Integrity Legal

3rd April 2010

As frequent readers of this blog may be aware, two of the most hotly debated issues in the realm of United States Immigration are: Comprehensive Immigration Reform and US Family Immigration benefits for LGBT bi-national couples. A seemingly unrelated issue is that of the upcoming United States Census. Recently, the LGBT immigration blog Immigration Equality.org discussed how the US Census and the issues of Comprehensive Immigration Reform and LGBT Visas are connected:

“Research conducted by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) shows an excellent reason for undocumented immigrants to participate in the census: They can actually use the completed census form as proof of continuous physical presence in the U.S., should Congress enact a path to citizenship, with requires such proof for residency, in the future. Additionally, certified copies of completed census forms can be used as evidence of continuous presence in the U.S. under certain current laws as well. These include the amnesty program under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA); amelioration provisions of the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act of 2000; and for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) (for when one cannot return due to war, natural disasters etc.) under the Immigration and Nationality Act Section 244…There are undocumented immigrants living in the US in same-sex binational relationships as well, and they should be counted, too. A recent Immigration Equality client, living here with his American partner for nearly 20 years, was detained upon trying to re-enter the United States after going home to visit his dying mother. By participating in the confidential census process, couples like these can be “counted,” and give voice, through their numbers, to the very real plight of binational couples who have, for too long, remain too hidden in the shadows.”

As explained above, proof of having participated in a US Census can be used as evidence to show one’s continuous residence in the United States of America. Therefore, participating in the Census can be a beneficial endeavor for certain individuals.

It is interesting to note how the issue of undocumented aliens intersects with the issue of LGBT Immigration rights as these two groups would otherwise seem to have interests that are unrelated, but at this time same sex bi-national and undocumented aliens are in legally precarious position. In this author’s opinion, Comprehensive Immigration Reform could be the solution to both of these groups’ problems, but this author believes that it is more likely that the US Courts will deal with the issue of same sex immigration when they adjudicate the Constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). However, the outcome with regard to all of these issues remains to be seen.

For information about US Immigration from the Kingdom of Thailand please see: US Visa Thailand.


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