LGBTQ+ immigration cases are very personal to me. I have been working as an immigration lawyer for a few years now. I recently joined Weinstock Immigration Lawyers after moving from Texas, where I worked with the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) assisting detained families in Karnes City, Texas.
During my time at RAICES, I worked on various asylum claims before the immigration court, some of which related to LGBTQ+ issues. Growing up as a gay man along the South Texas border with Mexico, I had a unique understanding of what caused many of the LGBTQ+ immigrants to flee their home countries. As such, working on LGBTQ+ cases has always held a very special place for me.
Our firm believes in providing the best service to everyone, without regard to their gender identity or sexual orientation. We have helped multiple LGBTQ+ families migrate to the United States, as well as assisted LGBTQ+ asylum seekers before USCIS and the immigration. In the spirit of Pride month, our law firm wishes to recognize the diverse group of people that make up the LGBTQ+ community, particularly those that have been impacted by the United States Immigration system.
The US immigration policies towards the LGBTQ+ community have not always been very welcoming. In fact, being gay, at one point, was a ground of inadmissibility, that is, you were not allowed to enter the country or apply for an immigration benefit if you were gay. It was considered a mental defect to be gay.
It wasn’t until the 1980s, with the passage of the Refugee Act, that LGBTQ+ immigrants had an opportunity to obtain some sort of benefit under US immigration policies. Most recently, early this year the State Department updated their policy to recognize the children of all married US citizens who are born abroad as citizens at birth.
This is of great importance to LGBTQ+ families, as previously both parents had to be related to the child to be recognized as a US citizen at birth, a fact that was not possible for LGBTQ+ families.
While there has been a lot of progress made over the past years for LGBTQ+ immigrants, there is still much work that could be done. We at Weinstock Immigration Lawyers are committed to helping LGBTQ+ families and individuals by providing the best legal representation possible.