What You Need to Know About LGBTQ Immigration in the U.S
The United States is home to a diverse and vibrant LGBTQ community, including many immigrants who have come to this country seeking safety, freedom, and opportunity. However, LGBTQ immigrants face unique challenges and barriers that affect their lives and well-being. Here are some facts and resources that can help you understand the issues and rights of LGBTQ immigrants in the U.S.
- According to the Williams Institute at UCLA, there are an estimated 267,000 undocumented people who identify as LGBTQ in the U.S. They are more likely to be young, male, and from Latin America than the overall undocumented population. They also face higher risks of poverty, violence, and a lack of access to healthcare and legal services.
- LGBTQ people who fear harm in their home country because of their sexual orientation or gender identity can apply for asylum in the U.S. Asylum is a form of protection that allows people to stay in the U.S. if they can prove that they have a well-founded fear of persecution based on one of five grounds: race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. LGBTQ people can qualify as a particular social group if they can show that they are unable to live safely in their country because of their identity or expression.
- Same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states and U.S. territories, and same-sex couples can petition for their spouses or fiancés to join them in the U.S. The U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015, and since then, thousands of LGBTQ couples have been able to reunite or start their families in the U.S. through family-based immigration visas. However, some challenges remain, such as proving the validity of foreign marriages or overcoming discrimination and stigma from immigration officials or family members.
- LGBTQ employees are protected by federal law against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, but some states and cities offer more specific protections. In 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from firing or mistreating workers because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This landmark decision affirmed the dignity and equality of LGBTQ workers across the country. However, not all states and cities have laws that explicitly protect LGBTQ workers from other forms of discrimination, such as in housing, public accommodations, education, or healthcare. Therefore, it is important to know your rights and resources, depending on where you live and work.
- Many LGBTQ immigrants face challenges such as violence, harassment, a lack of access to healthcare, and detention in unsafe conditions. LGBTQ immigrants are often targets of hate crimes, bullying, domestic abuse, or human trafficking because of their identity or status.
If you are an LGBTQ immigrant seeking assistance with your immigration process or if you need support navigating the challenges you may face, consider reaching out to us. Our dedicated team is here to help you with your immigration needs. We provide personalized legal services and guidance to LGBTQ immigrants, ensuring that your rights and well-being are protected throughout the process.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards your immigration journey. Our experienced and compassionate team is ready to assist you in achieving your dreams of safety, freedom, and opportunity in the United States.