Our BIPOC communities are facing a challenge like no other. The pandemic and the vaccination efforts have left our communities vulnerable to a deadly virus that sees no difference in people or shows any mercy on account of healthcare availability. Make the Road Nevada has partnered with Immunize Nevada to take the vaccine to where our gente are. Our team and that of Immunize Nevada are dedicated to keeping our community safe. These past few months we have had 2 vaccine clinics where people were able to come and be attended in their native language and were given access to the vaccine and other resources by caring individuals who are willing to go above and beyond to make sure we all come out of this pandemic together.
At our offices on Lamb and Bonanza, the heart of the Eastside, we saw our gente come with their families from all over to get vaccinated. One of the most common comments our team received was that they felt safer coming to our offices and being with our team than going elsewhere. This brings us so much joy to hear that our gente trust us to care for them on all fronts. We will continue to work for our community and hopefully soon, we can all be together again. Adelante Juntos! Si Se Puede!
Our gente are our gente. That being said, this Immigrant Heritage Month and PRIDE Month, we want to recognize the queer immigrants who are fighting for justice alongside us. Their stories are intertwined with the collective immigrant story and they should be heard and told.
Our community faces a lot of challenges regarding race, money, and systematic oppression, but when it comes to queer immigrants these challenges are magnified. By pushing through the exclusion and intolerance they fight to break through on the side of dignity and respect. Fighting for basic human rights and [having them denied] constantly dealing with the confusion and the exclusion that comes with being queer and an immigrant.
The right to a liveable wage and the right to a home is oftentimes not attainable for queer folks, even more so for queer immigrants. According to the American Progress, 15% of trans folks have reported making less than $10,000 a year and gay men earn 10-32% less than heterosexual men with similar qualifications and education levels.
Queer youth, at a young age, also experience the challenges of being queer in regards to mental health and accessibility to resources. According to NBC News, 2 in every 5 queer youth have ‘seriously considered suicide in the past year highlighting the need for more mental health resources among our queer youth.
LGBTQIA+ issues, not only happen in the U.S. but in many countries identifying as queer is life-threatening. Queer folks apply for asylum in hopes of escaping the dangers of their homelands where honor killings and queer shame are the norms. Watch one of the many queer asylum seeker stories below, then watch the second video about the process which LGBTQIA+ folks must go through in order to reach Asylum in the U.S.
June is Immigrant Heritage Month—it’s important that we acknowledge the value of the immigrant experience and the importance of their contributions to our daily lives. Their stories are filled with strength and sacrifice in hopes of a better future for themselves and their descendants. Immigrants are brave and strong and they, unfortunately, face so many hurdles in pursuit of a better future. These hurdles were made abundantly clear at the start of the pandemic when Immigrants were excluded from federal financial help though they were actively working to maintain this country at a time where most folks could not work. They filled the supermarket shelves and picked the food we ate. As a result of their labor, they showed once again, how essential they are to the very fabric of our country and its functionality. Make the Road NV and our partners worked together to produce a report of how exactly the pandemic was impacting the immigrant community in Nevada and that report is available here.
Our Immigrant community is actively trying to better this state and this nation to include them in relief now, and to be included in a direct pathway to citizenship. The immigration system is broken, this is no secret, but it is also incredibly difficult to navigate and can be frightening at times for families. In spite of there not being a pathway to citizenship, immigrants are involved members of society who advocate for their community and themselves. They teach others to love themselves and to not be afraid to speak up for themselves. Their stories are incredible. Our website has so many of these stories and we encourage you to take a minute and read them. They will not only bring you joy, but they will inspire you to join the fight for Immigrant Rights. As we celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month, remember their stories, and don’t forget to share yours.
Check out our new video in collaboration with PLAN NV.