Biden Homeland Security: New Gender Marker Option for Immigration Benefits Applications

The Department of Homeland Security will now allow immigrants to indicate their preferred gender identity when applying for benefits, per a policy change made by the Biden Administration. 

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services said in a news statement on Friday that the agency would begin accepting the self-identified gender marker of applicants for immigration benefits immediately.

The publication clarified that a person’s chosen gender identity marker need not correspond with the gender identity marker listed on official documents. The revision also makes it clear that applicants for benefits do not have to provide evidence of their gender identity when requesting a change to their gender marker. The only exception to this is when applying for a replacement naturalization or citizenship document using Form N-565. 

Male and Female are the two binary options for identifying a person’s gender. D.H.S., however, has stated that it is exploring alternatives for adding a gender marker for non-binary or unspecified gender identities.

According to the news release, D.H.S. issued a Request for Public Input on barriers to USCIS services and benefits in April 2021. According to the responses received, the evidentiary requirements related to gender marker alterations make it more difficult for people to apply for immigration benefits. 

According to President Biden’s Executive Order 14012, Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans, stakeholders have discussed how this policy change will remove barriers and reduce burdens for applicants and petitioners in subsequent listening sessions with D.H.S.

Additionally, this advances the work of D.H.S. in accordance with Executive Orders 13988, Preventing and Combating Discrimination based on Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation, and 14091, Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Throughout the Federal Government. 

The announcement came the same day the White House condemned MAGA in a statement from President Biden in honor of Transgender Day of Visibility.

Contrary to President Biden’s statement, hundreds of harsh state bills are being advanced nationwide today that target transgender children and their families. He added that no one should be brave just to be themselves. 

Biden said anti-American acts like these have to stop. The national mental health crisis has been heightened by the bullying, discrimination, and political attacks that transgender children experience. Suicide is a serious thought for over half of the transgender youth, and concern for their kids’ futures is causing a lot of anxiety for loving parents. 

If a transgender teen is in trouble, the White House says they should dial 988 to reach the national suicide prevention and crisis hotline, then dial 3 to contact a counselor knowledgeable about how to aid LGBTQI+ teens. 

President Biden has pledged that his administration will continue to work toward ending discrimination, challenging unfair state laws, and protecting the rights of all people to live as they see fit.

His administration will never stop fighting toward a future where everyone can live without fear, where parents, educators, and entire communities rally around their children to ensure they feel safe and accepted no matter who they are or how they identify. 

In addition, President Biden stressed the importance of every member of the trans community knowing they are not invisible. Biden stated that everyone has worth since they are created in God’s likeness and deserve love, dignity, and respect. He noted that the trans community makes America stronger. 

His statements follow a shooting at a Christian school in Nashville, where a transgender man, age 28, killed six people, including three children.