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Legislation & Policy

Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act (H.R. 2415/ S. 1243)

The Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act makes would make needed reforms to the U.S. immigration system, including ending mandatory detention, ensuring that only those who are a threat to the community are detained and creating a presumption of release, establishing a presumption that vulnerable individuals–including LGBTQ individuals, young people, and victims of crimes–should be placed in community-based supervision programs rather than detention facilities, removing the minimum bond amount of $1,500 for release, requiring immigration judges to consider an individual’s ability to pay when setting a bond, and other changes.


Legislation & Policy


In late-2017 to early-2018, NCLR led the LGBTQ coalition advocating for the passage of the DREAM Act to provide permanent legal protections for undocumented people who arrived in the U.S. at an early age (“Dreamers”). In June 2019, The House passed the DREAM and Promise Act, which provides a pathway for citizenship for Dreamers and holders of Temporary Protected Status. The Senate has not voted on the bill.


Legislation & Policy

Reuniting Families Act (RFA)

The Reuniting Families Act (RFA) is an amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act that would offer a more comprehensive and humane family-based immigration system. With the goal of providing a more efficient, fair, and timely way for immigrant families to reunite, the RFA would improve the current immigration system to ensure family unity, including for LGBTQ people and their families. With the reunification of lawful immigrant families often taking years, even decades, due to visa backlogs, insufficient staffing, and visa quotas, RFA would provide alternatives for a timelier reunification process. For example, RFA would reclassify lawful permanent resident spouses and children as immediate relatives not subject to annual quotas on immigration, and allow for unused visa quotas from one year to roll over to the following year. In addition, the RFA would provide for a way for children with a U.S. citizen parent to obtain citizenship that is not dependent on a biological relationship to that parent, and recognize permanent partnerships where two people are in a committed relationship but are not legally married.

The Reuniting Families Act was introduced in July 2019 and referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship August 12, 2019.


Legislation & Policy

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

On June 15, 2012, President Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to allow undocumented young people who came to the United States as children—commonly known as “DREAMers”—to apply for work permits and relief from deportation.

While this announcement presented a life-changing opportunity for LGBTQ DREAMers, it also carried $465 in fees in order to qualify. This posed steep hurdles for many DREAMers because neither they nor their parents had been able to obtain lawful employment due to their undocumented status. This was compounded for LGBTQ DREAMers who also face significant employment discrimination based on their LGBTQ status.

In order to make this program accessible for as many LGBTQ young people as possible, NCLR collaborated with the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund and the LA Gay & Lesbian Center, and many generous contributors to create the LGBTQ DREAMers Fund at the Liberty Hill Foundation to help LGBTQ undocumented young people cover the $465 fees required to apply for relief under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The fund raised $100,000 and was able to assist nearly 200 DREAMers.