Moises’ story highlights the need for advocacy and awareness surrounding immigration reform and LGBTQ rights. Our goal with Forbidden is to tell Moises’ story. We stake no claim to be experts in these topics, but we can cover the basics and provide resources.
A Brief History of Immigration in the U.S.
- Until late 19th century — very little regulation of immigration and virtually no enforcement.
- Prior to 1920’s — no numerical limits, certain classes of people banned.
- 1920’s — Quota systems created based on race and nationality. Western Europeans heavily favored.
- 1965 — Quota system replaced with system that gives preference to close relatives and certain employees. Western Hemisphere immigration limits enacted.
- Restrictions now:
- Family based — spouses, children, parents and siblings
- Employment based
- Diversity lottery
- Humanitarian — asylum and refugees
- Country-specific legislation (example: Cuban Refugee Adjustment Act).
What does “undocumented” mean?
Typically, immigrants who have entered the U.S. without inspection or legal permission or through the use of false papers are considered undocumented. Being undocumented can also refer to a person with expired paperwork or a person in deportation proceedings.
What is DACA?
DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. DACA is a memorandum passed on June 15, 2012 and implemented by the Secretary of the Department Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano. It directs U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to practice prosecutorial discretion toward some individuals who immigrated without papers to the United States as children.
- Eligible if under 31 years of age by June 15, 2012 when President Obama announced program;
- Under 16 years old when first entered the U.S.;
- Continuous residence in U.S. from June 15, 2007 to present;
- High School Graduate or equivalent or currently enrolled in school; AND
- No serious criminal record.
- Not a permanent status — no pathway to citizenship.
- Valid for 2 years — current policy is that it will be renewable…but for how long?
- Travel for limited purposes only.
- Not eligible for military service.
- Not eligible for in-state tuition in most states (including North Carolina)
- Not eligible for the Affordable Care Act.
What is the DREAM Act?
DREAM stands for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors. Part of an attempt to reform the flawed immigration system, the DREAM Act was legislation first introduced in the Senate on August 1, 2001. Several attempts were made to re-introduce the bill, most recently in 2011.
What is a DREAMer?
The term DREAMer stems from the DREAM Act. Undocumented students are often brought to the U.S. by their parents at a very young age. Having completed most of their schooling in this country, they often find out about their lack of legal status when they are in high school.
Drop the “I” word
Racially charged slurs like “illegal” and “alien” are examples of demeaning and dehumanizing language used against immigrant communities. Behind every single person, there is a human story. Take the pledge to never call any human being “illegal.” Go to http://colorlines.com/droptheiword/
What does LGBTQ stand for?
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer
What does the term “queer” mean?
Reclaimed by a younger generation, queer is an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities that are not heterosexual, heteronormative, or gender-binary.
What is DOMA?
DOMA stands for the Defense of Marriage Act. Enacted September 21, 1996, DOMA was a U.S. federal law that allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages granted under laws of other states. On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down DOMA determining that it was unconstitutional and discriminatory toward same-sex couples.
A Brief History of Immigration in the US:
Ann Marie Dooley, Attorney at Law, McKinney Perry & Coalter