Supreme Court hears arguments in historic case; LGBT advocates front and center

On April 18 the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the challenge against President Obama's two executive actions on immigration: DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) brought by Texas and 25 other states. Both programs sought to protect undocumented immigrants from deportation and authorized them to work in the country.

Many LGBT leaders are also leaders in the immigration reform movement, including the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas who famously came out as undocumented and gay in The New York Times and has since shared his own story in the film Documented.

Other queer women and men have seen their families torn apart because they could not normalize their status. They include Sulma Franco, who applied for sanctuary in a Dallas church when an error during a routine filing of her authorizing documentation led to a deportation order. She did not want to leave her partner with whom she was starting a business and return to her native Guatemala where she faced abuse and harassment.

Transgender women like Christina Lopez have also bravely spoken out about their experiences in detention. Lopez was freed from immigration detention after an intense campaign by advocates. Originally from Peru, she fled violence there only to be detained in the United States.

Black undocumented immigrants have stepped forward to raise their invisibility in many of the stories that are written and shared about immigration. Organizations like Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, United We Dream, Southerners on New Ground, Immigration Equality and others will be watching the Supreme Court closely. Some will be engaging in street and social media actions, look for the hashtags #heretostay and #fightforfamilies.

The Supreme Court's decision, due in June, will impact the lives of an estimated 11 million undocumented people in the United States, 267,000 of whom identify as LGBT. GLAAD will continue to share stories with English and Spanish-language media of the people at the forefront of the fight against discrimination toward LGBT immigrants.