By Dana Liebelson | November 25, 2014
WASHINGTON — Undocumented LGBT immigrants are criticizing President Barack Obama for excluding them from his immigration plan, even as they are happy to see members of their families and communities freed from the fear of deportation.
The president announced last week that he would grant short-term deferred action and working rights to parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents who themselves have been in the country for at least five years. But lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender immigrants say that the plan doesn’t equally value their family relationships. Undocumented LGBT immigrants may be less likely to have U.S. citizen children due to marriage and adoption laws, while they may have critical ties with U.S. citizen nieces and nephews.
LGBT immigrants also have a compelling need for deportation relief, advocates argue, for they often face homophobia and violence in their home countries and a high risk of victimization in U.S. detention facilities.