National Immigrant Justice Center
208 S. LaSalle St., Suite 1818, Chicago, IL 60604
LGBT Immigrant Rights Initiative
As lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) immigrants seek safety, security, and opportunity in the United States, our broken immigration system repeatedly denies them due process and basic dignity. LGBT immigrants often have suffered social and economic marginalization and experienced physical and psychological torment in their native countries on account of their sexual minority status. In the United States, discrimination by immigration officials and judges compounds these harms and denies LGBT immigrants equal protection of the law.
The National Immigrant Justice Center's LGBT Immigrant Rights Initiative partners with pro bono attorneys from leading law firms to provide free legal representation for LGBT and HIV-positive asylum seekers who have been persecuted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The initiative expands its reach through the Asylum Documentation Project, which collects and disseminates evidence via Asylumlaw.org to support cases of refugees seeking protection from human rights violations based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status. The documentation project also receives civil and human rights conditions complaints from LGBT and HIV-positive immigrants detained in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security.
Through the LGBT Immigrant Rights Initiative, the National Immigrant Justice Center has become a leader in building alliances among LGBT and immigrant organizations and has built trust among a broad cross-section of groups. In partnership with LGBT and immigrant rights activists, the LGBT Immigrant Rights Initiative builds awareness of immigrant rights issues in the LGBT community, deepens alliances between the movements, and builds a united movement better equipped to achieve systemic change for immigrants and sexual minorities.
Photo Credit: Alexandra Strada
NIJC is collaborating with the Chicago LGBTQ Immigrant Rights Coalition and numerous national partners to urge that any legislation around immigration reform achieve the best possible results for all LGBT immigrants. Click here to read our LGBT Inclusive Principles & Priorities for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.