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Fund to help LGBT undocumented immigrants opens today

SAN FRANCISCO -- The LGBT Dreamers Fund — made possible by more than $75,000 in contributions from LGBT movement leaders — has begun accepting applications, giving many young LGBT undocumented immigrants a chance to apply for the protections available under the President’s new program.

The President's program allows young people who were brought to the country as children to apply for relief from deportation and for two-year renewable work permits. The program is the result of several years of advocacy led by young undocumented people, who are known as “Dreamers” because of their active support of the federal “DREAM Act,” the stalled federal bill that would put Dreamers on the path to permanent U.S. residency and eventual citizenship.

A significant number of Dreamer leaders are members of the LGBT community and have been instrumental in making “coming out” as undocumented one of the DREAM Act movement's most effective organizing tactics.

Under current law, Dreamers are not eligible to work, making the DACA application fees of nearly $470 largely out of reach. The National Center for Lesbian Rights and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center rallied other LGBT organizations across the country to contribute to the LGBT Dreamers Fundto help young LGBT undocumented immigrants pay these fees.

Launched with a challenge grant from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, 49 organizations and individual leaders have contributed so far to the fund, which has been established at the Liberty Hill Foundation. Applicants can apply for the fund The LGBT Dreamers Fund will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for qualified candidates.

Fund contributors so far include:

- Aaron Belkin, executive director of the Palm Center

- Center on Halsted (Chicago)

- The Center/GLBT Community Center of Colorado

- Cream City Foundation (Milwaukee, Wisc.)

- The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada

- Centerlink

- Equality Federation

- Equality Maine

- Family Equality Council

- Freedom to Marry

- Gay City Health Project (Seattle)

- Gay Community Center of Richmond, Va.

- Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC)

- Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)

- Greater Palm Springs Pride

- GSA Network

- Horizons Foundation

- Human Rights Campaign (HRC)

- Immigration Equality

- Paul Kawata, executive director of the National Minority AIDS Council

- L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center

- Lambda Legal

- LGBT Center of Central PA

- LGBT Center of Raleigh, N.C.

- LGBT Project of the ACLU

- Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition

- MassEquality

- Mautner Project board and staff

- Metropolitan Charities

- National Center for Lesbian Rights

- National Coalition for LGBT Health

- National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund

- National Stonewall Democrats

- The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (New York City)

- One Colorado

- Out & Equal Workplace Advocates

- The OUTreach Center (Madison, Wisc.)

- Pride Foundation

- Pridelines Youth Services (Miami Shores, Fla.)

- Q Center (Portland, Ore.)

- Rainbow Community Center (Contra Costa, Calif.)

- Ruth Ellis Center (Detroit)

- The San Diego LGBT Community Center

- Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)

- Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN)

- San Francisco LGBT Community Center

- Transgender Law Center

- The Trevor Project

- True Colors

- And several additional individual donors

Those who to contribute to the fund can do so HERE.