From a SONG press release:
Regardless of the outcome of Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR), lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people’s lives are our priority. More than 267,000 of the nation’s 1 million out LGBTQ immigrants are undocumented. Obama has the power to END deportations and detentions NOW. Borders don’t make us criminals — ICE does.
We call on President Obama to end the violent attacks on all our communities immediately by using his power to halt racial profiling, deportations, detentions, and the tearing apart of families.
Queers, immigrants and people of color in the South face fear and violence every day. When we push through fear and stand together and fight back against the systems that seek to crush us we transform the South.
Caitlin Breedlove, co-director of SONG, wrote in a recent Huffington Post blog:
What about all those LGBTQ people who think immigration does not have anything to do with them? Here is why it does. The immigration debate gets to the heart of a conversation about who is a “real” citizen, who is part of our communities, and who can be allowed to stay and live here, and who has to do so through a shadow existence, with no basic rights. Sound familiar? It should. It is a historic dialogue that has talked around and through communities of LGBTQ people, people of color, poor people, people with disabilities, and many others.
The Williams Institute reports there “are approximately 267,000 LGBT-identified individuals among the adult undocumented immigrant population and an estimated 637,000 LGBT-identified individuals among the adult documented immigrant population.”
Approximately 71 percent of undocumented LGBT adults are Hispanic and 15 percent of undocumented LGBT adults are Asian or Pacific Islander, according to the report released on March.
“An estimated 900,000 adults in this country are LGBT immigrants …,” said Dr. Gary Gates, Williams Distinguished Scholar who led the study, in a statement.
When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key portion of DOMA in June, the doors were opened to allow gays and lesbians with partners born outside the country to sponsor them for citizenship.
The report also states 3.1 percent of undocumented men identify as LGBT while 2 percent of women identify as LGBT.
“LGBT undocumented immigrants are younger than the broader undocumented population. Nearly half (49 percent) of LGBT undocumented immigrants are estimated to be under age 30 compared to 30 percent of all undocumented immigrants,” the report states.
For more information on the issues LGBT people face as immigrants, click here.