NQAPIA Leads LGBTQ and Asian Community at U.S. Supreme Court to Defend DACA and Protect Dreamers

Trump’s cancellation of DACA could mean Imprisonment or Death sentence.

Embargoed For Immediate Release: Monday, November 11, 2019
For More Information: Roberta Sklar 917-704-6358, robertasklar@yahoo.com

The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance led the LGBT community in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in DHS v. Regents of the University of California.  NQAPIA with the pro bono legal assistance of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo PC, submitted an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief that highlights the special concerns of LGBTQ Asian, South Asian, and Pacific Islander (API) DACA recipients. 

The Supreme Court, scheduled to hear oral argument on this case on November 12th, will deliberate and make  its determination some time by the close of June 2020.  This leaves DACA recipients in a continuing state of limbo and anxiety as to their future. What eve the court decision, it is the responsibility of Congress to finally vote on and pass unencumbered DACA legislation  

DACA has helped thousands of LGBT API young people trying to work, study, and improve their lives in the United States. Trump announced a cancellation of the DACA program but has been block by federal Court.  The cancellation of DACA will take away employment and educational opportunities, and instill the fear of deportation among 36,000 LGBT and 16,000 API DACA recipients mostly from South Korea, the Philippines, India, and Pakistan. An estimated 75,000 LGBT and 169,000 APIs are eligible for DACA. 

NQAPIA’s brief shows the Court how more is at stake for Asian LGBT DACA recipients because many come from countries where homosexuality is a crime. “Trump’s cancellation of DACA could result in more than just a deportation, but imprisonment or even a death sentence.” said Glenn D. Magpantay, NQAPIA Executive Director. “Talented and hard-working DACA young people are the ones who are truly making America great.”  For example:

Tony Choi is a 24 year-old gay Korean DACA beneficiary from New Jersey.  In 2010, his options were to live a closeted life taking care of this mother with cancer in the US or return to Korea where his LGBT identity would subject him to harsh hazing for two years in the mandatory military service.  Korean military penal law also criminalizes homosexuality.  Read and listen to his story here.

Bupendra Ram is a South Asian Dreamer from Fiji who came to the United State when he was only 2 years old.  He is the first person in his family to attain a college degree. Read his story here.

NQAPIA’s brief was joined by 35 groups – 19 LGBTQ Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (APIs) groups and 16 LGBTQ organization. They are:

API Equality – Northern California (APIENC)
API PFLAG San Gabriel Valley ChapterAPI Rainbow Parents of PFLAG NYC
Asian and Pacific Islander Queers United for Action (AQUA DC)
Asian Pacific Islander Queer Women and Transgender Community, San Francisco
ATL Q+A, Atlanta
Gay Asian Pacific Alliance (GAPA), San Francisco
GAPIMNY (Gay Asian and Pacific Islander Men of New York)
Invisible to Invincible (i2i): API Pride of Chicago
KhushATX, Austin, TX
Korean American Rainbow Parents (KARP) – Washington DC
Korean Queer and Transgender Organization of Washington D.C. (KQT DC)
Philadelphia Asian Queers
Queer South Asian Collective Community, Boston
Q-WAVE, New York City SALGA NYC, New York City
Satrang, Los Angeles
Trikone, San Francisco
UTOPIA Seattle

APICHA Community Health Center, New York City
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
Equality Federation
GLBT Fund of America, Philadelphia
GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
Immigration Equality
Lambda Legal
Los Angeles LGBT Center
National Black Justice Coalition
National LGBTQ Task Force
Our Space, LGBT Youth Center, Hayward CA
OutRight Action International
San Francisco LGBT Center
Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund

NQAPIA has long fought to create and preserve DACA and for LGBTQ immigrants’ rights. Magpantay continued, “Win or lose, we will continue to fight and will urge Congress to pass the Dream Act and codify DACA into law.” 

Read the brief here:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *