Organization for Refugees Asylum and Migration – ORAM
ORAM protects and empowers LGBTIQ asylum seekers and refugees globally, creating sustainability and systemic change. In many countries around the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) individuals face severe discrimination and violence due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
The Current Situation
In approximately 70 countries, consensual same-sex relationships are criminalized, exposing millions of individuals to the risk of arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment – and even, in at least six countries, the death penalty.
Even in countries where homosexuality has been decriminalized, LGBTIQ people still face stigma and persecution. Many countries do not have specific laws targeting LGBTIQ individuals; however, they are often unwilling to protect LGBTIQ citizens whose human rights are being abused.
A Marginalized Group
The persecution LGBTIQ individuals face can come from many different actors, including the state, community or family. Many LGBTIQ individuals often have no other choice but to flee their countries of origin in search for a safer and better life.
AsylumConnect (www.asylumconnect.org), a nonprofit helping LGBTQ asylum seekers locate verified resources, and One Degree (www.1degree.org), a technology-rich nonprofit that assists low-income households access resources to attain economic and social freedom, formed a partnership to construct a US nationwide version of the AsylumConnect catalog to enable greater access, growth, and uniformity.
“Together, both associations are breakingthe tradition of the nonprofit sector that’s rife with fractured and replicated solutions.
Countless LGBTQ immigrants and asylum seekers arrive at the United States annually fleeing persecution in their home countries due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. From years of oppression and fear many don’t actively seek assistance or don’t know where to turn for the help, they need to get established in their new home.
The AsylumConnect catalog fills this gap. This groundbreaking database enables LGBTQ asylum seekers to safely integrate in the U.S. by giving a platform to allow them to search and recrieve resource information and referrals to satisfy their requirements in key locations, such as:
- Mental/Psychological health
- Social support
To-date, the online catalog has garnered positive comments from LGBTQ asylum seekers and providers. Asylum seekers have commented that the catalog “highly recommended,” and “simple to use,” and noticed that they eagerly anticipate growth to other “local resources and areas/regions.”
“My office is thrilled to know that AsylumConnect is available,” commented an immigration and asylum lawyer focusing on LGBT/SOGI-minority claims. “So many asylum-seekers do not know where to turn and stress that seeking help will backfire on them.”
Building upon One Degree’s strong resource management and search system, AsylumConnect will scale its support to all major U.S. cities.
“With One Grade’s technical support services, the AsylumConnect catalog will have the ability to achieve its full potential,” explained Katie Sgarro, AsylumConnect Co-Founder and President. “Collectively, we can make sure that most of LGBTQ asylum seekers within and seeking to come to the U.S. possess the information that they need to live secure, wholesome, and thriving lives.”
The new resource catalog powered by One Grade will add U.S. cities, technical performance, as well as an improved better user experience for the LGBTQ asylum seekers and resource agencies. One Grade, will offer access to the open API to allow other organizations to tap into and feed the database.
Other LGBTQ Immigration and Asylum Resources
The LGBT Asylum Project
Exclusively dedicated to providing accessible legal representation for LGBTQ+ and HIV+ asylum seekers. The Center for Immigrant Protection primarily delivers the LGBT Asylum Project. The LGBT Asylum Project was created due to a critical need for accessible legal representation among vulnerable immigrant populations escaping violence and persecution in their home countries because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The LGBT Asylum Project provides direct legal advice, counsel, and representation to immigrants that identify as LGBTQ+ and need assistance to submit and process their affirmative asylum application.
LGBT Freedom and Asylum Network
LGBT-FAN is an all-volunteer network of individuals and organizations, throughout the United States, who are dedicated to helping people who are seeking safety in the U.S. because of persecution of their sexual orientation or gender identity in their home countries.* We are asylum seekers and people who have already gained asylum, LGBT rights activists, faith leaders, LGBT community center staff, policy experts, scholars, and refugee resettlement workers. We seek to leverage the resources of our members to help each other with information and support.
Since 1994, Immigration Equality has been proud to advocate for and represent lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ), and HIV-positive immigrants seeking safety, fair treatment, and freedom. Immigration Equality’s work impacts both the individuals we serve and the immigration system as a whole. In over 80 countries around the world, it is a crime or fundamentally unsafe to beLGBTQ. For far too many people, it is impossible to be out and proud. For more than 20 years, we have been focused on providing free direct legal services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-positive immigrants, including:
- Asylum seekers forced to flee to the U.S. to find safety
- LGBTQ immigrant and binational couples and families separated by oceans
- Detained people trapped in immigration jail facilities
- Undocumented LGBTQ people living in the shadows inside the U.S
Can you imagine living in fear of persecution, torture, or murder? Can you imagine going to jail for who you are or who you love?
That is a reality for so many LGBTQI individuals around the world. Since our founding in 2006, Rainbow Railroad has helped more than 800 individuals find a path to safety to start a new life — free from persecution.
National Immigration Center
Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) is dedicated to ensuring human rights protections and access to justice for all immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. With offices in Chicago, Indiana, and Washington, D.C., NIJC provides direct legal services to and advocates for these populations through policy reform, impact litigation, and public education. Since its founding three decades ago, NIJC has been unique in blending individual client advocacy with broad-based systemic change.
Partnering with the legal community
Thanks to the support of hundreds ofpro bono (free) attorneys from the nation’s leading law firms, NIJC has made critical advances in the lives of hundreds of thousands of vulnerable immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. NIJC provides legal services to more than 10,000 individuals each year and maintains a success rate of 90 percent in obtaining asylum for those fleeing persecution in their home countries. NIJC and its pro bono attorneys have been on the vanguard of federal impact litigation and advocacy, setting positive precedents for those seeking human rights protections within our borders.
Along with Lambda Legal, these organizations offer education and advocacy specific to transgender immigrants. Resource listings
Transgender Law Center
Nice resources describing rights and resources.
Immigration Legal Resource Center – LGBT
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) immigrants often face unique challenges due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Some flee persecution in their home countries or have experienced discrimination and trauma in the United States. Others need assistance in changing their gender marker on official documents or navigating a family-based immigration case.
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) provides training and resources to ensure that legal services address these complex issues and are provided in a culturally competent manner. Our manual, LGBTQ Immigration: Ensuring Equality for All, provides practice tips and legal guidance for service providers of all levels of experience. The ILRC is committed to advancing local and federal policies that are responsive to the experiences of all members of the immigrant community, including LGBT individuals.
LGBT Asylum Task Force
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Asylum Task Force is a ministry of Hadwen Park Church and a community-based organization dedicated to supporting and empowering LGBTQI individuals who are seeking asylum in the United States.
Countries other than the United States grant asylum to LGBT refugees. The group ILGA Europe offers extensive lists regarding LGBT asylum seekers legal status country-by-country. This list is offered for both European and non-European countries. Access that listing here >> http://www.lgbt-fan.org/orgs-resources/supplemental-information/