For Immediate Release
September 28, 2012
Contact: Steve Ralls
(202) 347-7007 / email@example.com
Washington, DC – Immigration Equality applauded a new set of principles, released today by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, calling for an immigration reform measure that includes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) immigrant families. The Caucus, which used the principles to outline their priorities for tackling immigration reform in the year ahead, calls for legislation which “protects the unity and sanctity of the family, including the families of bi-national, same-sex couples, by reducing the family backlogs and keeping spouses, parents, and children together.”
“The Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s commitment to lesbian and gay families sets the baseline for what comprehensive immigration reform must include,” said Rachel B. Tiven, Immigration Equality’s executive director. “The LGBT community will bring our energy and our power at the ballot box to the fight for fair and inclusive reform. We salute Congressman Luis Gutierrez, Senator Robert Menendez and the entire Hispanic Caucus for their leadership in outlining an inclusive vision of what that reform will look like.”
Under current U.S. immigration law, LGBT citizens have no ability to sponsor a spouse or partner for residency, forcing many couples into separation or exile abroad. The Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), currently pending in both the House and Senate, would afford lesbian and gay couples the same rights of sponsorship as straight spouses. An estimated 36,000 couples are impacted by the inability to sponsor a same-sex partner or spouse for residency.
“Our immigration laws ought to reflect both our interests and our values as Americans and we believe these principles are consistent with our nation’s commitment to fairness and equality,” the Hispanic Caucus said in its statement today.
A copy of the full principles, along with more information on LGBT immigrant families, is embedded below and at Scribd.
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Immigration Equality is a national organization fighting for equality under U.S. immigration law for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and HIV-positive individuals.