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Gay and transgender immigrants seeking asylum

Whether one agrees or disagrees with the proposed immigration reform that is going on in Washington, D.C., there appears to be support from both political parties (including Senator Lindsay Graham, a Republican from South Carolina) for significant changes to be made regarding the rights of immigrants to come to our country and, in some cases, to seek asylum. Especially noteworthy are efforts underway to open up immigration opportunities for same-sex couples that are migrating to the United States.

America's immigration policies have long been criticized for the dividing up of same-sex couple's families, of deporting immigrants that may have been here since childhood for taking on a gay or transgender identification, for failing to provide safe housing for gay or transgender immigrants, for failing to address the needs of gay or transgender immigrants, and for not allowing individuals that are determined to be HIV-positive from obtaining visas or green cards.

Sadly, such individuals are often targeted for persecution in the nations from which they were residents, and their options have often been limited due to the reluctance of public officials in the United States to grant these refugees asylum. The well-founded fear of persecution that is a requirement for individuals seeking asylum in our country has simply not been recognized by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as it pertains to gay or transgender individuals.

Naturally, what immigration reform entails is a political solution that may take months to put in place - or may not be implemented whatsoever. Individuals facing persecution from state or religious authorities in the place of origin concerning their sexual orientation or gender identity may not have the time to wait for such a solution to come about.

Seeking asylum is much too important for such individuals than to rely upon politicians or upon an attorney that does not have experience with immigration issues. The requirements for asylum are numerous and require a great deal of documentation be filled out in an accurate and timely manner. Finally, it requires the representation of immigration attorneys that truly are willing to be advocates for individuals being persecuted in other countries.

Source: Center for American Progress, "The Top 5 Ways the Obama Administration Has Helped Gay and Transgender Immigrants," by Crosby Burns, Jan. 31, 2013

Please review our Summerville, South Carolina lawyer's website for information regarding the seeking of asylum, and concerning any other number of immigration issues.

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