New survey of LGBT immigrants reveals high rates of discrimination and harassment

Posted on 29 Jan 2016 at 11:32am

Screen shot 2016-01-29 at 9.38.21 AMA new survey reveals a high number of LGBT immigrants report discrimination and harassment in employment, healthcare, housing and education and do not trust law enforcement.

The report, No More Closets, was conducted by immigrant youth advocacy group United We Dream in late 2015 both online and through individual interviews. 461 LGBT individuals either born outside of the United States or citizens born in the United States to foreign-born parents responded.

“With this survey, we aim to both tell our stories to policymakers as well as to the young people in our communities who are struggling that they are not alone and that together we can turn our shared struggle and power into the change we seek,” said Carlos Padilla, national coordinator of United We Dream’s Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project. “In fact, some of our nation’s leading change makers are LGBTQ immigrant youth – out of great struggle can come great strength.”

Those surveyed report alarmingly higher numbers of discrimination higher than the general LGBT population.

73.4 percent of respondents report their income doesn’t cover or just barely covers living expenses while only 26.6 percent report earning enough to live comfortably. 41 percent have no health insurance. Nearly half of all respondents say they are afraid to deal with police because of their immigration status or sexual identity.

“The patterns of discrimination, lack of healthcare and harassment uncovered by this report are heartbreaking but the countless stories of resistance and hope are inspiring. We hope that this report is just the beginning of research into a community determined to live authentically despite the odds,” said author Zenen Jaimes Perez, the policy and advocacy analyst for United We Dream.

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