NQAPIA Op-Ed on LGBT Undocumented

NQAPIA Co-Director Ben de Guzman attended the launch of a report by the Center for American Progress and the Williams Institute on LGBT undocumented immigrants.  Some of the key findings of “Living in Dual Shadows” include:

  • 267,000 LGBT undocumented immigrants
  • LGBT undocumented immigrants are more likely to be Asian (15% of the LGBT undocumented population v. 11% of the entire undocumented population) and young (49% under 30 among LGBT undocumented population v. 30% among entire LGBT undocumented population)
  • 32,000 binational couples

NQAPIA’s op-ed on the report’s findings were published in Huffingtonpost’s “Gay Voices” section.  It is included in its entirety below:

“Immigrants Living in Dual Shadows, LGBT Undocumented,” just released by the Center for American Progress and the Williams Institute, is quite an eye opener. The National Queer Asian Pacific Island Alliance (NQAPIA) commends them on this cutting-edge report.

The current debate in Washington and across the country around comprehensive immigration reform requires the engagement of everyone, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. This important research finally gives us an opportunity to put real numbers behind the work we do — to push for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, for improvements to the system for high-skilled and low-wage workers, to reuniting families — including LGBT families, to easing the restrictions to applying for asylum, and for a more humane system for enforcement of immigration laws.

Some of the key findings reveal that the actual number of LGBT undocumented people in the U.S. are disproportionately younger and Asian than the overall undocumented population. The percentage of Asian, LGBT undocumented immigrants is significantly larger than that of our straight counterparts. We are 15 percent of the LGBT undocumented immigrant population, as opposed to 11 percent of all undocumented immigrants. This is a critical sign that we need to increase our efforts to raise our voices for reform in our local communities and in Washington.

Oversimplified categorizations stereotype the concerns communities have around immigration. Latinos do not just care about a path to citizenship. Asians do not just care about more family visas and high-tech workers. And, the LGBT community is fighting for reforms broader than only those affecting bi-national couples.

We all have a stake in truly comprehensive immigration reform that works for all our families — LGBT and straight, undocumented and citizen. Through NQAPIA’s “Uncovering Our Stories” campaign, and the thousands of postcards we are collecting that call for reform, we will be lifting up even more information from our communities about the true impact of the broken immigration system and the need for real reform.

Join us! Get involved!