There are easier countries to seek asylum in than the U.S. and the current administration seems intent on making it even more difficult. Proposed changes to the laws could make it next to impossible for LGBTQ people to find safety here.
The current laws say you can apply for asylum if you have been persecuted or fear you will be persecuted for one of five reasons: race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.
The first law change the government wants to make is to require you have already been persecuted. Fearing that you will be abused will no longer be enough. You need to wait until you have been hurt, until your abusers have carried out their threats, by which time it may be too late.
The second change is to narrow the definitions of the five reasons. Campaigners against the proposed changes fear LGBTQ people may no longer be considered “a particular social group,” and speaking out for LGBTQ rights will no longer count as “a political opinion.”
While the legislation will affect various people, it is especially harsh on LGBTQ people, as the number of countries where an LGBTQ person can seek asylum is already limited. Human rights groups fear those with HIV will also be unable to apply for asylum if the rulings pass.
If you are in the Los Angeles area and need asylum, seek legal help to understand your chances of successfully gaining it. While prospects may not be high, your chances of surviving if deported may be even lower.