Integrity Legal

28th Aug 2009

As many people around the globe have no doubt heard, the venerable Senator Kennedy recently passed away. We on this blog would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to his family as they mourn his death. The loss of Senator Kennedy is something of a setback for the immigrant rights movement as he was a staunch supporter of many initiatives aimed at helping those who had immigrated to the United States of America. To quote an email sent out by the American Immigration Law Foundation:

Senator Kennedy was the driving force behind every significant piece of immigration legislation over the past 40-plus years. Most recently, Senator Kennedy co-authored a comprehensive immigration reform bill which failed to pass in 2007. Upon its defeat Senator Kennedy said, “Immigration reform is an opportunity to be true to our ideals as a nation. Our Declaration of Independence announces that all of us are created equal. Today, we failed to live up to that declaration for millions of men and women who live, work, and worship beside us. But our ideals are too strong to be held back for long.”

With an impending debate upon the future course of American Immigration policy one wonders if the loss of Mr. Kennedy will have an impact upon the ultimate outcome of Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

Senator Kennedy was an ardent defender of same sex couples. Senator Kennedy took many stands in support of the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Trans gender (LGBT) community.To quote another website:

“In the 1990′s Kennedy became the clear Senate leader in the fight to end discrimination against members of the LGBT community, and to fund programs for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. He was also one of the very few senators to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).”

As we have mentioned previously on this blog, one of the interesting issues involved in the current debate about US Immigration Reform is that of same sex couples who are currently barred from reuniting with loved ones due to the fact that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) precludes Federal acknowledgment of their relationship. This means that a same sex couple who validly marries  and tries to obtain Immigration benefits will be denied because DOMA does not recognize their marriage, even if the marriage occurred in a US state which recognizes same sex marriage (like Massachusetts). Further, under current legislation the same sex couple cannot obtain a K1 visa if the underlying intention is to marry in the US.

Mr. Kennedy’s death is sad, but his spirit lives on in the continued debates about Immigration reform.

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