University of Miami Race & Social Justice Law Review

Document Type



On June 15, 2012, President Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program, which was an exercise of prosecutorial discretion that provided temporary relief from deportation to youth known as Dreamers. On September 5, 2017, the Trump administration announced that it would begin phasing out the program. The fate of the program has recently been litigated in courts including the Supreme Court, with a decision pending from the Supreme Court anytime in 2020 (although there is a push to stall a decision due to the COVID-19 pandemic). In this article I discuss the historical context of DACA and its creation, as well as its current state. Then I analyze the country conditions of the top eight home countries of DACA recipients (Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, the Philippines, Colombia and the Dominican Republic), which allows me to demonstrate the risk that LGBTQ+ individuals face if they are deported back to their home countries. Finally, I give a detailed explanation of the forms of relief available if someone were to fall out of DACA status. I compare the experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals to their heterosexual counterparts to demonstrate the unique experiences that LGBTQ+ DACA recipients face. If LGBTQ+ DACA recipients are deported back to their home countries where few protections are in place, or if in place lack enforcement, they will face discrimination, beatings and possible exile. Furthermore, asking LGBTQ+ individuals to simply hide their identity and return to the “closet” also has its own psychological consequences often leading to suicide. The impact that Trump’s decision has on LGBTQ+ Dreamers is dire, and I hope this article sheds a light on why we must queer the dream.