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Senators Leahy & Collins to Re-Introduce Uniting American Families Act

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For Immediate Release|
February 13, 2013

Contact:  Steve Ralls
(202) 347-7007

sralls@immigrationequality.org

During this morning’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on comprehensive immigration reform, Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) announced he will re-introduce the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) today, along with Senate colleague Susan Collins (R-ME).  Senator Leahy also reiterated his support for UAFA’s inclusion in any immigration reform bill.

“We must also do better by gay and lesbian Americans who face discrimination in our immigration law,” Senator Leahy said during his opening remarks. “Today, Senator Susan Collins and I will introduce the Uniting American Families Act.  This legislation will end the needless discrimination so many Americans face in our immigration system. Too many citizens, including Vermonters who I have come to know personally and who want nothing more than to be with their loved ones, are denied this basic human right.  This policy serves no legitimate purpose and it is wrong.”

Immigration Equality hailed Chairman Leahy’s remarks, and pledged support for his efforts to ensure passage of an inclusive immigration reform bill.

“Immigration Equality commends Senator Leahy for building bipartisan support in the Senate on behalf of the Uniting American Families Act,” said the group’s executive director, Rachel B. Tiven. “Chairman Leahy opened his Judiciary Committee hearing on immigration reform this morning by specifically calling for an inclusive reform package that will ensure lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans do not face separation from their spouses or exile abroad. His leadership sets the tone for the Committee’s work on fixing our country’s broken immigration system. He and Senator Collins are now part of a coalition of leaders, including President Obama, who have pledged their support for our families. We join them in committing our support for getting an LGBT-inclusive immigration bill on the President’s desk.”

8 Responses to Senators Leahy & Collins to Re-Introduce Uniting American Families Act

  1. Ralph says:

    Great News, but if Reid has enough votes to pass it and get it signed into law without any more delays..Binational couples have suffered and continue to suffer as a result of non passage.

  2. Ralph says:

    Other great news: Rep. Mike Honda, (D- CA) Introduced the Reuniting Families Act. Let’s hope it is passed along with UAFA.
    Respect for Marriage Act if passed would over turn DOMA.

  3. Jose says:

    I pray this passes…my partner and I have been apart way too long. I want to celebrate our 14 th anniversary in our home in Dallas TX.

  4. Amek says:

    my same sex partner is american, i am not, can he sponsor my immigration to USA? or anybody knows when this can happen?

  5. Wayne Howington says:

    As an American who has struggled with this issue for several years now, I am afraid to say that there is a light at the end of this tunnel. However I hope, that reasonable people will make fair decisions, and restore to me the same rights as all other American citizens, including the right to love, honor, and marry the love of my life.

  6. Ralph says:

    I submitted a suggestion to the Obama Administration LGBT@who.eop.gov regarding pension benefits foreign partners of U.S citizens. If UAFA and any other CIR immigration bills that include LGBT are passed, they should take into account what earned monetary benefits the foreign partner of an U.S citizen would lose or leave behind.

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    I want bring my thought regarding binational same sex couple benefits to the attention of the Obama Administration.

    What I would like to suggest is that a system is created, implemented that would allow foreign partners of U.S. to transfer and or convert
    their monetary pension benefits earned in their countries to the U.S.social security system or U.S. government account.
    Although, the values of currency will vary,since neither currency has a value of zero it constitutes monetary value that could be used to support the binational couples.

    Statements have been made stating immigrants are seeking U.S. government welfare, when there has been no mention of some who have monetary pensions in their countries that could be converted to a U.S. government account to aid the foreign same sex partners of U.S. citizens. If the foreign partner should become disabled or reaches retirement age, the funds would be there for them. It should be considered for inclusion in any comprehensive immigration bill, Uniting American Families Act, Reuniting Familes Act, Repect for Marriage.

    Proactive innovation and creativity are needed,and it is not impossible.

  7. Giulia says:

    UAFA has become a ridiculous saga. With all the due respect for those million people that have arrived in the USA illegally and illegally have lived and worked in the country I, as a law abiding person that has never overstayed my visas and for 12 years have followed zealously immigration rules I feel offended. UAFA involves the lifes of only 36 000 people and they are making such a big issue out of it!? It would be such a simple executive act to pass. President Obama should look up for courage and inspiration from Conservative British Premier Cameron…how long this suffering and saga is going to go on? My partner of 12 years is moving to Europe within the year…au revoir America!

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