In the Biden administration’s latest move to accommodate the transgender population, the Homeland Security agency that oversees lawful immigration will accept the gender selection of foreign nationals on official forms even if it does not match supporting documentation. Additionally, foreigners requesting immigration benefits do not need to submit proof of gender identity when submitting a request to change genders. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) explains in a recent policy change that “benefit requestors may self-select their gender marker (in an initial filing or a subsequent change to a prior gender selection), without the need to provide supporting documentation or to match the gender listed on their identity documents.” And that the new policy “removes the prior requirement that benefit requestors submit proof of their gender identity to change gender markers or to update their selected gender marker to match other supporting documentation.”
Since the agency’s inception over a century ago, foreign nationals seeking to enter the country legally have, among other things, been required to provide a gender marker on immigration forms and support their gender identity with documentation from their birth country. More recently, inspired by the madness surrounding transgender rights, USCIS allowed legal immigrants to change their gender marker with “documentation about their gender identity to support the requested change.” Under the new policy no documentation is required and immigrants can change their gender at will. “Removing evidentiary requirements regarding gender markers better ensures that all secure identity documents and biographic data are accurate, particularly for noncitizens who were unable to accurately state their gender in their initial applications or who may otherwise need an update to their gender marker,” USCIS writes in the new policy document, adding that “it also removes the burden imposed by requiring that requestors have to publicly discuss or provide documentation regarding the gender listed on their identity documents in order to obtain a benefit or service.”
The administration asserts that it changed a longtime federal policy to reduce barriers to travel, employment, services, and benefits for transgender immigrants. For those questioning how exactly the so-called “barriers” are being curtailed, USCIS explains that the revamped rule eliminates delays and prevents “discrimination and harassment due to inconsistent identity documents.” The agency did not reach the decision lightly and reveals that the policy change was made “in response to stakeholder feedback as well as recent changes made by a number of state and federal agencies.” Indeed, the new USCIS policy is part of a fierce governmentwide effort launched by the Biden administration to provide special accommodations to support those who identify as transgender, even though they make up less than one percent of the American population.
This includes the U.S. Census Bureau spending $10 million to research how to best add questions about sexual orientation and gender identity on surveys. The State Department is allowing all American citizens to select an X as their gender marker on U.S. passport applications. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the first federal agency to fly a transgender pride flag above its headquarters, will soon reveal its plan to “best serve LGBTQI+ Americans” based on a comprehensive study on “Measuring Sex, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation” conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the nation’s medical research agency. HHS is also using another “groundbreaking” taxpayer-funded study on how transgender Americans want to see themselves reflected on federal identifications. The Social Security Administration is eliminating a rule requiring transgender people to provide legal or medical documentation of their identity on official records. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency that enforces the nation’s workplace discrimination laws, will promote greater equity and inclusion for members of the transgender community by providing the option to select an X gender marker during the initial intake process of filing a discrimination charge. The Department of Education will update federal student aid forms to include gender identity when applying for federal financial aid, which the administration asserts will inform the agency about barriers “transgender and non-binary students face in the financial aid process.”