Today, as a group of bipartisan senators released principles for comprehensive immigration reform ahead of Obama's planned announcement of his own proposals on Tuesday, The National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Human Rights Campaign, Immigration Equality Action Fund, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force today released a joint statement calling for a comprehensive immigration policy which includes LGBT couples.
"We are fully committed to and deeply understand the need for this nation to adopt a humane and effective comprehensive immigration policy which places a premium value on justice, dignity, respect and opportunity.
Any legislation must include the ability of couples in same-sex relationships to sponsor their spouse or permanent-partner in the same way opposite-sex couples have long been able to under current immigration law.
We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those striving for and dreaming of a nation that embraces all who come here seeking a better life. We look forward to working with Congress, the White House and every community harmed by our broken immigration system to finally achieve the comprehensive reforms we all so desperately need."
Immigration Equality notes that the Senate's framework 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.