Immigration Injunction 101: What’s Happened So Far, and What We Are Waiting For Now

The process and language around the injunction blocking the expanded DACA & DAPA programs can get confusing. President Obama announced executive action on immigration in November 2014, but expanded DACA and DAPA have been caught in a legal debate ever since. Here are some fast facts for LGBTQ AAPI folks to stay informed!

Arpaio vs. Obama:

  • Joe Arpaio, our favorite xenophobic & racist sheriff from Arizona (remember S.B. 1070?) immediately filed a court case against the Obama administration. He claimed that the Executive Action would directly harm him because “criminals would not be deported” under the new law.
  • Arpaio lost this challenge.

Texas vs. United States:

  • 26 states filed a lawsuit against the United States, claiming that the Obama administration overstepped their constitutional authority with the Executive Action on November 20th.
  • The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction, or temporary block, of the expanded DACA & DAPA programs, pending a trial. This is why these programs have not yet opened for applicants.
  • In response the U.S. government asked the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, a higher federal court, for an emergency “stay,” or pause, on the injunction during the appeal process. In other words, the Obama administration asked the court to allow expanded DACA & DAPA to proceed while the lawsuit continues. On May 26th, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the request for a stay. So for now, the new programs are still not running.
  • The U.S. government also appealed the preliminary injunction itself to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, on an expedited basis. A hearing for this appeal will take place on July 10th in New Orleans. This is the next big step in this court case.
  • If the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rules to uphold the injunction against the Obama Administration, next steps for the U.S. government could include:
    • Asking for a review by all 15 judges on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. (Currently, only 3 judges are hearing this case.)
    • Appeal the decision of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • If the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals strikes down the preliminary injunction , and rules in the Obama administration’s favor, we expect the expanded programs will finally be open for applicants.

As a reminder: the injunction & court cases are only regarding expanded DACA & DAPA. If you qualified for DACA before Executive Action in November, you should still apply! Contact if you have questions or need support.

Ask President Obama to End Racial and Religious Profiling, Detention, & Deportation!


The President’s Immigration Action paved a path for administrative relief for many people in our communities. It also created a new set of priorities for immigration enforcement that have resulted in thousands of people being profiled, detained, and deported in a matter of months.

Racial and religious profiling is rampant all over the country, including in immigrant communities. There is little to no accountability of law enforcement. The revised Department of Justice’s guidance on profiling sets a standard but has no accountability measures and exempts the Department of Homeland Security’s enforcement agencies.

Sign the Petition to Demand Accountability!

The Immigration Action states that vulnerable populations should not be prioritized for detention, yet LGBTQ folks continue to be locked away in detention centers where they are harassed and beaten. Trans* folks continue to be housed in centers based on their assigned sex, not gender identity, and put in solitary confinement for their supposed “protection” from others in the detention center.

Sign the Petition to Demand Accountability!

Communities of color, including Cambodians, continue to be fed into the school-to-deportation pipeline. Many from Cambodian communities are locked away and in the process of being deported back to a country from which they took refuge.

Tell President Obama to hold his administration accountable to ending racial and religious profiling, detention, and deportations.

Sign the Petition to Demand Accountability!



Help us collect petitions!

Download the President Immigration Enforcement Petition PDF, and send them to Email with any questions.

Twitter Chat & National Call

RiseUp! NQAPIA Week of Action on Immigration

Twitter Chat

Saturday, 4/18
4-5 p.m. EDT/1-2 p.m. PDT

 Twitter Chat

Join us for a twitter chat during our Week of Action on issues impacting LGBT AAPI immigrants & our allies, including profiling, detention, deportation, DACA/DAPA, the executive action, and more.

Tweet under #RiseUpNQAPIA to join in!

Contact for more information.

National Call was on Monday, April 13th 

A mp3 of the recording will be available asap.

For information please email

Speakers included:

Kris Hayashi
Transgender Law Center (TLC)
Sarath Suong
Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM)
Sasha W.
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)

All LGBT Immigrants Need to be Considered in Immigration Reform

Jose Antonio Vargas and plenary panel at Creating Change (video starts after 40:00)

Jose Antonio Vargas and plenary panel at Creating Change (panel starts after 40:00)

For Immediate Release:  January 29, 2013



Ben de Guzman

NQAPIA Co-Director for Programs

Phone:  202-422-4909



This week, the debate on comprehensive immigration reform took real shape with the Senate introducing a bipartisan framework on principles on Monday, and the President making a statement on Tuesday.

The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) commends the Senate and the President on taking this initial first, bipartisan step.  Immigrants’ rights and the need for comprehensive immigration reform is a top priority for Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) immigrant communities.

Of course, we will continue to work more closely as details emerge and legislation is introduced.  While there are some questions we have about what has been put forth thus far, we recognize that there are some important building blocks in the Senate’s and the President’s proposals.  We’re committed to working on them to support legislation that will benefit not only the AAPI LGBT communities we work with, but will, on balance, move towards a more comprehensive solution for the entire country.

The inclusion of a path to citizenship and relief for the over 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country is a key component of both proposals.  We estimate that 750,000 of those undocumented immigrants are LGBT, and we call for reform that will help ALL of them. Young undocumented activists who worked on the DREAM Act and who are queer have, by making the connection between coming out of the closet and out of the shadows, changed the political landscape, are also included, is encouraging.  The AAPI immigrant families we work with, both LGBT and straight members alike, can also take heart in the provisions to reduce the family petition backlogs, which both proposals include.

But there are discrepancies between the proposals, and the policies that are of concern to our communities and must be addressed.  Provisions around enforcement and detention must not be onerous on our communities.

One of the main discrepancies between the Senate’s and the President’s proposals directly concerns LGBT families.  The Senate’s framework and the discussion of reforming the family-based immigration system did not include same-sex couples, where the President’s statement, on the other hand, states clearly that it will give “U.S. citizens and lawful residents the ability to seek a visa on the basis of a permanent relationship with a same-sex partner.”   It is clearly one of the more specific instances where the President’s proposal differs from the Senate’s framework.  We will build on that as a starting point to move the conversation forward.  This means that LGBT communities will be a key constituency to weigh in on comprehensive immigration reform, and we call for a broader reform that supports not only same-sex couples but ALL LGBT immigrants who desperately need reform to the currently broken system.

NQAPIA has always centered the unique perspectives and needs of LGBT immigrants in its work on immigrants’ rights and comprehensive immigration reform.  The LGBT Immigration Forums we have done around the country for the last three years has built a solid foundation for the work we now begin.  This past weekend at the 2013 Creating Change Conference in Atlanta, GA, we collected approximately 4,000 postcards calling on the Congress and the President to act on comprehensive immigration reform now.  As the debate moves forward, we are committed to educating and mobilizing our communities on this important issue.  I hope you’ll join us in this important effort.



AAPI and LGBT Events for 2013 Inauguration








Washington, DC will welcome thousands of visitors for President Obama’s Inauguration.   The weekend of the 57th Inauguration will feature a wide range of events, and NQAPIA has been tracking activities that have special interest for AAPI and LGBT communities.

NQAPIA is NOT officially connected to any of these events, this list is only information we have gathered from a variety of partners and allies.  Please contact event organizers directly for more information.

Are you coming to Washington, DC?  Let us know!  Our NQAPIA family in the nation’s capital is eager to welcome you!


Looking forward,


Ben de Guzman, NQAPIA Co-Director for Programs


Thursday, January 17

National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) Open House

Time: 5-7PM

Cost:  Free (RSVP)

Location: 1100 H St. NW, Suite 540

Wine and cheese reception to celebrate a new year and a new office. Please RSVP to Eleanor Palacios at


Friday, January 18

White House LGBT Policy Briefing

Time:  9:00am- 12:00pm

Cost:  Free (RSVP required)

Location: Herbert Clark Hoover Building Auditorium

1401 Constitution Ave, NW


The White House Office of Public Engagement invites you to a policy briefing and engagement forum focused on issues of importance to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community.


AAPI Inaugural Welcome Briefing

White House Initiative

Cost:  Free

Time: 2-6PM

Location: U.S. Department of Education, Barnard Auditorium, 400 Maryland Ave., SW

The White House Initiative on Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) and the White House Office of Public Engagement invite you to a briefing and discussion focused on issues of importance to the AAPI community.  Senior Obama Administration officials will share first term accomplishments, hear feedback from participants, and discuss opportunities to work together in the months and years ahead.

Click here to RSVP.  You are welcome to share this invitation with your friends and colleagues, but please note that seating is limited.


Inauguration Kick Off Happy  Hour

Presented by Night Life Agency with South Asians for Obama and the Washington Leadership Program

Cost:  Free

Time:  7-10pm

Location: Josephine

1008 Vermont Avenue, NW

Come celebrate, mingle, and network with top South Asian Americans from the campaign, in the Administration, and on the Hill!


Saturday, January 19

Salu-Salo (“get together”)-  Kaya: Filipino Americans for Progress Planning Meeting

Time: 8:30- 11:00am

Cost:  Free (donations accepted)

Location:  National Education Association

1201 16th Street, NW (at M Street)


This will be a planning meeting for Kaya: Filipino Americans for Progress for activities in the coming year. For more information, e-mail Marita Etcubañez at


APAICS (Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies) welcomes new CAPAC Members to 113th Congress

Time: 1-3PM

Cost: Free

Location: Communication Workers of America, 501 3rd Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20001

Please join APAICS in welcoming the new AAPI Members of Congress on Saturday January 19, 2013 at 1 pm.  There will be a short program with Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco and new AAPI members Representative Ami Bera and Representative Mark Takano.


Forward. LGBT Democrats Celebrate President Obama’s Inauguration

Cocktail Reception hosted by the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, the DC Center and Trans United for Obama

Time: 5-7pm

Location: Black Fox Lounge

1723 Connecticut Ave., NW

Celebrate with the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, Trans United for Obama, and the DC LGBT Center at Black Fox Lounge.


SAALT (South Asian Americans Leading Together) Inauguration Reception

Time: 6-8pm

Cost:  $75

Location: National Association of Broadcasters, 1771 N Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

Network with DC’s thought leaders and opinion shapers at SAALT’s Jan 19th inauguration reception, including Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA) and White House AAPI Initiative Executive Director Kiran Ahuja.


Indiaspora Inaugural Ball

Time: 8PM

Cost: $300

Location: Mandarin Oriental — 1330 Maryland Ave SW

Leaders from the 3-million-strong Indian American community, compatriots from India and American well-wishers will celebrate the combined achievements of the two nations and cultures. Guests may choose traditional “black tie” or Indian formal attire.


Hawai’i Presidential Center Inaugural Gala

Time: 7-10pm

Location: The Hay-Adams Hotel, Rooftop Terrace


Contact AJ Halagao the gala organizer at


Mabuhay: Inauguration Event by Kaya: Filipino Americans for Progress

Time: 7-10pm

Location: Cause- The PhilanthroPub

(Upstairs Tree House Room)

1926 9th Street, NW (9th and U)


Join Filipino American progressives in celebration of the inauguration of President Barack Obama.


LezGetTogether’s Pre-Inaugural Bash in Celebration of Equality

Time: 7:00 – 11:00pm

Local 16 (1602 U St., NW, Washington, DC)



Sunday, January 20


Center for Black Equity Happy Hour

MOVA (14th street)

Sunday 1/20 3-5pm

The Center for Black Equity works with African American LGBT organizations.


Philippine Embassy Reception

INVITE ONLY (contact for more information)

Time:  4pm


Presidential Pearl Gala


Time 8:30 am – 1pm

Location: Mandarin Oriental, Ballroom C, 1330 Maryland Ave, SW, Washington DC 20024


There will be a variety of panels during the morning’s briefing.

Please join us for the 10:15 am session on AAPIs and Policy Change. This session will be moderated by Deepa Iyer, NCAPA Chair and SAALT Executive Director, and feature Kathy Ko Chin, APIAHF President and CEO, and Mee Moua, AAJC Executive Director.



Date Sunday, January 20, 2013

Time 7pm to midnight

Location Mandarin Oriental, 1330 Maryland Ave, SW, Washington DC 20024

Purchase Tickets: Click


Peace Ball

Time: 7:30PM – 1AM

Location: Arena Stage, 1101 6th Street Southwest, Washington, DC 20024

Tickets $135+ processing fee

Confirmed Guests: Angela Davis, Amy Goodman, Ralph Nader, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Alice Walker, Van Jones, Sonia Sanchez, Danny Glover, Nicole Lee, Avis Jones-DeWeever, Julian Bond, Marian Wright Edelman, Medea Benjamin, Etan Thomas, Dave Zirin, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., Barbara Ehrenreich, Phyllis Bennis, Jack Halberstam and more!

LGBT & Lesbian Ladies Love Obama Inauguration Party (Alero Lounge @ 3345 14th St NW )

The Ladies Who Love Ladies Love Obama!

Time: 10:30pm-3am

Cost: $10 before 11 & $15 After

Strictly For Women!

More Info @


Monday, January 21

LGBT Out for Equality Inaugural Celebration

Time: 8pm

Location: Renaissance Mayflower Hotel — 1127 Connecticut Ave NW

Tickets start at $375.

NQAPIA Joins National AAPI Statement About 2012 Elections

NQAPIA joined our colleagues at the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) in issuing a statement on the 2012 Elections.  The joint statement is on their web site here, and appears below.

National Council of Asian Pacific Americans Congratulates President Obama on his Re-election

Exit Polls: Asian American Voters Prefer Obama by Over 45-Point Margin

Wednesday, November 7, 2012
CONTACT: Dana Chapnick

Washington, D.C. – The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), the nation’s largest coalition of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA & NHPI) groups, congratulates President Barack Obama on his re-election. 74 percent of AA & NHPI voters cast their ballot for President Obama versus 25 percent for Governor Romney – a 22-point increase from 2008 – according to national exit polling by the Associated Press; and 72 percent versus 26 percent according to the Asian American Election Eve Poll, a joint project of the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD) and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF).

AAs & NHPIs – the fastest growing racial group in the United States – represent 6 percent of the total U.S. population. NCAPA, a project of the Tides Center, and its 31 member organizations are hopeful the Obama Administration will work with the U.S. Congress to address the opportunities and challenges presented in theNCAPA 2012 Policy Platform: Framing Issues and Recommendations to Improve the Lives of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Communities (available at


AA & NHPI community members look to President Obama for continued and renewed leadership on several key issue areas: (1) ensuring community members are treated as full and equal members of society through strong protections against discrimination and language access; (2) promoting a lifetime of learning by creating accessible and inclusive educational environments that are informed by disaggregated data on the community; (3) protecting, improving, and fully funding the Affordable Care Act; (4) addressing the needs of low-income community members through community development, asset building, and financial security; and (5) passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the DREAM Act.

In addition to addressing the policy issues and recommendations in the NCAPA 2012 Policy Platform, NCAPA strongly believes the Obama Administration needs to work with the AA & NHPI community to continue to strengthen the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Furthermore, NCAPA hopes the Obama Administration will continue to identify, recruit, appoint, and hire qualified AA & NHPI candidates to serve in all levels of government.

Finally, NCAPA would like to welcome all newly elected Members of Congress. Official results have been declared for the following: Congresswoman-elect Tammy Duckworth (IL-8), Senator-elect Mazie Hirono (HI), Congresswoman-elect Tulsi Gabbard (HI-2), Congresswoman-elect Grace Meng (NY-6), and Congressman-elect Mark Takano (CA-41).NCAPA is excited about the added diversity that these newly elected members will bring to the House of Representatives and Senate and looks forward to engaging with these new leaders.


At the time of release, the following NCAPACoalition members have signed onto this statement:

  • Asian American Justice Center, Member of Asian American Center for Advancing Justice
  • Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
  • Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy & Leadership
  • Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations
  • Japanese American Citizens League
  • Hmong National Development
  • Laotian American National Alliance
  • National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
  • National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association
  • National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development
  • National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians
  • South Asian Americans Leading Together
  • Southeast Asia Resource Action Center


Let’s Get Engaged! Political and Civic Engagment for AAPI LGBT Communities

Join us for this opportunity to re-connect after the NQAPIA Conference and before the 2012 Presidential Election Season hits full stride. Learn more about what other communities are doing and how we can all get more engaged and more involved!

NQAPIA Quarterly Briefing:  Let’s Get Engaged!  Political and Civic Engagement for AAPI LGBT Communities

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

  • 6pm Eastern
  • 5pm Central
  • 4pm Mountain
  • 3pm Pacific
  • 1pm Hawai’i

Dial 712-432-3900 (access: 9156628#) to join the call.

Proposed Agenda:

  1. Welcome/ Introductions
  2. Local Updates:  Sharing Information about Local Activities
  3. NQAPIA Updates:  What’s Happening at NQAPIA HQ
  4. Issue Updates:  Catch the 411 on the Policies of Concern in Our Communities
  5. Next Briefing

RSVP on Facebook.