Did you know it is illegal to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender in over 80 countries around the world? Some countries even have the death penalty.
LGBT Asylum Seekers are fleeing horrific anti-LGBT violence in their home countries. They have come to the United States to be able to love without fear.
After all they have been through in their home countries---incarceration, beatings, forced marriage, mob violence, "corrective rape," torture, death threats --- you would think that the U.S. government would treat asylum seekers kindly. Instead, they have to fear incarceration in U.S. detention centers, and deportation back to the terrors they fled. They face a complex legal system requiring an experienced attorney.
To make matters desperate, the U.S. government forbids any government-funded programs from helping them. The cherry on the sundae? The U.S. government also forbids asylum seekers from working or earning money for a period of time that, with bureaucratic delays, can last for over a year. How are they supposed to eat or live during that time? Most LGBT asylum seekers have no family or friends here. They face hunger, homelessness, and anti-immigrant hate.
That's where the LGBT Asylum Support Task Force comes in. We welcome newcomers, find them a safe place to live, provide a stipend for food and other essentials, and help them find an asylum attorney, a trauma counselor, and a doctor. We provide a support system that includes other asylum seekers, some of whom have made it through the long process of becoming citizens. We comfort and encourage them, and help them through the adjustment period of becoming part of American society.
Since 2008, the LGBT Asylum Support Task Force has helped over 115 asylum seekers. We currently are housing and feeding 12 individuals in the Worcester, MA area. Every week we receive heartfelt pleas for help from new LGBT asylum seekers from all around the world, desperate for help. Our ability to help and house them is limited only by the amount of donations we receive. Your support will make a huge difference in their lives, now and into the future. Thank you for anything you can give.
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