LGBT Undocumented Immigrants: Groups Raise Big Money To Help Youth Stay In America

Published: September 13, 2012

A coalition of LGBT groups has banded together to raise a sizable haul dedicated to helping young, undocumented immigrants remain in the United States.

Earlier this year, the Obama Administration began implementing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a plan that allows undocumented immigrants who first entered the country as children, have graduated from high school, college or serve in the military and have clean criminal records a chance to remain in America without fearing deportation.

However, in order to apply for a deferred action program, prospective participants must pay a $465 processing fee. This surcharge can be prohibitively steep for someone earning below minimum wage due to their undocumented status.

That’s where the $75,000 raised by nearly 50 LGBT groups comes in.

"When President Obama rose above politics to do the right thing for these brave young people we were moved, grateful, and wanted to help. We need these hardworking, talented youth to build a stronger future, and they need and deserve a chance to stop living in fear and on the margins," Kate Kendell, director of the San Francisco-based National Center for Lesbian Rights, said in a statement. "But the reality is that most of these young people will not have a chance to apply because of the cost. This fund is at the core of what our movement is about–standing together and making a difference in the lives of people who are part of our diverse community."

Under the coordination of Kendell’s group and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, organizations like the Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal and the Family Equality Council have pledged to assist undocumented LGBT immigrants eligible for the program who can’t afford the fee.

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