So tired of the way things are. So many of us need truly comprehensive immigration reform NOW! LGBT binational families need Uniting American Families Act to pass. Many folks, including LlGBT binational families need Reuniting Families act to pass. LGBT families need Defense of Marriage Act to be revoked, or Respect for Marriage Act to pass.
Please help by doing what you can to educate and advocate for the solutions needed. Thanks.
Here’s some information I prepared for a workshop I will present. It can help you see what we are dealing with.
Legislation/Bills that affect us…
Focus on Immigration:
Immigration and Nationalization Act, INA
This is the law of the land as far as immigration goes. It allows American citizens to sponsor their spouse, parent or child for immigration to the U.S. Same-sex couples do not qualify because the U.S. government does not federally recognize same-sex marriage. Legislation first introduced more than 10 years ago seeks to change it.
Uniting American Families Act, UAFA
First introduced in 2000 as Permanent Partners Immigration Act, PPIA, this bill seeks to change Immigration and Nationalization Act, INA 1952, to add three words, “or permanent partner” where the word “spouse” appears as one of three allowable persons an American citizen can sponsor for immigration: a spouse, parent or child. Introduced under this name every Congressional session since 2005, UAFA is stalled in Congress at present. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-8) are the ones working on this for more than 10 years.
Reuniting Families Act, RFA
This bill was first introduced in 2009 and includes the language of UAFA in it to make this comprehensive immigration reform bill truly comprehensive, by including same-sex couples and families with non-U.S. spouses. Congressman Mike Honda, (D-CA-15) included LGBT families in his bill after I shared my story with him. It is at present stalled in the House.
Comprehensive Immigration Reform 2010/2011
Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL-4) and Senators Robert J. Menendez (D-NJ) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) have worked on bills in the past Congressional Session and the current one to fix the U.S. immigration system. We have been successful in convincing them to include LGBT couples and families. Current legislation is stalled in Congress.
Focus on Marriage:
Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA
Signed into law in 1996 by then-President Bill Clinton, DOMA defined marriage for America – federally –as one man and one woman only. That means LGBT American men and woman cannot sponsor their wives and husbands for immigration under INA. In 2011 there has been a lot of public activity about DOMA. The President and Attorney General have stated that it is unconstitutional, but it is still the law of the land and no effort to overturn it has been successful yet.
Respect for Marriage Act, RMA
This bill was introduced in March 2011, by Senator Dianne Feinstein, (D-CA). It specifically seeks to overturn DOMA by removing the federal one man, one woman definition of marriage. If this bill becomes law, LGBT Americans can sponsor their same-sex spouses for immigration because individuals will qualify as spouses and meet the definition of INA 1952.
Keep Informed and Help Us Please!
You can find out how your Senators and Representative have reacted to these bills by checking on the THOMAS (Library of Congress) website. Go to
See if they have co-sponsored one of these bills or not. If not, contact them and urge them to co-sponsor and support when it comes to a vote.
If they have co-sponsored, you can thank them and urge them to support it when it comes to a vote.
If they say they will not co-sponsor, do your best to share the story that thousands of men and women face being torn apart, even deportation, because of current U.S. immigration law and federal marriage definition today.
Remember, you can follow me on twitter @tornapartbook