Accruing ‘illegal presence’
First it was the Affordable Care Act. Next, “bathroom bills.” Then a ban on transgender service members. Now, President Donald Trump told Congress it has six months to act on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival, an Obama-era program that grants temporary work permits and protection from deportation to nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants who came to America as children — an estimated 75,000 of whom identify as LGBT, according to The Williams Institute.
One of those is Atlanta-area resident Mileidi, who asked to be identified only by her first name.
“I was surviving before DACA, but I didn’t really feel like I really existed until after. I don’t think you can explain that. You really do become kind of more of a person and it sucks that someone can take your humanity by taking your documentation status,” she told Georgia Voice.
LGBT advocacy groups at the state and national levels spoke out against the removal of DACA, including the National LGBTQ Task Force, National Center for Transgender Equality, GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign, American Civil Liberties Union, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Victory Institute, Georgia Equality and Southerners On New Ground.
Mayor Kasim Reed also called Trump’s choice “a shameful abdication of moral leadership,” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In early September, the Atlanta City Council passed a resolution that says city police should not arrest or detain anyone based on certain requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which are routinely issued for jails to hold people an additional two days so they can be picked up and deported. The council also voted in favor of a second resolution that urges the president
September 15, 2017
to reverse his decision on DACA.
Between the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and the creation of DACA, it was difficult for undocumented young adults to seek citizenship, Mileidi said.
By DALLAS ANNE DUNCAN