There are as many as 250,000 undocumented LGBT immigrants in California. One of them is Diego Sepulveda, who was generous and courageous in sharing his story with EQCAI for this amazing video. Diego’s experience is like that of many undocumented LGBT people in our state. Watch the video below:
In the video, Diego explains that he was brought to America by his parents when he was just four years hold.
“If someone were to tell me that my home is in Mexico, I wouldn’t know how to respond…I came here when I was four and all my memories are here in the United States,” Diego says.
Today, Diego is the first member of his family to complete higher education and he’s not stopping there; he’s now working on on a master’s degree.
He’s flourishing now, but because of their immigration status, Diego and his family have face serious, even life-threatening hardship.
“For us,” Diego says, “When we needed to go the hospital, it was only when it was an emergency. We never really accessed preventative care.”
Diego even recalls one particularly terrifying experience where he was brought to a local clinic and then immediately to the nearest emergency room, all just minutes before his appendix burst. Without insurance, the bill for this emergency surgery was over $10,000.
Undocumented immigrants in California pay nearly $3.2 billion in state and local taxes, but are unable to access many of the public services to which they contribute.
“I believe that giving access to health care to the undocumented community comes out of acknowledgment that they matter too,” Diego says.
“And I want the state of California and I want this nation to know that people like my parents matter,” he says.
If you agree with Diego that the lives of LGBT and undocumented people matter, share this important story today and help him fight for fairness and justice.