Study: Approximately 900,000 adult immigrants identify as LGBT

Staff Reports

LOS ANGELES — A new study estimates that approximately 900,000 adults living in the U.S. are LGBT immigrants, and among them, more than 48,000 are in a same-sex relationship in which one or both spouses or partners are not U.S. citizens.

The study, released Friday by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of law, estimates there are approximately 267,000 LGBT-identified individuals among the adult undocumented immigrant population and an estimated 637,000 LGBT-identified individuals among the adult documented immigrant population.

Dr. Gary J. Gates, Williams Distinguished Scholar and an expert in the demographic, geographic, and economic characteristics of the LGBT population, said that under current immigration policies, many of those same-sex binational couples, along with the 24,000 children they are raising, may face separation if same-sex spouses or partners are not able to sponsor each other for a work visa.

The report also finds that approximately 71 percent of undocumented LGBT adults are Hispanic and 15 percent of undocumented LGBT adults are Asian or Pacific Islander.

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The study, “LGBT Adult Immigrants in the United States” suggests that 3.1 percent of undocumented immigrant men identify as LGBT compared to 2 percent of comparable women. LGBT undocumented immigrants are younger than the broader undocumented population.

Nearly half (49 percent) of LGBT undocumented immigrants are estimated to be under age 30 compared to 30 percent of all undocumented immigrants.

The full study is here (PDF).

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