Bill to Provide Immigration Equality Introduced In Congress
According tho the ACLU: Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) today introduced the Uniting American Families Act, a bill that would allow lesbian or gay U.S. citizens to sponsor their same-sex permanent partners for lawful permanent resident status. The bill provides a vital protection for families who otherwise may face permanent separation because of one partner’s immigration status.
Under U.S. immigration laws, citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their spouses for lawful permanent resident status. However, because same-sex partners of U.S. citizens or permanent residents are not considered “spouses” for immigration benefits, gay and lesbian U.S. citizens and permanent residents are barred from sponsoring their same-sex permanent partners. The Uniting American Families Act helps to rectify this inequality, and the American Civil Liberties Union urges Congress to pass the bill.
Joanne Lin, ACLU Legislative Counsel, emphasizes: “Without the Uniting American Families Act, bi-national same-sex couples live under the constant threat of deportation and permanent family separation. American ideals of equality and liberty extend to all people. The time has come for Congress to fix the discriminatory immigration laws that preclude same-sex couples from keeping their relationships and families intact.”
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