NBC Bay Area | By Lisa Fernandez and Nannette Miranda
Moments after President Barack Obama announced his immigration reform planon Thursday, members of the gay community began fretting aloud about how the executive order would affect LGBT families.
Specifically, many wondered how Obama is defining families, as the centerpiece of his immigration order allows about 4 million people to become eligible to defer their deportations and allow them to work legally if they pass background checks and pay taxes. But the plan focuses on undocumented immigrants who are the parents of United States citizens.
Just what defines a parent and a marriage? asked Caroline Dessert, a self-described “queer Latina” from El Centro, Calif., who is also executive director of Immigration Equality.
If it’s DNA and a municipal marriage certificate, Dessert pointed out that would leave out roughly 267,000 undocumented members of the LGBT community who could likely be excluded from Obama’s intended relief. While the order is a “historic moment,” she said, “once again, it appears as though the LGBT community has been excluded from a law designed to protect vulnerable people.”