Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Trump’s Immigration Policies Trap LGBTQ Immigrants in a Cycle of Violence, Incarceration, Deportation, and Persecution
Press Release

RELEASE: Trump’s Immigration Policies Trap LGBTQ Immigrants in a Cycle of Violence, Incarceration, Deportation, and Persecution

Washington, D.C. — President Donald Trump’s executive orders on immigration pose a unique threat to LGBTQ immigrants, according to an issue brief released today by the Center for American Progress. The brief shows that Trump’s expansion of offenses requiring deportation and the entanglement of immigration enforcement with local policing puts LGBTQ immigrants particularly at risk of violence, incarceration, and deportation—often to countries where they face persecution, more violence, and death. The brief follows Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement yesterday that the U.S. Department of Justice will prioritize prosecuting and incarcerating immigrants, including people who re-entered the United States to flee anti-LGBTQ persecution in their home countries.

The issue brief features two stories of LGBTQ immigrants who were trapped in the cycle of violence, incarceration, and deportation, one of which while seeking court protection from an abusive partner.

“Trump’s inhumane immigration enforcement executive orders have hit LGBTQ immigrants hard,” said Sharita Gruberg, Associate Director of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at CAP. “More collaboration between local law enforcement and immigration enforcement means greater profiling and harassment of LGBTQ immigrants; greater risk of deportation; and fewer LGBTQ immigrants seeking help for issues such as domestic violence. A system that arrests and detains a transgender domestic violence victim while seeking a protective order against an abusive partner is a broken system that doesn’t keep anyone safe.”

LGBTQ people face an overall higher likelihood of criminalization when compared with other populations. Due to discrimination and overpolicing, they are more likely to interact with law enforcement and are three times more likely to be incarcerated than the general population. One large contributing factor is the discrimination they face in basic aspects of their lives, such as employment and housing, leaving too many unemployed and homeless.

LGBTQ immigrants face similar discrimination and have the added threat of violence, incarceration, and deportation if they voluntarily interact with local law enforcement who are increasingly empowered by President Trump to work with immigration enforcement.

Click here to read the brief.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Tom Caiazza at or 202.481.7141.