LGBT undocumented immigrants live in the shadows, marginalized by society's bias based on sexual orientation or gender identity and immigration status. Shedding light on their numbers is a start in getting them out of the dark.
Forcing the country to face social issues through cultural interventions is especially critical for a grassroots U.S. immigrant rights movement, given that none of the "leaders" of the Washington-based immigrant rights groups with national media clout is an immigrant. That's right: none.
The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), a federation of LGBTQ Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander grassroots organizations, held its second national conference in Washington, D.C. last weekend.
As one of the country's 12 million undocumented immigrants who call this country home, walking around Ellis Island was a deep, sobering experience. It was a reminder of why immigration must remain the purview of the federal government, not individual states like Arizona and Alabama.
Illegal immigration is not just about undocumented immigrants like me who contribute to society and pay taxes. It's also about countless American citizens -- from principals to pastors, coaches to classmates, all members of the 21st Century Underground Railroad.