Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘Immigration Equality’

28th May 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that there appears to be some further international competition occurring within discussions in the context of the recently vacated IMF Managing Directorship. To quote directly from a very insightful article appearing on the website rediff.com:

The scramble for International Monetary Fund managing director’s chair has escalated into a war of sorts with developing nations calling for a change in the power equation. Most of the developing nations seek an end to European dominance over the IMF’s top job. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said the developing countries should be together in the attempt to reform the global financial institutions.

The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read this story in full in order to gain further insight into the developing nature of this situation.

It is interesting to note that this posting brings up the apparently increasing international intrigue which seems to exist as the jockeying for the position of IMF Managing Director appears to continue unabated. The aforementioned post was recently vacated upon the arrest of former Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn in New York City. Mr. Kahn has yet to be proven guilty of a crime to the best of this blogger’s knowledge and therefore remains innocent until proven guilty pursuant to United States law. Relevant to that news the Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) raised the issue of broader international representation within the IMF in favor of developing nations with specific emphasis upon an Asian context. This announcement occurred virtually simultaneously (in a relative context) with a joint statement from the so-called BRICS nations. To quote further from Rediff.com:

Although some European nations have declared their support for French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, the BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — have issued a joint statement in Washington questioning the methodology of selection of IMF chief on the basis of nationality.

Although the BRICS have something relevant to say on that issue, certainly as relevant as the opinions held by the member nations of ASEAN, it is interesting to note that there appears to be some speculation regarding the efforts of China to secure some sort of position for a Chinese national within the International Monetary Fund. To quote further directly from Rediff.com

BRICS said it is time to ‘abandon the obsolete unwritten convention that requires that the head of the IMF be necessarily from Europe’. Meanwhile, unconfirmed news reports said that the European Union has offered the post of the deputy managing director of the IMF to a Chinese candidate in exchange for its support to Christine Lagarde.

Again, this blogger encourages readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks above to learn more.

This blogger was somewhat amused upon reading the paragraph noted above as the scene is placed in perspective as the angling for positions at the IMF can be seen to have the same political dynamics that may develop when seeking positions in other official capacities, in both a national and international context, as competition for such positions can be as political as the competition in the United States of America for an office in the public service at both the federal and State levels. It would seem that under the circumstances there must be someone whom all of these various factions can agree upon, but by all appearances a consensus is far from reached. An inability to find someone to fill the void could theoretically require further discussion.

In political matters of a more national complexion for American readers it recently came to this blogger’s attention that headway might be made in the struggle for equal LGBT rights. To quote directly from a very inspirational posting by the administration of the UnitingAmericanFamilies.Net website:

Immigration Equality reports that a hearing on UAFA before the Senate Judiciary Committee has been scheduled for June 3. I just have to believe that every phone call, every letter, every blog entry has got to have contributed to this. But this is just a hearing – not a vote, and then, even if it gets voted out of committee in the Senate, the same will have to happen on the House side, and then there will have to be votes by the full House and Senate (IF there are enough votes in the Senate to stop a Republican filibuster). So don’t for a second think that our work is done! Call your two senators and your one Congressperson. Tell your story…

The administration of this blog strongly recommends that readers check out the hyperlinks noted above as well as the overall website as it has a great deal of very pertinent information regarding the Uniting American Families Act, previously introduced into the United States House of Representatives by Representative Jerrold Nadler. There is an especially intriguing article regarding the difference between passage of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) and the repeal or overturning of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA), which this blogger finds repugnant to the Constitution on the grounds that it unnecessarily usurps the Several States’ sovereign power to license marriage within their jurisdiction, but it would appear that some feel the more modest measure of UAFA enactment would be a more effective remedy for this particular discrimination suffered by the American LGBT community, in both a bi-national and national context, at the hands of an overreaching federal government in a pique over the fact that they are not legally entitled to dictate to the several States what shall constitute a valid marriage. Six States, notwithstanding the District of Columbia, have already permitted such unions which in this blogger’s humble opinion, should be accorded Full Faith and Credit pursuant to the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution.

Bearing all of the above in mind, those interested in seeing the Uniting American Families Act, or any act like it; become law, are well advised to contact relevant federal representatives as any equitable relief to same sex bi-national couples currently separated by legislation such as DOMA would be better than the current legal situation in which they are now placed. Due to the currently applicable provisions of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” same sex bi-national married couples (even those who have a had a marriage solemnized and/or legalized by a sovereign American State) are not permitted to apply for the same United States immigration benefits as their different-sex counterparts. Passage and ultimate enactment of UAFA would at least permit same sex bi-national couples to petition and apply for substantially the same immigration benefits routinely accorded to different-sex couples.

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26th March 2010

In a recent posting on the Immigration Equality.org web log, the organization described the current situation with regard to Comprehensive Immigration Reform:

With healthcare out of the way, now is the time to act!

In the last few weeks, comprehensive immigration reform has been moved forward through a series of events. Senators Schumer and Graham have met with President Obama to outline a comprehensive immigration proposal. They presented that proposal in the Washington Post, and Obama released a statement of support. The President has also met with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus about moving comprehensive immigration reform forward. Finally, the March For American last Sunday brought over 200,000 supporters to Washington, DC demanding comprehensive immigration reform.

For those with loved ones in the Immigration system, an overhaul of the current apparatus is believed to be increasingly necessary. This belief is even more acute in the LGBT community as current United States law precludes bi-national same-sex couples from being accorded that immigration benefits that are regularly provided to different-sex couples. At the heart of this issue is the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which legally defines the term “marriage” as being between a man and a woman. Many in the LGBT community feel that this legislation should be repealed or thrown out by the US courts, but so long as it is the law it has a very detrimental impact upon those bi-national same sex couples who wish to receive American family based immigration benefits. The aforementioned blog post describes ways in which supporters of LGBT immigration rights can contact their representatives about Immigration reform:

“Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for your Representative and Senators. Tell them:

‘I urge you to support and to work to pass comprehensive immigration reform that includes the Uniting American Families Act.’

Call 3 times so you can talk to your Representative and two Senators!

If you want to speak to your representatives in person, the best time is during a Congressional Recess or on a weekend.

Congress is in recess during the following times:
• March 29 – April 9
• June 1 – June 4
• July 5 – July 9
• August 9 – September 10″

As with any legislative initiative, support must come from concerned citizens and the best way for citizens to voice their concerns is by contacting their elected representatives. Hopefully, through community action, legislative proposals such as Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) the dream of a better and more egalitarian immigration system will become a reality.

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20th July 2009

It would appear that although repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) may not be happening anytime during the current legislative session. For same sex partners of United States Citizens, there may be hope that United States Federal Immigration Law could be modified in order to allow for United States immigration benefits for Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Trans-gender (LGBT) Couples.

Under the current laws on the books, embodied in the United States Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), Bi-national LGBT couples are precluded from obtaining immigration benefits based upon their relationship. Therefore, the same sex partner of an American Citizen cannot obtain United States Lawful Permanent Resident (Green card) status based upon their relationship in the same way that foreign spouse or fiance could. It would appear that this situation may soon change.

According to CBS News:

“[M]ore than 100 lawmakers in the House and about 20 in the Senate have signed onto bills that would add the United States to the 19 countries that already recognize same-sex couples for immigration purposes.”

Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) is currently being considered in both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. Many lawmakers are hoping to amend the currently pending bills with proposed amendments to correct the immigration injustice being perpetrated against bi-national same-sex couples. However, the proposed amendments to this legislation do not come without challengers, further from CBS News:

“The long-standing fight over the country’s estimated 36,000 same sex couples of two nationalities is a small but emotional part of the debate over immigration reform. But including same-sex couples in the mix could make it harder to pass an immigration overhaul. A key ally in past immigration fights, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said it would not support a measure that has a same-sex provision.”

United States Representative Mike Honda is a supporter of the legislation aimed at ameliorating same-sex discrepancies in Immigration law. The so-called Re-Uniting American Families Act is similar to previous legislation known as the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA). In both proposals, an addition of the term “permanent partner,” will be made to the United States INA which will allow for a circumvention of the restrictions placed upon same sex couples under current federal law (DOMA).

President Obama has signaled his wish that some sort of US Immigration category be created that would allow same-sex couples to have benefits similar to different sex couples. There are questions among same-sex civil rights groups regarding just how much the President really supports their cause as the outcome of the same-sex immigration debate remains in doubt.

(This post is not legal advice. Contact a Licensed professional for legal advice. No lawyer-client relationship is created between the writer and any reader of this article.)

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