A coalition of LGBT groups has banded together to raise $75,000 dedicated to helping young, undocumented immigrants remain in the United States under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Nearly 50 LGBT groups raised the funds to help aspiring DACA applicants pay the $465 processing fee, which for many would be prohibitively high without assistance.
“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,” said Kate Kendell, director of the San Francisco-based National Center for Lesbian Rights, 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.”
Thanks to the efforts 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 come together in a pledge to assist undocumented LGBT immigrants eligible for the program who can’t afford the fee.
Undocumented immigrants who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered have long faced additional struggles in their efforts to gain legal status–notably an inability to gain citizenship through gay marriage.