Immigrant rights are LGBTQ rights: a timeline of anti-immigrant actions from the Trump administration

This May Day it is important to reflect on the indisputable fact that rights, protections, and respect for the immigrant community is an LGBTQ issue just as it is a labor issue. According to the Williams Institute at UCLA, there are an estimated 267,000 undocumented people who identify as LGBTQ and many U.S.-born LGBTQ people have documented and undocumented family members, partners, or friends and are therefore impacted by the decisions made regarding immigration policy.

Amplifying this message is crucial under an administration where immigrants and their families face increased systemic attacks. Since taking office President Donald Trump has targeted the immigrant community with unconscionable attacks, including putting an end to the DACA program and subjecting immigrant youth at immediate risk of detention and deportation and attempting to revoke Temporary Protected Status from people from Sudan, Nicaragua, Liberia, Haiti, El Salvador, and Nepal.

GLAAD has put together a timeline to put all of Trump’s anti-immigrant attacks into perspective.

This clear and targeted agenda follows the Obama Administration which expanded the budget for immigration law enforcement by 300 and carried out more deportations than any previous president. And bipartisan efforts to ensure that immigrant youth are permanently protected from detention and deportation are being deprioritized by Congress held hostage by Republican leadership.

Immigrant rights are LGBTQ rights and it is important for us to lock arms across all our intersections and stand united to hold the Trump administration accountable. The Trump white house is capitalizing off anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ, anti-Black, anti-POC, anti-disabled, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, and anti-woman sentiments that have been at the core of American politics for too long. But together, we have the power to fight back.

TIMELINE: Anti-Immigrant Actions of the Trump Administration

1.25.17 - President Trump Instructed homeland security to take "steps to immediately plan, design, and construct a physical wall along the southern border."

1.25.17 - President Trump signed executive orders instructing the Department of Homeland Security to hire 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents and forcing the Security of the Interior to move towards hiring an additional 10,000 immigration officers.

1.27.17 - President Trump issued his first attempt on the Muslim Ban, promised during the election, by signing an executive order to suspend entry for immigrants and non-immigrants from seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

2.18.17 - Documents outlining the Trump Administration’s immigration enforcement plans leaked which included a dramatic increase in immigration and border agents as well as incentives for state and local law enforcement agencies to work with and become immigration agents.

3.8.17 - President Trump issued another executive order in order to ban non-immigrant or immigrant visas from Muslim majority countries, this time affecting Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen (Iraq was removed from the original list).

3.27.17 - The Trump administration today threatened to pull some federal funds from localities where local law enforcement do not turn in undocumented immigrants to federal immigration enforcement officers.

6.1.17 - The Trump Administration approved a newly required questionnaire for U.S. visa applicants which seeks to required expanded personal information, including social media activities, travel, residential, and employment history.

7.28.17 - President Trump called immigrants "animals" while speaking to law enforcement officers in Long Island, New York.

8.2.17 - President Trump along with Sen. Tom Cotton (AK) and Sen. David Perdue (GA) unveiled a proposal to issues what Trump called a "merit-based" system to immigration, cutting down on the those allowed to enter the country and granting favor to those who speak English.

8.24.17 - U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that they would not be closing checkpoints during hurricane Harvey in Texas, putting undocumented immigrants and mixed-status families at risk of deportations while seeking evacuation or shelter during the storm.

8.25.17 - President Trump pardons former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a criminal known for inmate abuses, unjustified arrests, and racial profiling.

8.28.17 - The ACLU reported that Immigration and Customs Enforcement asked the National Archives and Record Administration for permission to destroy records on abuses, sexual assault and deaths of immigrants in their detention.

9.5.17 - The Trump Administration ends the DACA program, which protected an estimated 800,000 young undocumented immigrants, including 36,000 LGBTQ DREAMers, from detention and deportation. *Currently under litigation

9.18.17 - The Trump administration announced the end of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for over 1,000 people from Sudan who received TPS to live and work legally in the United States due to "ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions." *Currently under litigation

9.24.17 - President Trump issued his third iteration of the Muslim Ban affecting visas from Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Chad, North Korea and Venezuela.

10.1.17 - President Trump called on Congress to terminate the Diversity Visa Lottery, a program that distributes around 50,000 visas.

10.8.17 - The Trump administration the end of Temporary Protected Status for over 5,300 people from Nicaragua who first came to the United States to live and work legally following the destruction caused by Hurricane Mitch, a Category 5 storm.

10.8.17 - The Trump administration revealed hard-line immigration principles that aimed to restick asylum, drastically limit family-based legal migration and build a border wall.

10.12.17 - Reporting reveals the Trump Administration took steps to impose “numeric performance standards” on federal immigration judges.

10.12.17 - Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued a request for information to identify new facilities to expand immigrant detention sites in areas surrounding Chicago, Detroit, Salt Lake City, and St. Paul, Minnesota.

10.20.17 - The Trump Administration announced the end of  Temporary Protected Status for over 59,000 Haitians who came to the United States to live and work legally following the devastating 2010 earthquake in their country.  

10.24.17 - President Trump issued an executive order that placed minor children and spouses of refugees in the United States from 11 counties on hold and barred from resettlement.

10.29.17 - President Trump retweeted three anti-Muslim propaganda videos from a known hate group that falsely alleged violence from Muslim immigrants.

11.15.17 - The Department of Justice issued letters to 29 jurisdictions threatening to withhold federal law enforcement grant money from localities’ that limit their cooperation with federal immigration enforcement agents.

12.15.17 - President Trump attacked the Diversity Visa Program saying the 50,000 visas that are awarded through the program each year sends us 'their worst.'

1.3.18 - Acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Tom Homan, called for politicians in sanctuary cities to face criminal charges for their policies.

1.5.18 - The Trump Administration requested $33 billion from Congress for border militarization including funding for a border wall and additional border security.

1.8.18 - The Trump Administration announced they are ending Temporary Protected Status for over 200,000 people from El Salvador who came to the United States to live and work legally following devastating 2001 earthquakes in El Salvador.

1.11.18 - President Trump reportedly called Haiti and counties in Africa “shithole countries” while speaking about opposing including protections for people from those places in an immigration deal.

1.16.18 - Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen disclosed the Trump Administration's intent to prosecute state and local officials in jurisdictions that limit partnerships between state and local officials in jurisdictions and federal immigration enforcement aimed at targeting undocumented immigrants.

1.18.18 - The Department of Justice filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States after a federal district court ordered the government to resume accepting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewal applications.

1.24.18 - The White House issued demands that any Congressional deal to protect Dreamers that include an end to family reunification and the diversity visa lottery as well as $25 billion for a border wall.

2.12.18 - The Trump Administration released its 2019 budget proposal which included adding $782 million to hire and support 2,750 additional U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, $2.8 billion to increase immigration detention to 52,000 beds per day, and  $1.6 billion for border wall construction.

3.6.18 - The Department of Justice sued the state of California over laws passed by the state legislature to restrict federal immigration enforcement officers from working as an arm of local law enforcement.

3.27.18 - The Trump administration announced it will include a question about U.S. citizenship in the 2020 census.

3.27.18 - The Trump administration announced the end of Temporary Protected Status for thousands of people from Liberia who came to the United States to live and work legally after being displaced by civil war.

3.29.18 - Immigration and Customs Enforcement revoked guidance limiting the detention of pregnant women.

3.29.18 - The State Department announced a new policy to require almost all visa applicants to submit extensive personal social media information for review in order to travel or immigrate to the United States.

4.5.18 - President Trump signed a proclamation calling for the deployment of National Guard troops to the U.S. Southern border for increased militarism and surveillance.

4.5.18 - President Trump called immigrants coming to the United States from Mexico rapists during a speech on tax reform, harkening back to the anti-immigrant fearmongering that was a staple of his 2016 campaign.

4.6.18 - The Department of Justice announced a “zero-tolerance” policy to prosecute immigrants entering the U.S. at the Southern border and called on federal prosecutors to make prosecuting undocumented immigration offenses a priority.

4.10.18 - The Justice Department announced that it is ending its Legal Orientation Program, which provides people who are detained and facing deportation information about the law and their rights. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed this decision on April 25, 2018, after massive pushback.

4.26.18 - The Trump administration the end of Temporary Protected Status for over 9,000 people from Nepal who first come to the United States following the discretion caused by a 2015 earthquake.

4.30.18 - President Trump was directly asked whether he felt like he should apologize for his anti-immigrant rhetoric during the 2016 campaign and he responded: “There’s no reason to apologize.”

Check out theses immigrant rights organizations for more ways you can become involved:

  • United We Dream the largest immigrant youth-led network in the country fighting for justice and dignity for all immigrants.
  • Immigration Equality a national LGBTQ immigrant rights organization. Providing free legal services and policy advocacy on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-positive immigrants.
  • National TPS Alliance advocates to save Temporary Protected Status for all beneficiaries in the short term and to devise legislation that creates a path to permanent residency in the long-term.
  • Define American a nonprofit media and culture organization that uses the power of story to transcend politics and shift the conversation about immigrants, identity, and citizenship.
  • Familia: Queer, Trans Liberation Movement an national organization that addresses, organizes, educates, and advocates for the issues most important to our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) and Latino communities
  • Black Alliance for Just Immigration educates and engages African American and black immigrant communities to organize and advocate for racial, social and economic justice.