Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘different-sex Immigration’

29th May 2010

For those who read this blog on a regular basis a common theme is that of LGBT immigration rights. US Immigration law, under current regulations including the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), dictates that Same-Sex Bi-National Couples are legally precluded from receiving US Immigration benefits based upon a legally solemnized same sex marriage, civil partnership, or civil union. That said, in recent years, Congressional Representatives such as Jerry Nadler have introduced legislation, often referred to as the Uniting American Families Act or simply UAFA, that would provide a means of applying for Immigration benefits for same-sex “permanent partners.” In previous blog posts, this author has discussed Comprehensive Immigration Reform and how changes in American Immigration law may, or may not, change the current rules in order to allow bi-national same sex partners to apply for family immigration benefits. In a previous blog post, we discussed recently proposed Comprehensive Immigration Reform legislation introduced by Illinois Representative Luis Gutierrez and how said draft legislation did not include provisions for same sex immigration benefits. On that note, the following was posted on the WashingtonBlade.com:

An influential pro-immigrant U.S. House member has endorsed including protections for LGBT bi-national couples as part of comprehensive immigration reform legislation. In a statement Thursday, Rep. Luiz Gutierrez (D-Ill.) said inclusion of language allowing LGBT Americans to sponsor foreign partners for residency in the United States is an important part of a broader reform bill. “Our efforts to fix our broken immigration system and protect basic civil rights are not truly comprehensive if we exclude same-sex couples,” he said. Standalone legislation that would enable an estimated 36,000 bi-national same-sex couples to stay together in the United States is known as the Uniting American Families Act. Proponents of the legislation have been seeking inclusion of UAFA as part of upcoming comprehensive immigration reform legislation in Congress. Gutierrez is schueduled to announce officially his support for inclusion of UAFA on Monday at a press conference in Chicago, Ill. Joining him at the conference will be Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) and gay Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), who also support inclusion of LGBT couples in immigration reform. Late last year, Gutierrez introduced his own version of comprehensive immigration reform legislation that was seen an alternative to the working bill expected later. However, even though Gutierrez is a co-sponsor of UAFA, the legislation didn’t include UAFA-like language. According to the statement from Gutierrez’ office, the lawmaker’s recent announcement means he’s “recommitting himself” to inclusion of specific UAFA-like language as part of comprehensive reform…

In the previous post in which this proposed Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) legislation was discussed this author found it unfortunate that LGBT Immigration issues were not mentioned in the provisions of the draft legislation. That said, this author is happy to see that the issue of Same-Sex and LGBT Immigration rights is being discussed within the context of CIR. Should it come to pass, Comprehensive Immigration Reform will likely represent one of the most important changes to Federal Immigration law in, at least, the past 25 years. With this in mind, the fact that LGBT Immigration is currently being discussed within the context of CIR at least hints at the possibility that US Immigration law will be modified in order to grant benefits to those couples who, at the time of this writing, cannot be re-united in the United States in the same manner as so-called “different-sex” couples.

For further related information please see: US Visa Thailand, K1 visa, same sex visa or same sex marriage.

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