Ac­cru­ing ‘il­le­gal pres­ence’

GA Voice - - Front Page -

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

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