Arredondo, who came with his parents to the United States from Mexico when he was 4 years old, said that he felt like coming out would put him at further risk for discrimination when he was already facing the challenge of being undocumented in the U.S.
He remembers thinking: “If I could get my status, if I can get a job … I can come out and live happily as a queer person.”
Receiving work authorization and relief from deportation under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in 2012 allowed him to do that, he said. Arredondo is one of many LGBTQ “dreamers” who now find themselves facing a particular set of challenges as President Donald Trump’s administration plans to roll back the DACA program.
As of Sept. 5, the U.S. will not accept new applications under DACA. Current DACA recipients whose status will expire before March 5, 2018, can apply to renew their status by Oct. 5. For thousands of people, that means their DACA status will end in the next few years, unless Congress revives a similar program through legislation.
LGBTQ “dreamers” say the program allowed them to gain a foothold in a country where they already face high rates of economic insecurity and inconsistent protection under the law. Now that it’s rolled back, experts say LGBTQ “dreamers” are particularly vulnerable to discrimination, mistreatment and hate crimes, in the U.S. as well as their countries of origin.
Here’s a look at some of their challenges.