As many as 20 LGBT young people at Youth First Texas could take advantage of a new immigration policy announced Friday by President Barack Obama, according to YFT Board Chair Chris Cognetta.
Obama announced that the U.S. will stop deporting illegal aliens who were brought to this country as children, and they will be able to obtain work permits.
Effective immediately, the new rule will apply to people who are currently under 30 years old, arrived in the U.S. before they turned 16 and have lived here for at least five years. To qualify, they must have no criminal record and have earned a high school diploma, be in school or served in the military.
The provisions are similar to those proposed in the DREAM Act that has been before Congress several times but has not passed.
The change in policy could have an even greater impact for gay and lesbian youth. That’s because in many cases, a heterosexual sibling marries a U.S. citizen and can immediately apply for a green card and begin the naturalization process. The gay or lesbian sibling cannot be sponsored by a partner.