On Friday, a badly divided U.S. Supreme Court issued a 4-4 decision in the case U.S. v Texas. The decision upholds a lower court's ruling to block President Obama's Executive Actions on immigration, which expanded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ( DACA ) program and created a new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability ( DAPA ) program.
NQAPIA Executive Director Glenn D. Magpantay said, "We are extremely disappointed in today's ruling which would have benefited up to a quarter million LGBT Asian Americans. Immigration laws and policies have a direct impact on the lives of LGBT people. Today's decision diminishes our equality."
The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance ( NQAPIA ), with the pro bono assistance of McDermott Will & Emery LLP, had filed an amicus ( "friend of the court" ) brief in the case illustrating the impact of the immigration programs on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender ( LGBT ) community. Brief is here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/2v1vg4s82mt1v3f/US_v_TX.pdf?dl=0
The President's expanded DACA and DAPA immigration programs could have helped up to 5 million undocumented immigrants, including 400,000 Asians, to be free from deportation and gain work authorization. An estimated 267,000 undocumented immigrants are LGBT, of which a disproportionate share is API.
Fortunately, the original DACA program remains unaffected, and more than 100,000 undocumented Asian Americans remain potentially eligible for this program, but have not yet applied. More information about DACA can be found here: http://www.nqapia.org/wpp/dacadapa/
Magpantay continued, "NQAPIA vows to educate more LGBT Asian Americans to apply for DACA and to provide legal assistance."
In another decision, the Supreme Court also upheld the University of Texas affirmative action-based admissions programs. NQAPIA has supported affirmative action to ensure that more Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander young people can obtain a college degree.
Last April 2015, NQAPIA and local groups organized a National Week of Action on Immigrants' Rights protesting the US v. Texas lawsuit in New Orleans and New York City.
The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance ( NQAPIA ) is a nationwide federation of LGBT Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander ( AAPI ) organizations. We seek to build the organizational capacity of local LGBT AAPI groups, develop leadership, and expand collaborations to better challenge homophobia and racism.