If you are queer and undocumented, you are NOT alone.
This short segment is just a start to documenting the lives of thousands of undocumented students who were brought to the United States through no choice of their own and are now forced to live in the shadows of society, in the only country that they consider home.
Punished for the alleged transgressions of their parents, these immigrant youth face barriers to their DREAMs upon graduation from high schools often they cannot attend college, drive or work legally, obtains loans, or even legalize their status. While illegal presence is not a crime, anti-immigrant hysteria has effectively given them the tag of “criminal”
The situation gets worse with the heteronormativity of U.S. immigration laws. The fact that mainstream LGBT organizations pay scant attention and continue to ignore the plight of undocumented gay students in the United States makes the situation even more precarious. This is not just a Latino issue; it is a human rights issue.
In this entry, you will come across undocumented LGBT youth from diverse backgrounds, states and circumstances that have come together in these waiting rooms of history to share the limbo of their lives.
Juan Rodriguez and Felipe Matos depict how love cannot be illegal, Prerna represents a life in isolation with a desire to succeed against all odds, Andrea simply wants a chance after undergoing the deportation of her father, Mohammad articulates how going back to Iran is not an option for him, Karla wants to serve this country, Moreno is currently in high school with dreams of becoming an artist. Maria Lu talks about being in the closet with her parents. Hans takes only two classes at a time due to high tuition costs. Isabel Reyes talks about struggling with her sexuality in addition to her immigration status. Yahaira mentions how it doesn’t matter how high the fence is built because her family crawled under it to get to the United States.
As you will see “going home” is not an option for these students; they come from countries intolerant of queer and transgender individuals and more importantly, America is their home.
We implore everyone to support and spread the word about the DREAM Act that would give these students an earned pathway to legalization and a chance to finally stop paying for crimes they have never committed. We are also looking to form strong links with pro-migrant, pro-LGBT organizations to help root out homophobia from immigrant (and mainstream) communities as one of our long-term goals and help fight for LGBT legislation such as UAFA.
You can contact the students individually via email. We welcome and highly encourage discussion and correspondence.
If you know other students undergoing similar ordeals give them a heads up or contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
We also have a survey to download and fill out for undocumented LGBT students that would be used to write articles and research papers.
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