBTQ Seniors Show Off Talents During Fall Showcase

November 18, 2022

November 18, 2022

By Susan Payne The Los Angeles LGBT Center held a fall showcase for senior citizens, the first of its kind...

North Hollywood Iliad Bookshop Set on Fire

November 18, 2022

November 18, 2022

By Susan Payne A 35-year-old bookstore was set on fire in North Hollywood in November and is believed to be...

LGBTQ Movie ‘Bros’ Flopped, but Still Important for Representation

November 10, 2022

November 10, 2022

By Susan Payne “Bros” features an all-LGBTQ principal cast in a big-studio romantic comedy among challenging political times for the...

Monkeypox Vaccine, Treatment Found to Slow Down Virus

November 10, 2022

November 10, 2022

By Susan Payne Monkeypox vaccines and treatments have been found to protect against further spread, according to the Los Angeles...

Trixie Mattel and Hundreds of LGBTQ+ Youth Celebrate the 30th Annual Models of Pride

November 10, 2022

November 10, 2022

Event presented by Glamazon L.A.—Amazon’s LGBTQ+ Affinity Group Presented by Glamazon L.A.—Amazon’s LGBTQ+ Affinity Group, the 30th anniversary Models of...