Integrity Legal

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 Many in the LGBT community feel that this legislation should be repealed or thrown out by the US courts, but so long as it is the law it has a very detrimental impact upon those bi-national same sex couples who wish to receive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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