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Op-ed: Gay DREAMer Says Immigration Reform Should Include Our Parents Too

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The Advocate
|
June 5, 2013
My mother is a lioness, a woman with a second-grade education but with plenty of compassion, intelligence and wisdom. She inspired me to have the courage to say proudly and unashamedly: I am queer and undocumented. I am UndocuQueer.
 
Like me, my mother is also undocumented. But while I have access to a pathway to citizenship under proposed immigration legislation because I am college-educated, she does not. That is not OK.
 
Now I must stand in solidarity with her as an undocumented woman, mother, and domestic worker just as she’s stood with me all these years as her UndocuQueer son.
 
I will not be OK with benefiting from immigration reform if she’s left out because of unfair and unrealistic roadblocks that prevent her access to a pathway to citizenship. The proposed work or income requirements in the proposed immigration reform would exclude many immigrants like my mom from becoming a citizen because they work as day laborers or domestic workers or at minimum-wage jobs. And the reality is that many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer undocumented people are also working minimum-wage jobs to support themselves and their families here. Many LGBTQ people are also out of work because of discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, so these requirements would also exclude them.