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African Human Rights Coalition Response to Trump First 100 Days

Harm to LGBTQI People, in Sum: *Neil Gorsuch now Justice of SCOTUS his impact on SCOTUS bench; *Revocation of Title IX Guidelines *Threats of defunding impacting the aging and women, including reproductive rights *Anti Environment measures *The Executive Orders *Appointment of known xenophobe and homophobe Jeff Sessions as Attorney General *Immigration raids and the deportations causing families much harm

* The alliances and White House connection to organizations designated by SPLC as Hate Groups

The above has an impact on LGBTI people and their various intersecting communities.

Against Immigrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers: The Executive Orders and Reduction in Refugee Quotas:

When it comes to immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, their families, organizations and agencies involved in related work, President Trump’s first hundred days can be described in a nutshell as disruptive, chaotic and harmful.

LGBTI people who are subject to government and family persecution in their countries of origin are reliant on the refugee and asylum systems to establish basic safety for their lives.

Trump attempted to bar the entrance of Muslims into the United States through his initial failed travel Executive Order ban, which also sought to suspend the entire US refugee program. Then he issues a second Executive Order banning travel into the US from seven countries based on the assertion that they are predominantly Muslim countries. In that order he also attempted to suspend the general US refugee program - thereby causing ongoing and unprecedented chaos within the refugee resettlement process for the U.S.A. This has had a direct impact on LGBTQI people seeking safety fro government and familial persecution, which most often is a matter of life or death.

These Executive Orders have been halted by several US Courts, and are now subject to Appeals process in the Courts. African HRC has obtained information from refugees and agencies in Africa which points to the fact that notwithstanding the halting of these EO’s by the Courts - which in effect demands that the US government and related agencies continue to process refugees and asylum seekers in accordance with US laws and treatise, the administration has succeeded in stalling the resettlement process for many refugees, already assigned and extremely vetted for resettlement in the USA. At this time it is difficult to distinguish the impact of the EO bans versus the change in refugee quotas. All said and done this has caused chaos and confusion. We have also found this is having an especially adverse affect on family reunification as prescribed by US law, and the unifying of same sex partners, who but for Trump’s intervention, would have been assigned the U.S.A. We are working on cases where a same-sex partners of refugees now already in the USA have been assigned Australia instead of the USA. This could mean that the partners may have years before they can be reunited. This is only one example of many noting the hardship. Refugees who we are in direct contact with are stressed and in panic mode, fearing that their stalled process may now cost them several more years in camps which are particularly dangerous for LGBTI people. As they tussle with the difficulties of being reassigned and in effect starting aspects of their resettlement process from square one. Some are wondering whether they should ask to return to the beginning of their process for reassignments so that they are not subject to Trump possibly having the power to keep suspending the US Refugee program by continuing to implement 120 day suspensions, ad infinitum. This comes with many unknown factors and could cost people their lives.

Also by threatening to defund the United Nations and the State Department, Trump places much upon which LGBT people rely in great jeopardy.

All said and done, Trump’s bigoted homophobic, Islamophobic and xenophobic policies have in a mere 100 days caused serious disruption and direct harm to the LGBT people and their interests both globally and in the USA. What can we expect hereafter?

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