GLAAD stands in support of LGBTQ immigrants, their families and communities impacted by Trump administration action

GLAAD’s President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis voiced support today for undocumented immigrants, including the estimated 267,000 who identify as LGBTQ, following the measures announced by the Trump administration that will negatively impact communities across the United States.

GLAAD joined other organizations that reacted to the administration's actions:

The importance of sanctuary cities and campuses:

The Trump Administration resolved to withhold federal funding from sanctuary cities. Communities have advocated for sanctuary cities and campuses in order to increase public safety. Many undocumented immigrants integrated into civic life, working, studying, caring for their families were afraid to report exploitation by landlords, employees and others because they feared deportation. Communities passed sanctuary statutes to ensure that undocumented immigrants, many of whom have been living in the country for decades while Congress failed to pass reform that would allow them to continue to live in the country with authorization, could come out of the shadows and in that way make their communities safer through their participation. A campaign in Oregon last year detailed the challenges that not having documentation can have on the lives of undocumented people, transgender people and those with intersecting identities

Criminilization and Targeting: 

The Trump administration resolved to target criminals for deportation. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration had already provided a guidance to Immigration Control and Enforcement (ICE) to prioritize for deporation immigrants who had commmited cirminal offenses and yet advocates point out that many of the people detained were in detention for minor infractions (driving with licenses they could not have because they were undocumented), or were caugtht in general raids. The Center for American Progress has helpful statistics about the detainee population. Unfortunatley LGBTQ immigrants who engage in survival strategies when they face discrimination in employment both for their orientation or identity and their immigrant status are often detained. Enforcing a targeted effort to detain or deport undocumented immigrants will increase fear and will more than likely continue the detention and deportation of immigrants, separating families and removing community members that have simply slipped through an immigration system that does not work.

Some quick facts about LGBTQ issues in immigration

  • There are an estimated 267,000 people who are both undocumented and LGBTQ
  • LGBTQ immigrants flee violence and persecution in their home countries for being who they are
  • LGBTQ immigrants are diverse and come from various countries around the world and face particular challenges based on the relationship with their home country. Check out this report on LGBTQ immigrants from Mexico written by the Transgender Law Center. Immigration Equality also provides information about the demographics of LGBTQ asylum seekers. 
  • Trans women in immigration detention are less likely to win their asylum cases, are not safe from sexual assault, often do not have access to needed medication according to the Center for American Progress

Those looking to support immigrant communities can look to Immigration Equality, United We Dream, Translatina Coalition, CHIRLA, Define American and others.