Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘Same Sex Bi-National Couple’

13th May 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that a Congressman from the sovereign State of California has recently introduced legislation which is designed to improve the current American immigration system. It would appear that one of the proposed improvements would also provide immigration benefits to same sex bi-national couples. To quote directly from the Washington Blade at WashingtonBlade.com:

A U.S. House member from California on Thursday introduced family immigration legislation that includes language allowing gay Americans to sponsor their foreign partners for residency in the United States. Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) introduced the Reuniting Families Act, which has a provision that would protect bi-national same-sex couples as one of its six prongs to keep families together in the country.

Readers of this web log are strongly encouraged to click upon the hyperlinks above to find out further details on this unfolding story.

This blogger personally found it interesting that this bill would also address grievances held by Lawful Permanent Residents (Green Card holders) and their families. To quote further from the aforementioned article:

In addition to including UAFA-like language, Honda’s legislation would help shorten the wait times that can keep legal immigrants and their overseas loved ones separated for years. The bill would classify spouses and children of permanent U.S. residents as “immediate relatives” and exempt them from numerical caps on immigration.

It is genuinely unfortunate that some find themselves caught up in the immigration process for substantial periods of time awaiting adjudication of their immigration and visa matters.

Those unfamiliar with the provisions of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), as recently re-introduced in the Federal legislature by Representative Jerrold Nadler, should note that this legislation would circumvent the current provisions of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) which currently separates a large number of bi-national couples since the federal government will not recognize same sex unions for purposes of distributing federal benefits. Upon enactment of legislation similar to that noted above, same sex bi-national couples could be eligible to receive American immigration benefits in the form of travel documents such as the K-1 visa (US fiance visa) or the CR-1 visa (US Marriage Visa). Currently same-sex couples cannot obtain these immigration benefits in the same manner as their different-sex counter parts. This is true in spite of the fact that multiple sovereign American States currently solemnize, legalize, and/or recognize same sex marriage or marital unions. As can be gathered from previous postings on this blog, this state of affairs is questionably Constitutional and for that reason there are currently cases arising in the State of California and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts which would overturn at least portions of DOMA.

It is heartening to see more legislators joining the struggle for further equality in America. Readers and proponents of this legislation can, at this time, only hope that further action will be taken in Washington D.C. to see that the current valid grievances of the LGBT community are redressed.

For those interested in learning more about this legislation please check out the official website of Representative Mike Honda.

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10th May 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the United States Navy, that indomitable symbol of America’s prowess on the high seas, has taken steps to begin solemnizing marital unions between those of the same gender. To quote directly from the Huffington Post:

WASHINGTON — Navy chaplains will be trained about their ability to perform same-sex civil marriage ceremonies under new guidance that would take effect if the Defense Department moves to recognize openly gay military service. Navy officials said Monday that they updated the training after questions came up about civil ceremonies for gay couples. Military training to apply the new law allowing gays to serve openly began earlier this year, and is expected to be complete by mid-summer.

For those who are unfamiliar with this topic it should be noted that the relatively recent repeal of the so-called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy has resulted in the need for measures to integrate members of the LGBT community into the American armed forces. One component of such an integration is that same sex couples be permitted to marry, especially in State jurisdictions which explicitly allow such unions. However, this issue is not exactly “cut and dried,” to quote further from the aforementioned article:

The Navy ceremonies would be allowed at military facilities such as chapel and catering centers, but only in states that already recognize same-sex unions. And, even if a marriage is performed, same-sex partners would not get any health, housing or other benefits that are provided to married couples involving a man and woman.

The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers to click on the hyperlinks noted above to read this story in detail and learn more about these issues.

Clearly, there exists a States’ Rights component to the analysis of same sex marriage especially in light of the fact that 6 sovereign States and the District of Columbia have begun legalizing and solemnizing same sex marital unions within their respective jurisdictions. However, the final sentence of the above quotation should be concerning to same sex bi-national couples and the LGBT community as a whole. Although it is certainly positive that the American Navy is taking steps to begin solemnizing same sex unions while the overall legal stature of such unions is being determined, same sex couples are likely to continue to find themselves the victim of discrimination and double standards within the current American legal system.

Presently, there are cases in the judicial system which address these issues, but they have yet to take legal effect. Meanwhile, legislators such as Representative Jerrold Nadler have supported legislation such as the Respect for Marriage Act and the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) which would deal with the American government’s current discrimination against the LGBT community. Until such time as federal legislation is passed to repeal the provisions of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA), or judicial action is taken to overturn this legislation, it would appear likely that same sex couples will continue to be the object of discrimination notwithstanding the fact that such discrimination (regardless of whether it is being carried out under the “color of law”) violates Americans’ natural rights pursuant to ancient notions such as Magna Carta and the specific provisions protecting free association within the language of the U.S. Constitution. Meanwhile, there is a strong argument that the federal government’s current failure to recognize same sex marriages solemnized and/or legalized within the jurisdiction of a sovereign American State violates the 10th Amendment of the Constitution since the provisions thereof reserve certain rights to the American States and People, respectively.  Licensure of marriage in an intrastate context has long been viewed by many Constitutional scholars as an exclusively State prerogative.

For related information please see: LGBT Immigration.

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4th May 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the recently announced Presidential candidate Representative Ron Paul noted his reaction to hearing the news of the demise of terrorist Osama bin Laden. To quote directly from an interesting article posted on the official website of The State Column, thestatecolumn.com:

Texas Rep. Ron Paul said Tuesday that he was delighted to hear of the death of Osama bin Laden.

The Texas Republican, and potential Republican presidential candidate, discussed the killing of bin Laden on The Diane Rehm Show, saying he is “still looking for more information” concerning the details of the killing.

Mr. Paul said he supported the killing of bin Laden, adding that he voted for the authority to go after those responsible for 9/11.

The administration of this blog recommends readers click upon the hyperlinks above to learn more from this insightful story.

On a somewhat related matter (related as both stories pertain to U.S. politics), but certainly of likely interest to readers of this blog, it would appear as though the Immigration Equality Action Fund has taken steps to build a coalition of businesses in favor of enactment of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA). To quote directly from the official website of the Immigration Equality Action Fund, ImmigrationEqualityActionFund.org:

Immigration Equality Action Fund created the Business Coalition for the Uniting American Families Act to engage global companies who are fed up with the loss of talented LGBT employees due to immigration restrictions. The Coalition is a group of global businesses calling on Congress to pass the Uniting American Families Act, S. 424/H.R. 1024.

The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read about this information in detail. Furthermore, readers are encouraged to take note of those companies which have shown their support for the rights of the American LGBT community.

For those unfamiliar with this issue, the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), recently reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Jerrold Nadler, would provide immigration benefits for the “permanent partners” of United States Citizens and/or Lawful Permanent Residents thereby circumventing the current (questionably Constitutional) legal restrictions barring the granting of federal benefits to those who are in a same sex marriage or intending to enter into a same sex marriage upon lawful admission to the United States of America. Such discrimination currently exists pursuant to the provisions of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA). The reader is encouraged to note that these current restrictions exist notwithstanding the fact that a number of sovereign American States have voiced their support for same sex marital unions. Most notable for those interested in the legal ramifications of this issue: the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of California have seen cases pertaining to these issues, but as of yet, the issue remains in a sort of stasis as the wheels of justice slowly turn.

As the 2012 election approaches it is noteworthy how varied the issues are likely to be even as they comprise the spectrum of presidential debate topics.

For related information please see: Respect for Marriage Act or Full Faith and Credit Clause.

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21st March 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Immigration Equality Action Fund Blog is reporting that Americans are calling upon the Department of Homeland Security to change its policy regarding Lawful Permanent Resident status for LGBT spouses of American Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents. To quote directly from the Immigration Equality Action Fund Blog:

In an interview published last night, Immigration Equality executive director Rachel B. Tiven calls on the Department of Homeland Security to stop denying green card applications filed by spouses of LGBT Americans.

Those who are unaware of the issues surrounding the debate for equal immigration benefits for the LGBT community should note that pursuant to the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) the United States Federal government is prohibited from granting immigration benefits to same sex bi-national couples even though such benefits are routinely granted to different-sex couples. Meanwhile, a number of sovereign American States have heeded the call of their citizenry and taken measures which would allow legal recognition for marriages between individuals of the same sex. Notwithstanding that a marriage may be legalized and solemnized by a sovereign US State, such as Massachusetts, for example; the Federal government still will not recognize said marriage pursuant to the provisions of DOMA. To quote further from the Immigration Equality Action Fund Blog:

“It is imperative that the administration stop breaking up families based on a law that it says is unconstitutional,” Tiven told reporter Andrew Harmon. “We’re calling on the Department of Homeland Security to stop denying green card applications for the spouses of American citizens.”

As noted above, the result of continued enforcement of DOMA in an immigration context is the constant and continued partition of bi-national families. It would appear as though proponents of equal LGBT rights are hoping that DHS can take some steps to alleviate what is, for some, an increasingly untenable situation. To quote further from the Immigration Equality Action Fund Blog:

Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) – both important leaders on LGBT and immigration issues in Congress – joined Immigration Equality’s call for a halt to deportations involving legally married spouses. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand also weighed in, telling reporters that, ““The recent news of deportations involving legally married gay and lesbian binational couples is heartbreaking.”

This blogger highly encourages readers to click on the above links to learn more about the Immigration Equality Action Fund and the struggle for equal rights in the LGBT community. It should be noted that Representative Jerrold Nadler has been a strong proponent of legislation such as the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), legislation designed to provide immigration benefits to same sex bi-national couples.

There have been many sovereign US States that have shown “true grit” in the struggle for equal LGBT rights, privileges, immunities, and protections. States such as Massachusetts, Iowa, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut as well as the District of Columbia have shown support for the struggle of equal rights for LGBT families. Meanwhile, continued enforcement of the provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) keep bi-national same sex couples from attaining equal immigration benefits when compared to their different-sex counterparts.

The issue of same sex marriage and equal rights for same sex couples is something that some have suggested is a divisive issue, but in this blogger’s opinion it need not be. For example, this blogger comes from a State (the State of Kansas) that explicitly forbids same sex marriage (yes, notwithstanding the State of Kansas’s position on same sex marriage this blogger feels that the right to marry whom one chooses is a civil right guaranteed to individuals under the U.S. Constitution that should be granted to those in Kansas as well as everywhere else in the USA, but the following analysis is primarily concerned with the same sex marriage issue in an interstate context). There are some who argue that this means that the State Courts are barred from recognizing same sex marriages legalized in other States. This blogger would argue that a different interpretation of the Full Faith and Credit Clause would allow a State such as Kansas to acknowledge that a legal marriage between two people of the same sex exists in fact in another American jurisdiction (say, Massachusetts, for example). Concurrently, the provisions of a State Constitution may prohibit any further State recognition or execution of a same sex divorce, but such a scenario is certainly better than the current state of affairs where no same sex couples are granted any type of Federal or interstate marital recognition at all. That said, none of these issues has yet to be fully resolved so any analysis remains speculation.

For related information please see: same sex visas.

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31st January 2011

The issue of Federal recognition of same sex marriage is one which remains stuck in this bloggers mind like a splinter. The issue is vexing because the United States Federal government has clearly usurped sovereign State prerogatives on the issue while simultaneously trampling upon individual civil rights to equal protection under the laws of the United States as well as the fundamental Constitutional right to freely and peaceably associate with whomever one wishes to associate with. That said, the issue is, in this blogger’s opinion, best analyzed pursuant to the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution of the USA.

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) currently prohibits the United States Federal government from recognizing a marriage or civil union between two individuals of the same sex. Most legal scholars approach the issue of same sex marriage and the preclusion of Federal recognition from a civil rights perspective. Although this blogger wholeheartedly agrees that LGBT rights issues do generally fall under the umbrella of civil liberties, the ramifications of DOMA upon the sovereign American States is the most unfortunate aspect of the current state of affairs.

To quote directly from Wikipedia.com:

In Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Washington, D.C., marriages for same-sex couples are legal and currently performed.

This is important to note as there are American States which explicitly prohibit the recognition of marriages between two people of the the same sex. Conversely, as noted above, there are currently five (5) states which allow same sex marriage. This has lead to a situation in which there is little interstate uniformity regarding this issue. As their site puts things so succinctly it may be best to quote Wikipedia.com’s entry on this issue further:

There has been much speculation on the clause’s possible application to same-sex marriage, civil union, and domestic partnership laws and cases, as well as the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment. Between 1996 and 2004, 39 states passed their own laws and constitutional amendments, sometimes called “mini DOMAs,” which define marriage as consisting solely of opposite-sex couples. Most of these “mini DOMAs” explicitly prohibit the state from honoring same-sex marriages performed in other states and countries. Conversely, several states have legalized same-sex marriage, either legislatively or by state supreme court judgment.

The United States Supreme Court has not ruled on how (if at all) these laws are affected by the Full Faith and Credit Clause. However, in August 2007, a federal appeals court held that the clause did require Oklahoma to recognize adoptions by same-sex couples which were finalized in other states.[18]

If the Full Faith and Credit clause is given its traditional interpretation, it has no application to same-sex marriage, and the DOMA legislation is superfluous and even dangerous, as it may lead to a misconstruction of the Full Faith and Credit clause. If a state is required to recognize a same sex marriage, it will be pursuant to the Equal Protection Clause, as was the case with respect to interracial marriages.

The final paragraph of this citation is most notable to this blogger as it is the section in which he is in disagreement. To understand the reasoning behind this blogger’s disbelief in the assertions stated in this Wikipedia.com posting one must first read the actual text of the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the US Constitution:

Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

It is virtually self-evident, in this author’s opinion, that the plain language of the Full Faith and Credit Clause will compel broad recognition of same sex marriage in the USA. Rather than looking at the issue from a civil rights perspective (which requires lengthy analysis into what are, in this author’s opinion, superfluous issues such as personal or religious feeling regarding same sex marriage which have no place in a reasoned legal analysis of the issue) simply examine the plain language of the Clause itself. The clause explicitly states that Full Faith and Credit SHALL be given to the public RECORDS of every other State.

What does this mean from a practical perspective? To use a hypothetical: two people of the same sex go to the State of Iowa (a jurisdiction which, according to a citation above, both recognizes and solemnizes same sex marriage) and get married. To quote the official Iowa County, Iowa website:

Iowa Vital Records are official registrations of births, deaths and marriages. Certified copies of Vital Records can be obtained from a County Recorder’s office or the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Once an official record is made of a registered same sex marriage does not the Full Faith and Credit Clause operate to compel interstate recognition of such a record? One would think, but there are exceptions to this kind of broad application of the Full Faith and Credit Clause as States which have clear public policies in conflict with foreign State Judgments, Acts, or Records may be permitted to ignore such Judgments, Acts, or Records (foreign judgments always seem to be accorded more preference from an interstate enforcement standpoint).

InterState recognition of same sex marriage, or as this blogger prefers to refer to it: Horizontal Full Faith and Credit of same sex marriage; is not really the main thrust of this post as the more pressing concern for the purposes of this article is Federal recognition of same sex marriage notwithstanding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The interstate implications of some states fully recognizing same sex marriage while other states fail to recognize such unions are interesting topics, but the main issue of this posting is what this blogger refers to as Vertical Full Faith and Credit. Namely, Federal recognition of same sex marriage lawfully solemnized in a sovereign State. Since when was the United States Federal government able to pick and choose which State laws it was willing to recognize? To quote directly from USLegal.com:

The full faith and credit doctrine as applicable to the federal courts in recognizing the records and judicial proceedings of state courts is contained in 28 U.S.C. § 1738.  The full faith and credit rule pertains to recognition by state courts of the records and judicial proceedings of courts of sister States; this includes every court within the United States.  This provision also includes recognition of the records and proceedings of the courts of any territory or any country subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.  By this provision, the federal courts are also bound to give to the judgments of the state courts the same faith and credit that the courts of one State are bound to give to the judgments of the courts of their sister States…

Pursuant to a plain language analysis of the Constitution it is this author’s opinion that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional as it requires the Federal government to disregard the Acts, Records, and Judgments creating same sex marital relationships within the jurisdiction of Sovereign States in direct violation of the plain language of the Full Faith and Credit Clause itself. Although there is a Civil Rights perspective to this issue, the major point that should not be overlooked is that fact that the US Congress is attempting, through enforcement of the Defense of Marriage Act, to dictate to the States what shall constitute a valid marriage. In the past, legalization and solemnization of marriage was within the exclusive bailiwick of the State especially as such matters tend to pertain to public health and safety issues.

This has very large practical implications especially for same sex bi-national couples as the Federal government, pursuant to DOMA, cannot grant American family visa benefits to the same sex partner of a US Citizen (notwithstanding the fact that the couple may have solemnized a legally binding marriage within one of the sovereign American States that allows same sex marriages). Hopefully this injustice will be dealt with soon as it is unfortunate that the rights of the States and the people are being disregarded as a result of DOMA’s continued enforcement.

In recent months, efforts have been made to pass legislation such as the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA). Bills such as this would mitigate some of the discrimination which is routinely deployed against same sex bi-national families as the language of the proposed bill (and that of those similar to it) would allow for the “permanent partners” of American Citizens and lawful permanent residents to apply for US visa benefits in much the same manner as foreign fiancees and spouses of US Citizens and lawful permanent residents. This legislation, and that like it, is a good step in the right direction, but it does not address the myriad legal rights and privileges routinely deprived to same sex couples under the current Federal regime.

For related information please see: Same Sex Partner Visa.

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21st December 2010

This blog was not very adept at staying on top of the issues surrounding the so-called DREAM Act which would have made a great deal of progress in dealing with issues pertaining to the children of undocumented immigrants wishing to regularize their status in the United States. Recently, it was reported the the DREAM Act legislation was effectively derailed through use of cloture in the United States Senate. The American Immigration Lawyers Association has been working diligently to try to assist in this bill’s passage, but to no avail. To quote directly from the website of AILA:

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is disappointed that, after successful passage in the House, the Senate failed to advance the bipartisan DREAM Act this morning. The legislation did not garner enough votes to overcome a procedural hurdle, even though with 55 votes it had the support of a majority of the chamber’s lawmakers.

“It was with a heavy heart that I watched the DREAM Act deferred to yet another Congress. After the historic House victory and the tremendous outpouring of grassroots support for this legislation that would help deserving young people, today’s failed cloture vote is a wrong-headed dénouement,” said AILA President David Leopold who watched the legislative proceedings from Capitol Hill.

“It was sad to see some U.S. Senators putting politics before principles to vote no on cloture, thereby attaching their names to the wrong side of history. The DREAM Act did not pass today, but inevitably it will be law.”

The DREAM Act’s failure is disappointing for many, but there are those who still believe that the most pressing issue in the realm of United States Immigration is that of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA). Passage of this legislation would alleviate the current restrictions placed upon same sex or LGBT bi-national couples who wish to be reunited in the USA. Under the provisions of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) same sex couples, even those lawfully married in a jurisdiction within the United States of America, cannot obtain the same family based visa benefits compared to their different sex counterparts. There are many who seem to feel somewhat frustrated by the fact that other legislation such as the DREAM Act has gained traction on Capitol Hill while legislation such as UAFA, or legislation which includes  UAFA-like language, has not garnered such substantial support. To quote from a posting posted prior to the DREAM Act’s Senate vote by Melanie Nathan on the Lezgetreal.com blog:

The US has yet to enact laws that will prevent gay and lesbian couples from having to exile to stay with foreign partners or from partners facing deportation.  The discrimination in the USA is based on the fact that same-sex partners are specifically excluded from Federal rights – such as the right to sponsor a spouse for a green card, because of the Defense of Marriage Act. (DOMA)

There are some who would argue that DOMA violates the notions of state sovereignty and individual civil liberties enshrined in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights by depriving US Immigration benefits to LGBT couples while granting them to different sex couples. Bearing this in mind, it ought to be noted that the States’ Rights arguments in favor of overturning DOMA became much more potent after some American States began recognizing and solemnizing same sex unions. There are some who feel that the final decision in this matter may ultimately be made by the US Supreme Court as cases are currently proceeding through the US judicial system which could overturn DOMA. It still remains to be seen whether DOMA will remain in force, be circumvented through use of UAFA, or be overturned by the US Courts. In any case, there are many who hope that some sort of solution arrives soon as many bi-national families remain separated as a result of DOMA’s continued enforcement.

For related information please see: LGBT Visa.

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12th October 2010

ตามที่ได้กล่าวถึงในบทความก่อนแล้วเรื่องการที่จะมีการออกกฎหมายคนเข้าเมืองของ LGBT(กลุ่มเลสเบี้ยน เกย์ ไบเซ็กชวลและผู้ที่แปลงเพศ)และการที่คู่เพศเดียวกันมองหาสิทธิที่เท่าเทียมกันในกฎหมายคนเข้าเมืองอเมริกัน เมื่อเร็วๆนี้มีการอ้างถึงในเว็บไซต์ lezgetreal.com ซึ่งเป็นเว็บไซต์ของสมาชิกวุฒิสภาสหรัฐโรเบิร์ต เมเนนเดซซึ่งมีการนำเสนอการปฏิรูปการเข้าเมือง อ้างถึงเมลินีน นาธานจากเว็บไซต์ที่กล่าวไว้ก่อนหน้านี้

เคทรี ดราสกี้จาก OUT4Immigration กลุ่มของคนส่วนมากที่เป็นสามัญธรรมดาได้จัดกิจกรรมและเขียนจดหมายรณรงค์ตามที่ประกาศอยู่ในเว็บ www.Out4Immigration.org

บล็อกวันนี้ซึ่งสมาชิกวุฒิสภาสหรัฐโรเบิร์ต เมเนนเดซ (D-NJ)นำเสนอการตรากฎหมายเพื่อการปฏิรูปการเข้าเมืองซึ่งเป็นเรื่องที่ครอบคลุมถึงบทบัญญัติของคู่เพศเดียวกัน

การบรรลุผลสำเร็จที่ยิ่งใหญ่เกิดขึ้นหลังจากหลายเดือนของ” โทรศัพท์ จดหมาย และการเข้าเยี่ยมผู้แทนคองเกรสและเจ้าหน้าที่ของOut4Immigration, Immigration Equality บุคคลและกลุ่มบุคคลอุทิศตนเพื่อยุติความแตกต่างของ LGBT(กลุ่มเลสเบี้ยน เกย์ ไบเซ็กชวลและผู้ที่แปลงเพศ) กับคู่ชาวต่างชาติซึ่งรู้จักกันในนาม “คู่เพศเดียวกัน”

ยังคงเป็นเรื่องที่ไม่แน่ชัดว่า การตรากฎหมายจะได้รับการอนุมัติจากสภาคองเกรสสหรัฐจนเป็นกฎหมายสหรัฐอเมริกา แต่ในเบื้องต้นของการตรากฎหมายนั้นสองคดีในศาลกลางของสหรัฐอเมริกาที่จะช่วยเพิ่มความเป็นไปได้ในการเปลี่ยนแปลงข้อบังคับของคู่เพศเดียวกันภายใต้พระราชบัญญัติคุ้มครองการแต่งงาน (DOMA)

มีผู้ที่เห็นว่าพระราชบัญญัติการปฏิรูปการเข้าเมืองนั้นอาจจะไม่สามารบังคับเป็นพระราชบัญญัติอย่างหลีกเลี่ยงไม่ได้เนื่องจากต้องมีการอนุมัติในกระบวนการร่างขั้นตอนสุดท้าย กระบวนการตรากฎหมายนั้นยังไม่เสร็จสิ้นจนกระทั่งจะ ได้รับการอนุมัติจากทั้งสภาคองเกรสสหรัฐและวุฒิสภาด้วยการอนุมัติของประธานาธิบดี ประธานาธิบดีควรเลือกที่จะคัดค้านการตรากฎหมาย อาจจะไม่มีการเปลี่ยนแปลงข้อบังคับการเข่าเมืองที่ใช้อยู่ในปัจจุบันเกี่ยวกับสิทธิประโยชน์ของคู่เพศเดียวกัน (แม้แต่คู่ที่แต่งงานอย่างถูกต้องตามกฎหมายในบางรัฐ) นอกจากนี้ การเปลี่ยนแปลงร่างพระราชบัญญัติในขั้นสุดท้ายของการการอนุมัติ อาจจะไม่มีการเปลี่ยนแปลงสถานการณ์ในปัจจุบันของคู่เพศเดียวกัน ดังนั้นจนกระทั่งการตรากฎหมายได้รับการอนุมัติ ทั้งผู้สนับสนุนและผู้คัดค้านยังคงจัดการรณรงค์ด้วยเหตุผลของแต่ละฝ่าย

Please follow this link to see this post in English: Same Sex marriage visa

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11th October 2010

The issue of Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) is frequently discussed on this blog as it could be one of the most significant issues of the forthcoming legislative sessions as so many individuals could be impacted by changes to the laws upon which the American Immigration system is based. With that in mind, this author discovered an interesting question and answer session between members of the American press and President Barack Obama. The following is a direct quotation from the transcript of this Q & A session as posted upon the American Immigration Lawyers Association website. To quote the transcript and the President directly:

I have consistently, even before I was a presidential candidate, but when I was a U.S. senator and when I was running for U.S. senator, said that we have to move forward on comprehensive immigration reform.

Bill Richardson and I have had a lot of conversations about this. This is a nation of immigrants. It was built on immigrants — immigrants from every corner of the globe who brought their talent and their drive and their energy to these shores because this was the land of opportunity. Now, we’re also a nation of laws so we’ve got to make sure that our immigration system is orderly and fair. And so I think Americans have a legitimate concern if the way we’ve set up our immigration system and the way we are securing our borders is such where people just kind of come and go as they please, well, that means that folks who are waiting, whether it’s in Mexico City or in Nairobi, Kenya, or in Warsaw, Poland — if they’re waiting there filling out their forms and doing everything legally and properly and it takes them five years or six years or 10 years before they’re finally here and made legal, well, it’s not fair to them if folks can just come and ignore those laws.

So what we — I think is so important to do is for us to both be a nation of laws and affirm our immigrant traditions. And I think we can do that. So what I’ve said is, look, yes, let’s secure our borders; yes, let’s make sure that the legal immigration system is more fair and efficient than it is right now because if the waiting times were lessened then a lot of people would be more prone to go through a legal route than through an illegal route; let’s make sure that we’re cracking down on employers who are taking advantage of undocumented workers to not pay them overtime or not pay them minimum wage or not give them bathroom breaks; let’s make sure that we’re cracking down on employers to treat all workers fairly. And let’s provide a pathway to citizenship for those who are already here, understanding that they broke the law, so they’re going to have to pay a fine and pay back taxes and I think learn English, make sure that they don’t have a criminal record. There are some hoops that they’re going to have to jump through, but giving them a pathway is the right thing to do.

Now, unfortunately, right now this is getting demagogued. A lot of folks think it’s an easy way to score political points is by trying to act as if there’s a “them” and an “us,” instead of just an “us.” And I’m always suspicious of politics that is dividing people instead of bringing them together. I think now is the time for us to come together. And I think that economically, immigrants can actually be a huge source of strength to the country. It’s one of our big advantages is we’ve got a younger population than Europe, for example, or Japan, because we welcome immigrants and they generally don’t. And that means that our economy is more vital and we’ve got more people in the workforce who are going to be out there working and starting businesses and supporting us when we’re retired, and making sure Social Security is solvent. All those things are important.

So this is a priority that I continue to have. Frankly, the problem I’ve had right now is that — and I don’t want to get into sort of inside baseball by Washington. But basically the rules in the United States Senate have evolved so that if you don’t have 60 votes, you can’t get anything through the United States Senate right now. And several years ago, we had 11 Republican senators who were willing to vote for comprehensive immigration reform, including John McCain. They’ve all reversed themselves. I can’t get any of them to cooperate. And I don’t have 60 Democrats in the Senate.

And so we’re going to have to do this on a bipartisan basis. And my hope is, is that the Republicans who have said no and have seen their party I think use some unfortunate rhetoric around this issue, my hope is, is that they come back and say, you know, this is something that we can work on together to solve a problem instead of trying to score political points. Okay?

One major concern voiced by those making visa petitions and applications outside of the United States is that of the seeming inequities posed by the possibility of some sort of an amnesty for undocumented aliens currently in the United States. Many prospective immigrants feel that it is somewhat unjust to allow those who broke immigration rules at the outset to be granted a benefit while those waiting for their visa petition or application to process through various agencies and Departments are not accorded any special treatment while they assiduously obey relevant American Immigration laws. When one ponders this situation it would seem rather obvious that the current system is in need of reform, but as the President’s remarks imply, the problem is multi-faceted and cannot be solved quickly or easily as so many individuals and organizations have considerable interests which could be effected by a change to current US Immigration laws, regulations, and policies. Hopefully, some sort of framework can be devised which will deal with the plight of undocumented aliens while maintaining some sort of equitable position for those who chose not to travel to the USA without proper documentation.

Meanwhile, there are many who hope that any Comprehensive Immigration Reform legislation will address the issues associated with same-sex bi-national couples who wish to enjoy immigration benefits equal to those of their different-sex counterparts. In the past, legislation such as the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) was introduced in an effort to remedy the current restrictions imposed by provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), but such legislation has yet to be passed by the American Congress. It was recently announced that a bill proposed in the US Senate would address CIR issues and includes language designed to redress the discrimination imposed upon LGBT couples by DOMA. Although it remains to be seen how this issue will be resolved many are hopeful that Comprehensive Immigration Reform will redress many of the inequities arising from the current state of US law pertaining to immigration.

For related information please see: Comprehensive Immigration Reform or Same Sex Bi-National Visa.

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1st October 2010

As the previous post on this blog pointed out the issue of LGBT Immigration and the cause of same sex bi-national couples seeking equal rights in the realm of American immigration law has been an issue for some time. It has recently been noted on the lezgetreal.com website that Senator Robert Menendez has introduced a new proposal for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, to quote Melanie Nathan of the aforementioned website directly:

Kathy Drasky from OUT4Immigration, the group responsible for most of the grass root outreach and letter writing campaign announced on the www.Out4Immigration.org blog today that Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) has introduced comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) legislation that is truly comprehensive – it includes provision for same-sex binational couples.

“This monumental achievement comes after months of phone calls, letters and visits to Congressional representatives and their staffers by Out4Immigration, Immigration Equality and many, many other individuals and groups dedicated to ending immigration discrimination against LGBT Americans with foreign partners or, as we are collectively known, same-sex binational couples.

It remains unclear whether this legislation will ultimately be adopted by the United States Congress and become US law, but introduction of this legislation in combination with two pending cases in the United States Federal Courts drastically increases the odds of seeing at least some form of change in the restrictions imposed upon same sex bi-national couples under the language of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

That said, there are some who feel that passage of a Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill may not necessarily mean that this current bill’s UAFA-like language will be included in the final draft. As legislation does not become law until final adoption by both the United States Congress and Senate with Presidential approval. Should the President opt to veto the legislation, then there may be no change to the current immigration restrictions placed upon same sex couples (even those legally married in a US jurisdiction) seeking American visa benefits. Furthermore, should the language of this bill change prior to final adoption, then there may be no change to the current circumstances in which many same sex bi-national couples find themselves in. Therefore, until this legislation is fully adopted, it remains likely that supporters of this legislation, as well as opponents, will remain active in promoting their respective causes.

For related information please see: Same Sex marriage visa.

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