Immigration Equality in the News

NBC OUT: Over a dozen LGBTQ nonprofits among recipients of billionaire MacKenzie Scott’s latest donations (March 20, 2024)

Immigration Equality is one of over a dozen LGBTQ nonprofits that received significant grants from MacKenzie Scott’s Yield Giving initiative. The philanthropist awarded a total of $640 million to 361 organizations. Her “open call” received 6,000 applicants. Read MacKenzie Scott’s blog post and NBC OUT’s coverage of the announcement.

The Advocate: Proposed funding deal will be deadly for LGBTQ+ asylum seekers, Op-Ed by Bridget Crawford (January 26, 2024)

“Congress is on a path to enacting the most radical changes to U.S. immigration law in decades. If passed, LGBTQ people escaping persecution will be denied safe haven at our very doorstep, and left to fight for their lives abroad—a fight many will lose.” Read more in The Advocate.

San Francisco Chronicle: They became unlikely crusaders for LGBT immigrant rights. And they just overcame one final hurdle (December 29, 2023)

The SF Chronicle featured the story of Immigration Equality client Shirley Tan and her family’s decades-long immigration battle. Our Executive Director, Aaron C. Morris, their longtime counsel, was quoted, “That they fought and they fought for years to ensure that their family could stay safe is proof of the resilience of the queer community.” Read more at San Francisco Chronicle.

Openly: Protecting undocumented immigrants and Dreamers is a queer rights issue, Op-Ed by Aaron C. Morris (September 22, 2023)

Last week, a federal judge ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was unlawful, throwing the status of hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ+ Dreamers into doubt. Read more at Openly.

NBC New York: LGBTQ immigrant attends NYC Pride parade for the first time after fleeing Venezuela persecution (Jun 26, 2023)

Immigration Equality client Nelson García, 31, fled Venezuela in 2015 after being persecucted by the government for his identity and political views. Watch his interview with NBC 4 here.

NPR and WBUR’s Here & Now: LGBTQ+ Afghans are still in grave danger. Here’s how things stand. (October 24, 2022)

Here & Now‘s Deepa Fernandes hears from an LBGTQ+ refugee and Bridget Crawford, Legal Director of Immigration Equality, an organization working with LGBTQ+ Afghan refugees. Listen to the segment here.

Daily Beast: Some LGBTQ Afghans Are Finally Safe. Thousands Are Not. (August 20, 2022)

A year after the Taliban’s return, LGBTQ Afghan refugees reveal their desperate journeys to safety, while campaigners demand governments take action to help those still in peril. Read more at Daily Beast.

The Advocate: Queer Refugees: We Have Room, Op-Ed by Aaron C. Morris (June 9, 2022)

Under a public health law, known as Title 42, “thousands of asylum seekers have been wrongly denied their day in court and returned to unsafe places south of the border.” Read more in The Advocate.

NBC: ‘Danger Everywhere’: War and Transphobia Create Perfect Storm for Trans Ukrainians (April 8, 2022)

While the war has created a devastating humanitarian crisis and has forced millions of Ukrainians to flee their homes, transgender refugees, like Faámelu, face an added layer of danger and uncertainty, said Aaron Morris, the executive director of Immigration Equality, an LGBTQ immigrant rights organization. Read more at NBC.

NPR One: LGBTQ Afghans Fear For Their Lives Following Taliban Takeover (September 24, 2021)

Immigration Equality Senior Staff Attorney, Amitesh Parikh, speaks with NPR and CapRadio reporter Randol White about the dire situation for LGBTQ Afghans and what the U.S. government must do to help them. Listen to the interview on NPR One.

BBC: US expands citizenship for children born abroad in win for same-sex couples (August 6, 2021)

The US says children born abroad using assisted reproductive technology can now qualify for citizenship, in a move seen as a win for same-sex couples. Read more at BBC.

MSNBC Hallie Jackson Reports: LGBTQIA+ Asylum Seekers (June 28, 2021)

One asylum refugee tells MSNBC Reports “I came from a place where my life was under threat and then I come to a place where you have to wait this long to get what you want, but at least you’re safe.” Watch the segment at MSNBC.

The Atlantic: The IVF Cases That Broke Birthright Citizenship (June 10, 2021)

The U.S. had to rethink its definition of parenthood, to account for children born abroad to American parents using egg and sperm donors or surrogates. Read more in The Atlantic.

NPR: U.S. Ends Policy Of Denying Citizenship To Children Born Via IVF Or Surrogacy (May 19, 2021)

The State Department will now approve U.S. citizenship for children born abroad to same-sex or heterosexual American parents via in vitro fertilization, surrogacy and by other assisted reproductive means. Read more at NPR.

The New York Times: The State Department reverses a policy that denied citizenship to some babies born abroad to same-sex parents. (May 18, 2021)

In a victory for same-sex couples, the State Department on Tuesday said it would grant U.S. citizenship to babies born abroad to married couples with at least one American parent — no matter which parent was biologically related to the child. Read more in The New York Times.

CNN: Senate Democrats seek answers on U.S. citizenship policy affecting children of same-sex couples born abroad (August 10, 2020)

Senate Democrats are seeking answers from the State Department after a number of cases in which the children of same-sex US parents born abroad did not have their birthright citizenship recognized. Read more at CNN.

Buzzfeed: How Trump is Trying to Block LGBTQ People From Gaining Asylum In the US (August 7, 2020)

Less than two months ago, when streets ordinarily would have been filled with rainbows and Pride marches, Trump’s administration decided to propose changes making it almost impossible for LGBTQ+ refugees to reach safety in the United States. Read more at Buzzfeed.

them.: Lesbian Asylum Seeker Finally Released After ICE Denied Her Parole Four Times (August 24, 2020)

After Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials denied her application for parole on four previous attempts, Yanelkys Moreno-Agramonte — a lesbian asylum seeker who fled perseuction Cuba — was granted release by a judge on Monday… Read more at them.

VICE: They Fled Persecution for Being Queer. Now They’ve Been Separated by ICE (June 12, 2020)

Yanelkys and Dayana spent every single day together for months before they presented themselves at the United States border for asylum in November 2019. Now all they want is to be together again. The pair fled to the U.S. to escape harassment from police because of their relationship. Read more at VICE.

Daily Kos: House Democrats call on ICE to immediately release LGBTQ asylum-seekers amid pandemic (June 11, 2020)

Illinois Rep. Mike Quigley leads a letter signed by more than two dozen House Democrats slamming Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for its continued refusal to release vulnerable LGBTQ asylum-seekers amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, writing “Detaining LGBTQ asylum seekers, especially in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic, is dangerous and irrational.” Read more at Daily Kos.

The Intercept: Amid Coronavirus Pandemic, ICE Has Life-Or-Death Power to Release Detainees (April 13, 2020)

Pressure is growing on ICE to quickly release as many detainees as possible. Yet ICE remains recalcitrant, opaque, and unpredictable in its decision-making. Read more at The Intercept.

The New York Times: Gay U.S. Couple Sues State Dept. for Denying Their Baby Citizenship (July 23, 2019)

An American couple’s daughter, who was born abroad with the help of a surrogate, was denied citizenship. Her parents, two gay men, are suing for discrimination. Read more in The New York Times.

AP: US considers more options for detaining transgender migrants (June 13, 2019)

The New York-based advocacy group Immigration Equality is among those questioning the detention of transgender migrants, suggesting they should be eligible for immediate release given the additional threats they face and the specialized medical care that many require, such as hormone therapy or treatment for HIV infections. Read more at Associated Press.