For LGBTQ in API communities, precautions to take before Donald Trump takes office on Jan 20th
The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), a federation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations, issued the following reminders on what their members can do to protect themselves and their families before the Trump Administration begins.
Although these precautions likely will not be granted before Inauguration Day, they will be processed under the laws and rules while Obama has been in office.
Here are some prudent steps to take:
Change your Name/Gender on Federally-Issued IDs
President Obama’s administration allows people to change and update their federally-issued identity documents, including gender-marker on passport and names on social security cards. Even if Trump eliminates all of Obama’s executive directives, your updated passport will outlive a Trump presidency.
Although it is uncertain what Trump will do with current DACA enrollees, protect yourself by following the current rules:
• If you have DACA but it will expire in the next six months, file a mandatory renewal now. Not filing a renewal could subject you to noncompliance and makes you a higher priority for investigation.
• If you have never applied for DACA, consult an immigration attorney before filing an application.
Apply for Health Insurance
Apply for health insurance by December 15 to ensure coverage on January 1. Although Trump and congressional leaders have promised to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, the more people who are in the system now, the more difficult it will be to get rid of the system.
Apply for Political Asylum
If you are seeking political asylum in the U.S. based on your sexual orientation or gender-identity, you must follow the strict one-year time limitation for people to file an application from the date of entry. Trump cannot undo this. If you are seeking political asylum, consult with an attorney, and apply now.
Apply for a Green Card or Naturalization
If you are eligible for a green card or eligible to become a U.S. citizen, file your application now. Becoming a permanent resident or a citizen substantially increases your security to live in the U.S. Consult an attorney before filing any paperwork if you have any criminal history or entered the U.S. without permission
Same-Sex Marriage is Safe
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality, and Trump cannot undo marriages or take the right away. There is no need to rush to get married.
Protect your Relationship to your Children
If you have a child but do not have a legally recognized relationship, apply for a second-parent adoption or a joint adoption. NOTE: Your name on the child’s birth certificate may not be enough.
Prepare for Emergencies
Regardless of your relationship or family status, prepare for the event of a tragedy. Update your Last Will and Testament, Health Care Proxies, Medical and Financial Powers of Attorney, designation of guardians, and Living Wills. — National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance