The DC Center is proud to be one of 127 LGBTQ and allied organizations calling on Congress to pass a clean Dream Act in the following letter. (You can also download the entire letter with footnotes and signatories here)
The undersigned 127 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) and allied
organizations call on Congress to pass a clean Dream Act before the end of this year. Congress
has no excuse not to pass the Dream Act of 2017. The bipartisan bill has the support of a
majority of Americans, including those who identify as Trump supporters. Congress has a
responsibility to address this issue and to be in solidarity with immigrants by passing the Dream
Act without harmful provisions such as increased border or interior enforcement as well as any
cuts to other immigration categories, such as refugees, diversity visa lottery recipients, and green
Dreamers are a part of the American family and help make our communities vibrant. Moreover,
passing the Dream Act would add a total of $22.7 billion to the United States’ GDP every year;
gains that could add up to as much as $1 trillion over the next decade when including the
productivity bump that would result from dreamers’ increased educational attainment.
Under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA), thousands of LGBTQ
people have been able to pursue higher education, improve their economic security, and live
securely with their families and in their communities.4 Additionally, DACA has empowered a
number of its recipients to come out as LGBTQ to authentically live their lives. If deported,
many LGBTQ people will find themselves in a country where they have little to no legal rights
and are more likely to experience anti-LGBTQ violence and possibly death. Nearly 80 countries
criminalize same-sex relationships and many without explicit laws remain very dangerous for the
LGBTQ community. For example, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights reported that nearly 600 people died from anti-LGBTQ violence in Latin America between January 2013
and March 2014.
Adding increased enforcement provisions to the Dream Act is unacceptable because those
measures will further endanger LGBTQ asylum seekers seeking protection. Additionally, they
will increase the risk of profiling, detention, and deportation for LGBTQ immigrants in the U.S.
Because the LGBTQ community faces discrimination in many aspects of life (i.e. being fired or
not hired, or being refused housing), they face higher incarceration rates than those who are not
LGBTQ. Given these forms of discrimination, many LGBTQ people have a higher rate of
contact with law enforcement, and are therefore at higher risk of deportation because of 287(g)
agreements and policies which encourage local jails to identify and hold immigrants for
Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The President’s decision to end DACA is an attack on immigrant young people and families
living in our communities, as well as on our values of fairness, equality, and opportunity. The
decision has left many individuals feeling helpless and powerless over their future, and fearing
that they may be taken from their families and communities at any moment. For example, the
Trevor Project has received multiple contacts from those experiencing suicidal ideation and crisis
due to the immigration policies that would return LGBTQ youth to their potentially anti-LGBTQ
countries of origin. These calls to national LGBTQ youth suicide prevention services continue to
occur as the immigration policies remain uncertain. You have the power to restore to these
individuals the hope and opportunity that should be hallmarks of our country.
We call on Congress to be on the right side of history by passing a clean Dream Act before going
home for the holidays. The time is now.