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All of us at Immigration Equality want to wish you, and your family, a very happy holiday season.

We know the holidays are especially tough for those of you who are separated from your loved ones because of our country’s cruel immigration laws. Please know you are in our thoughts and that we are working to reunite you and end the threat of separation and exile so many others face.

2013 promises to be a year of great significance, and progress, for our work together. In just over six months, the Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Early in the new year, Congress will likey take up immigration reform. We are committed – now more than ever – to ensuring that each of those potential victories will help every family. None of us will rest until every binational couple has access to the green card they deserve, and every exiled family is welcomed back home.

Because of your support, more than 100 LGBT asylees will be ringing in the new year in the country they can now proudly call home. We have much to celebrate from the past year, but much work remains to be done. Our work is not done until everyone has the peace of mind that comes from a permanent solution to keeping their families together.

The year ahead will be momentous. Together, we can make this the last holiday spent separated . . . in exile . . . and waiting for a win.

From our family to yours,

Happy Holidays from the Immigration Equality Team

P.S.: Please take a moment to watch this special, year-end message from our executive director, Rachel Tiven, about how your support can help push us across the finish line.

10 Responses to Exiled

  1. Helen says:

    Finding your website and knowing you’re fighting for us makes me feel less lonely. I am from The Netherlands and my wife is from Arizona USA, we’ve been together for 7 years and we had to celebrated most of the holidays apart and I can say it is torture ! But the biggest sadness and torture is when one of us is ill and we cannot be there for the other and take care of the one who is sick and in need !!! I did all in my power with an immigration lawyer to move to the USA, with no luck yet ! Thank you so much for your fight, strength and love! Happy Holidays to everyone with lots of love and good health

  2. Ralph says:

    Dear Helen, You are in my thoughts wishing you and yours victories in the New Year.

  3. Davor says:

    I sincerely hope this is the last Christmas apart. I feel so confident with the progress of the noble fight you guys are fighting for us. I can’t wait to see that day come. I hope I can keep my promise to Matthew from Florida. Just over 3 years together.

  4. giulia says:

    My US partner and I(an Italian citizen) have been in a relationship for 12 years. Twelve long years of travels and abusive CBP treatment at airports. What many Americans do not understand that not all NON USA gay people in a relationship with an American want to migrate and move permanently to the USA. Most of us have family,ties,work,properties in our countries and wish to remain resident there. We only ask to travel freely to the USA like any heterosexual fiancee or married couple without being humiliated, abused and often not allowed in the USA by CBP. We are being profiled by 20 something year old officers at passport control that over extend their powers in abusive and homophobic disrespectful behavior. In 12 years that my US partner has come to Italy and Europe,and she has come at least 3times a year,she has never suffered any kind of discrimation let alone questioning on the purpose of her frequent visits. Might be that America fell in “political correctness”and does not want us? Not very optimistic.

  5. Ralph says:

    We must relentlessly continue to urge congress to pass the UAFA or comprehensive immigration reform. UAFA would be easier. As it stands, focus is on fiscal cliff issues and gun control again moving UAFA out of the spot light.

  6. giulia says:

    UAFA requires a few days commitment from President Obama: AKA called Executive Order. Sadly we can recall the way too many Executive Orders “ad personam” of George Bush, one for all the infamous invasion of Iraq..enough said to be upset.Happy New Year to all of you out there and let it be love.

  7. Cameron says:

    My Austrian husband and I were separated for a year before we decided that me leaving the U.S. and coming to Europe was the only real choice. I love my country so much, but ultimately I chose my husband. We both had to leave our homelands and move to the Netherlands because of discriminatory laws. Thank God for the European Union and the tolerance of the Netherlands!

    We have been in Holland for more than four years now. It is a wonderful place and we have built very successful lives here, but I am so desperately homesick. We both want to move to the U.S., so we don’t put down any permanent roots here. We simply want to be treated equally, move to the U.S., buy a house, and start our real lives. Visiting the U.S. is not enough, and it’s too expensive to do on a regular basis. I get to be close to my husband and his family, but I rarely get to see mine. I should count myself lucky that the USCIS has always been kind to us when we visit together. They even let us go through the U.S. citizen line together, which is a small but not unappreciated gesture.

    Being treated like a second-class citizen by my own country, especially when I know most Americans disagree with the law, makes my exile nothing less than torture. We are praying that the Supreme Court will be on the side of human rights and compassion, rather than cling to old prejudices.

  8. giulia says:

    Please everyone: Google “Executive Orders”. You will get the full idea of it! I browsed myself in the whitehouse website and I am appalled to acknowledge that Pres.Obama writes one circa every 15days…I am reading now “Executive Order-Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking in Persons in Federal Courts” 25/12/2012. Uafa needs an Executive Order from Pres.Obama. He can do it if he wants. A nation that inflicts suffering and happiness even to a little minority of its own it is a wicked wrong society..

  9. Richard says:

    We are all grateful to those who fight for immigration equality, and having left the USA in 1986, my partner and I never once gave up our hope that one day things would change for the better. It is unfortunate that change takes so much effort and time, but the legislative process can and will work in our favour, we just need to work in unison to obtain our goals.

    Personally, I never wanted an Executive Order, I simply want our politicians to unite for equality within society, for it is only then that I know I am going to be truly welcomed home. There is no point in me returning to the USA if the political elite do not want me home, for their prejudices will continue to breed contempt towards homosexuals like myself. Just because a President has Executive powers does not mean they are suitable in every situation. We want to be welcomed home not just by society or an Executive Order, but also by the men and women who make the laws for our society.

    Change is just around the corner for the USA, and I for one remain happy to wait for proper change within not only our immigration laws, but also our equality laws and a basic right to a private family life. I do not want changes that can be overturned by a group of political elite who enacted the DOMA act, and of course whom continue to fight for its survival. Perhaps marriage should be for a man and a woman, but I feel life partnerships are just as sacred and must be recognised, and I state that as an unmarried man in a lifelong partnership.

    I wish to live without fear of prejudice, not only from society, but also my government, and it is only then that I will return home with my partner of thirty years. We both certainly have no desire to give up my exlie within Europe, where freedom of choice, equality, justice, liberty, and a right to private family life are at the very core of our values.

  10. Nancy Doan says:

    My partner and I have been together for 13 years. We met in England, while I was on a work VISA and I was able to get residency based on our relationship. However, when we decided to move to the USA, I was reminded how cruel and ignorant my home country was. After her USA work VISA expired, she moved back to England, while I have stayed in the USA. We both want to live in the USA, my work is better here and my retirement benefits are more stable. I can’t live without her much longer and our 2 week visits every 6 months aren’t enough.

    I hope America can wake up and let us live as responsible residence and tax payers soon.

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