The U.S. undocumented population includes at least 267,000 immigrants who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, according to a report released Friday.
The report, by the Center for American Progress, said that undocumented LGBT immigrants tend to be male and younger, less likely to be Hispanic and more likely to be Asian than the overall population that lacks proper immigration papers.
The report is based on an analysis by the Williams Institute at UCLA and comes as LGBT activists are drawing more attention than they have in past national debates over how to reform the immigration system.
LGBT immigrants in the country number nearly 1 million, according to the report, which is titled “Living in Dual Shadows.” The report included recommendations for addressing problems undocumented LGBT immigrants face.
“Because LGBT undocumented people find themselves at the intersection of two already marginalized groups —the LGBT population and the undocumented population— they are among society’s most vulnerable individuals,” the report said. “Passing an immigration reform bill with a direct road map to earned citizenship would lift these immigrants out of the shadows, treat them with the dignity that they deserve, and enable them to become full and equal participants in our society, economy, and democracy.”
The recommendations in the report include passing an immigration reform bill that would offer LBGT immigrants a path to legalization; ensuring that LBGT immigrants are included in provisions that address keeping families together; modifying detention and asylum standards so that they take into account specific problems that the LBGT face, including making sure that people in immigration detention have proper access to medication.
On Thursday, gay rights advocates won an important victory when President Obama signed the Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA, which expanded protections for gays and lesbians.
On March 27, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments against the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as the union of a man and woman.
The report recommends the overturning of the measure, known as DOMA.
“The repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act would then allow the federal government to treat all families equally for the purpose of family-based immigration,” the authors said.
Including LGBT immigrants in immigration reform has its opponents, including in the Latino community.
A coalition of Latino evangelical and Catholic groups are urging President Obama not to include same-sex marriage issues in immigration reform, according to the Christian Post.
While many Latino religious leaders have taken a high-profile role in the push for a pathway to legalization for undocumented immigrants, many also publicly oppose same-sex marriage.
But many Latinos support LGBT rights.
A poll released Friday showed that 64 percent of Latinos support including lesbian and gay couples in immigration reform measures. The poll, conducted by Latino Decisions, surveyed 500 registered Latino voters.
Elizabeth Llorente is Senior Reporter for FoxNews.com, and can be reached at Elizabeth.Llorente@Foxnews.com. Follow her on https://twitter.com/Liz_Llorente