By SDGLN staff | November 19, 2014
WASHINGTON, DC – LGBT and civil rights organizations strongly urge President Barack Obama not to exclude long-resident LGBT individuals from the forthcoming program of administrative relief to protect from deportation some of the nation’s population.
Last week, media outlets reported that a program was under consideration of relief for upwards of five million undocumented individuals — but only for those with children who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. This approach would disproportionately exclude the 267,000 undocumented LGBT individuals who have significantly lower rates of parenthood and higher rates of victimization in our nation’s immigration enforcement system.
While family protection is plainly within any Administration’s broad authority to exercise discretion in immigration enforcement, so is recognition of the inherent discrimination in a legal system that only recently began to recognize the legitimate family connections forged within the LGBT community. The law continues to prevent most LGBT undocumented persons from adopting children, but these immigrants have still developed deep and enduring family connections through long, peaceful residence in the United States.