With more than 800,000 migrants currently applying for asylum in the U.S., a growing number of immigrants rights groups are calling attention to the plight of LGBTQ people, many of whom are seeking asylum because of persecution back home due to their gender identity and sexuality. Some also say they are facing similar abuse in U.S. immigration detention facilities. Ivette Feliciano reports.
By Ivette Feliciano & Zachary Green
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There are currently more than eight hundred thousand migrants applying for asylum in the U.S., and most of the issues surrounding them have been well documented. But while much attention has been paid to the separation at the border of typical families, some migrant-rights advocates are calling attention to the plight of a group, they say gets lost in the immigration debate…NewsHour Weekend’s Ivette Feliciano has more.
This past May, about 200 people from across the U.S. and Puerto Rico gathered in Philadelphia for a conference dedicated to migrant rights. The sentiments they
expressed were a familiar part of America’s immigration debate. But the people they were talking about were less so.
Queer and trans folks are being impacted in many ways, in different ways than say, straight undocumented immigrants.
Jorge Gutierrez is the Executive Director of Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, or TQLM, a volunteer-led group that advocates for Latinx immigrants who identify as lgbtq. According to the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute, there are at least 267,000 undocumented lgbtq immigrants living in the U.S. Gutierrez says Familia: TQLM’s goal is to put a national spotlight on their unique circumstances, both in the U.S. and back in their home countries.
They’re facing discrimination, racism, you know, transphobia, homophobia in their own communities in their own families and then they find themselves being detained for months and months, right? Trying to find– trying to get asylum, trying to get refuge.