According to a new groundbreaking report by the Center for American Progress LGBT individuals seeking asylum in the United States from persecution at home still face significant barriers despite decades of improvements to the asylum system. Neither the U.S. Citizen & Immigration Services or USCIS, nor the Executive Office for Immigration Review currently collects data on LGBT asylum claims making the issues that this community faces particularly difficult to understand & to quantify. Sharita Gruberg, CAP Senior Policy Analyst & Co-author of the report stated, “For many LGBT asylum seekers, gaining the strength & ability to leave their home countries in search of a life free of persecution is only the beginning, as the system makes it difficult for them to stay here. The barriers to asylum for LGBT individuals have not been quantified enough making fixes to the system difficult to identify. For the first time, we have a glimpse into the challenges they face & can promote specific recommendations to ensure that far fewer aren’t sent back to lives of dangerous persecution.” The report was released in conjunction with a major CAP event featuring former Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), a contributor to the report & major advocate for reforms to the asylum process for LGBT individuals while in Congress. A video created by CAP telling the story of one Azerbaijani asylum seeker’s persecution at home & the challenges faced once entering the system was debuted at the event.
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