This morning, a bipartisan group of Senators issued a framework for comprehensive immigration reform. The framework, which is the starting point for fixing our country’s broken immigration system, does not include explicit mention of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) binational families. Immigration Equality is exceptionally disappointed the Senators’ framework did not specifically outline a solution for keeping our families together.
Earlier this year, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus released their own priorities for immigration reform, and LGBT families were #2 on the CHC list. Just last week, the White House issued its strongest statement yet in support of our families, noting that the President “has long believed that Americans with same-sex partners from other countries should not be faced with the painful choice between staying with the person they love or staying in the country they love, and he welcomes changes that would help keep families together.”
Today’s framework is just that: a starting point, but not yet a bill. We will work non-stop to make sure our families are part of comprehensive immigration reform legislation when it is introduced. Any immigration bill in Congress must allow LGBT people to sponsor their spouse or permanent partner in the same way opposite-sex couples have long been able to under current immigration law.
This morning, millions of future citizens awoke to the news that Congress seems willing to reform our immigration system at last. We all share a common goal: Reform that keeps families together, offers a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented who are already Americans in spirit, and honors our country’s legacy as a nation of immigrants. That should include LGBT families, too, and we pledge to continue working for that fair, inclusive reform along with our allies.