We’re Thankful for these Precautions before Trump Takes Office

There are a number of measures that LGBTQ APIs should do to protect themselves and their families under a Trump Administration. NQAPIA has consulted with immigration lawyers, public policy experts, and other attorneys to identify issues of particular importance to LGBTQ Asian Americans, South Asians, Southeast Asians, and Pacific Islanders.

Many of these applications will not be granted until after Trump takes office. But, even if Trump tries to eliminate everything that we have won, it is virtually impossible for changes to be retroactive. Applications filed today will be decided and granted on the basis of the laws and rules while Obama is in office. So, take care of these soon.

Transgender LGBTQ APIs

Apply or Update Passport

passportPresident Obama’s administration allowed for people to change and update their federally-issued identity documents, including gender-marker on passport and names on social security cards. Trump has vowed to eliminate all of Obama’s executive directives on January 20. You must apply and make and changes now. Adult passports last 10 years, so they will outlive a Trump presidency.

Apply for Passport from the U.S. State Department

Young Undocumented Immigrants

Renew DACA

President Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program by executive order so that undocumented young people could be free from deportation and gain work authorization. Trump has given mixed messages on DACA, and at one point, he stated he has “no problem” with it.

If you are fearful about what Trump will do with current DACA enrollees, know that NQAPIA, countless advocacy organizations, and high powered lawyers will do everything that we can to protect you and your family.

If you have DACA now but it will expire in the next 6 months, file a mandatory renewal now. Not filing a renewal could subject you to noncompliance and makes you a higher priority for investigation. Those who follow the rules, as they are now, are less likely to be gone after.

If you have never applied for DACA, you should consult with an immigration attorney before filing a new application. Click here to find an attorney.

Health Insurance through Obamacare

Apply Now
Apply for Obamacare
Update your Obamacare Plan

If you do not have health insurance, you should apply for Obamacare through the federal system or one of your state health exchanges. Open Enrollment is now. Although Trump and Congressional leaders have promised to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, that will not happen at least for another year. The more people who are in the system now, the more difficult it will be to get rid of the system. Efforts to repeal may also “grandfather” current enrollees and allow them to maintain their health insurance while declining to take any new people.

Immigrants Eligible for Green Cards or Naturalization

Apply Now

Green Card ExampleIf you are eligible for a green card or eligible to become a U.S. citizen, you should file your application now. They take several months to process, but becoming a permanent resident or a citizen substantially increases your security to live in America. If you have any criminal history or entered the U.S. without permission, consult an attorney before filing any paperwork.

LGBTQ Immigrants Seeking Asylum

Apply Now

LGBTQ people are persecuted in many countries in Asia and the Pacific. Foreign nationals may seek political asylum in the United States based on the sexual orientation or gender-identity. But, federal law has a strict one-year time limitation for people to file an application from the date of entry. This cannot be undone by Trump. If you are seeking political asylum you should consult with an attorney, and apply now.

Same-Sex Marriage is Safe

Don’t Get Married if You Don’t Want To

Graphic of the White House in Rainbow ColorsThe right for same-sex couples to legally marry was decided by the US Supreme Court and is based on the US Constitution. Trump cannot undo marriages or take the right away. Even if he appoints an anti-marriage Supreme Court Justice, the majority of justices that ruled twice in favor of marriage equality will remain on the Court. There is no need to rush to get married now.

LGBTQ APIs with Children

Protect Your Relationship with Them

If you have a child, you should apply for a second-parent adoption or a joint adoption if you do not have a legally recognized relationship to the child, like birth. Even if your name is listed on the child’s birth certificate, that may not be enough.

Personal Protections

last will and testamentTrump may eliminate the Obama Administration’s hospital visitation policy. So, it is prudent to have family planning protections in the event of a tragedy. This includes a Last Will and Testament, Health Care Proxies, Medical and Financial Powers of Attorney, designation of guardians, and Living Wills. It is not limited to couples but includes single people and people in more dynamic relationship and family structures.

Need a Lawyer?

Ask Us

The above are prudent steps to take, but everyone’s legal situation is different.
To speak with an attorney for a legal consultation, complete NQAPIA’s Legal Intake Form, or find an attorney from this list.No Human is Illegal

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NQAPIA Meets with White House on Immigration

NQAPIA joined members of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) at a meeting with key White House policy staff to discuss immigration and the Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.

NCAPA, as the leading national coalition of AAPI advocacy organizations, has engaged the White House on immigration issues on a consistent basis, bringing to bear the collective expertise and experience of its thirty one members.  NCAPA’s positions on immigration are articulated in the 2012 NCAPA Policy Platform.

Since 2010, NQAPIA and its local partners have actively engaged immigration and immigrants’ rights in AAPI and LGBT communities.  We look forward to bringing even more attention to this issue in 2013 as immigration becomes a hot button issue.

On December 10, NQAPIA joined over 50 other organizations to urge the Obama Administration to hold in abeyance applications for lawful permanent residence that would be approved were it not for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) until the Supreme Court decides its constitutionality.  The letter is available online here.


Portland LGBT Immigration Forum: November 2010


NCAPA Statement on Equality and Justice

The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), in recognition of National Coming Out Day, issued the following statement on LGBT Equality and Justice.  NCAPA is the nation’s leading coalition of national advocacy organizations serving Asian Americans, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities.  NQAPIA is proud to be a member of NCAPA and worked in solidarity with this coalition to issue this important statement.

To see the official statement and for more information about NCAPA, visit their web site.

NCAPA Statement on LGBT Equality and Justice

The Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community in the United States has always been made up of a diversity of people from different ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, religions, languages spoken, and more.  The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), as a coalition of organizations that represent these diverse constituencies and provides a national voice on policy issues and priorities, celebrates that diversity in all its forms, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT).

NCAPA recognizes the unique needs and concerns LGBT people and families have within the AANHPI community and many of its member organizations have played critical roles in advocating LGBT policy issues.  The Japanese American Citizens League was the first non-LGBT organization after the ACLU to support marriage equality in the state of Hawai’i, almost 10 years before the issue reached the mainland.

NCAPA remembers this history, and strongly affirms its support for members within the AANHPI community who are LGBT.  NCAPA members individually support a number of LGBT policy issues and the NCAPA 2012 Policy Platform includes policy positions on LGBT issues as well.  NCAPA knows the sting of discrimination based on religion, and supports religious freedom, and knows that LGBT people’s rights can and must be protected in ways that are consistent with freedom of religious expression.

NCAPA affirms the following then:

Marriage Equality and Family Recognition: NCAPA supports marriage equality for same-sex couples as a matter of equal protection under the law in the Fourteenth Amendment.  NCAPA opposes legislation or policy at the national, state, or local level that seeks to codify discrimination in the law by restricting access to marriage based on gender.  For states that do not currently accept same-sex marriage, alternatives such as domestic partnership will help keep couples and families together.

NCAPA supports LGBT families and the right for LGBT parents to raise their children with the same opportunities and equality as their straight counterparts.  Keeping families together is a core value of NCAPA’s work and it is important that LGBT families are included.  NCAPA supports inclusion of LGBT parents and same-sex couples in definitions of family with respect to policies and legislation.

Equal Treatment and Non-Discrimination: NCAPA endorses passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.  NCAPA also supports measures that would prevent discrimination in public accommodations as well, and that people should not be able to be discriminated against based on sexual orientation or gender identity in any context.

Data Collection and Disaggregation:  NCAPA has long held that disaggregated data that is able to bring forward smaller sub-populations is critical for understanding the particular impacts of policies and legislation for affected communities.  This is true not only for specific ethnic communities within the AANHPI community, but for the LGBT community as well.  We know that data is sorely lacking for both AANHPI communities as well as for LGBT communities, and NCAPA supports data collection procedures that ensure that minority communities are counted.

Immigration:  Families should not be discriminated against in the immigration system because of their sexual orientation, or gender identity.  NCAPA supports policies and legislation such as the Uniting American Families Act that allows binational same-sex couples to participate in the spousal petition system in the same way as straight couples that are married.  Also, NCAPA calls for the development of enforceable detention standards, particularly for women, LGBT and other marginalized communities, that ensure access to appointed counsel, legal orientation programs, medical care, hormone therapy, and space to practice one’s religion.   NCAPA also supports provisions that would help LGBT people fleeing persecution have better access to asylum procedures, including extending the deadline to apply.  NCAPA’s support for improved procedures for employment visas, including a path to permanent residency, also recognizes the unique challenges LGBT workers face, such as when they come out of the closet while in the United States, but are faced with the prospect of going back in the closet when their visa expires.

Education:  NCAPA supports legislation and policy that promotes a safe environment for LGBT students in schools free from bullying and harassment, such as the Student Non-Discrimination Act, and the School Safety Improvement Act.  As NCAPA supports a more inclusive curriculum that tells our stories as AANHPI communities, we recognize the contributions of LGBT people (including those who are AANHPI) and support their inclusion in curricula as well.

Health:  NCAPA supports policies and legislation that are inclusive of LGBT people and their families in health care settings.  In a 2004 survey of LGBT AANHPIs, 23% of respondents named health care and another 35% named HIV/AIDS as among their top concerns.  The Affordable Care Act includes a number of provisions that expressly include and support LGBT families, such as prohibitions against discrimination against LGBT families and improved coverage for people living with HIV/AIDS.  NCAPA also supports improved data collection in health care settings, including collecting data on sexual orientation and gender identity in clinical settings, which would allow health care providers to create a welcoming environment that is more responsive to LGBT health disparities.

NCAPA supports the Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus.  It is critical to stop bullying that targets any aspect of the AANHPI community, including those who are LGBT. Bullying is a mental health issue that can result in increased depression and suicide for LGBT individuals who are victims of taunting and hate crimes.  The lack of emotional safety in talking about their sexual orientation can also keep a person from addressing other mental health problems or related health issues such as HIV screening or Hepatitis screening.  This in turn compromises an individual’s ability to receive quality healthcare.

Housing and Economic Justice: NCAPA supports policies and legislation that address issues of housing discrimination for LGBT people and their families, including recent regulations that ensure equal access to housing in HUD programs regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. NCAPA also supports continued funding for HUD’s Office of HIV/AIDS Housing and the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Program.


Statement by National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance & Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance on President Obama’s Support of Marriage Equality

For Immediate Release


Gregory Cendana, (202) 508-3733,

Ben de Guzman, (202) 422-4909,
Wednesday, May 9, 2012


The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) & the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) welcome President Barack Obama’s historic statement of support for marriage equality, becoming the first sitting President to publically announce their support.

This comes one day after the passage of Amendment 1 in North Carolina, which formally defines marriage as being between a man and a woman. Despite this outcome, we are proud of the work that was done by Asian Queers & Allies-North Carolina, an NQAPIA partner, to raise awareness on the impact Amendment 1 would have on the Asian Pacific American community.

Many Asian Pacific Americans, especially those who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT), already face numerous inequalities at home, in schools and at the workplace. Under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), over 1,700 benefits that straight couples have through marriage are denied to same sex couples including family immigration.

NQAPIA & APALA believe that allowing same sex couples to marry means they can join other couples in upholding the commitment and responsibility of marriage. Marriage is about committed couples who want to make a lifelong promise to take care of one another and President Obama’s support is a major step forward in having this become a reality.

It heartens us to know that we have a leader who is willing to ensure fairness for all including Asian Pacific Americans who are in same sex relationships. We recognize there is still much work to do and look forward to working with President Obama on advancing a LGBT agenda that addresses all the issues impacting our community.



The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance is a federation of LGBTQ Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander organizations.  NQAPIA seeks to build the capacity of local LGBT AAPI organizations, invigorate grassroots organizing, develop leadership, and challenge homophobia, racism, and anti-immigrant bias.

 Founded in 1992, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) is the first and only national organization of Asian Pacific American union members to advance worker, immigrant and civil rights.