Sign Up to Receive Email Action Alerts From Issa Exposed
×

In letter to Obama Administration, House Democrats seek protections for bi-national same-sex couples

DOMA Repeal

By Adam Bink

Chris reports:

U.S. House Democrats are calling on the Obama administration for more explicit assurances that new immigration policy will enable foreign nationals to stay in the United States if they’re in same-sex relationships with American citizens.

In two separate letters dated Sept. 27, 69 lawmakers seek additional clarification from the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department that bi-national same-sex couples will be included in policy that aims to take low priority cases out of the deportation pipeline.

“The recognition of LGBT family ties as a positive factor is a critical step forward in identifying key family and community ties to implement common-sense immigration enforcement,” the letter states. “We ask that you ensure that this recognition is reflected in the work of DHS and DOJ employees and the newly-established working group in implementing your priorities for immigration enforcement.”

The letter is signed by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), sponsor of the legislation known as the Uniting American Families, which would allow gay Americans to sponsor their foreign partners for residency in the United States. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and 68 other Democrats — including gay Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and David Cicilline (D-R.I.) — make up the additional signatories of the letter.

Under current immigration code, gay Americans can’t sponsor the foreign partners for residency in the United States because same-sex marriage isn’t legal in many places in the country and because the Defense of Marriage Act prohibits federal recognition of these unions. Consequently, foreign nationals who are in committed relationships with gay Americans may have to leave the United States or face deportation.

In a June 17 memo, U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement allows immigration officials to exercise prosecutorial discretion in cases they deem low priority for deportation, although this memo offers no explicit guidance on foreign nationals in same-sex relationships.

On Aug. 18, the Obama administration unveiled new policy based on this memo saying it would examine foreign nationals facing deportation on a case-by-case basis and take those who are low priority out of the pipeline.

Officials are set to weigh a person’s ties and contributions to the community and family relationships as reasons to take potential deportee out of consideration. Administration officials have stated that being in a same-sex relationship will be considered in the context of community contributions and family relationships.

However, lawmakers in the letter seek additional assurances that bi-national same-sex couples won’t be left out as part of this consideration.

House Democrats ask that LGBT family ties be made an explicit component of the guidance for the working group examining deportation cases to ensure field staff are aware of the policy.

“Without specific guidance, it is unlikely that agency officers, agents, and attorneys making decisions about individual cases will be aware that LGBT family ties are a factor for consideration for exercising discretion in closing or not initiating removal proceedings,” the letter states.

Additionally, lawmakers ask that the working group include a member experienced in working with gay immigrants and their families to ensure that these factors are recognized in the working group’s case-by-case review of deportation cases.

“The vulnerability of LGBT immigrants — the historical stigmatization of whom both within and outside the U.S. is well-documented — makes knowledgeable review a necessity,” the letter states.

16 Comments

  • 1. Jen  |  September 27, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Is there any word on those of us legally married to a US national patiently waiting outside the US to start emmigration procedures?

  • 2. Alan_Eckert  |  September 27, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Hold them accountable!

  • 3. Ronnie  |  September 27, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Subscribing & sharing……. This is what NOM et al & their hateful & bigoted supporters are teaching their children….

    Jamey Rodemeyer's Mom Says Her Son's Bullies Chanted 'We're Glad You're Dead' at Homecoming Dance: VIDEO http://www.towleroad.com/2011/09/jrm.html

    "At a homecoming dance she attended shortly after her brother’s death, a potentially poignant moment turned ugly after a song by Lady Gaga, Jamey’s favorite artist, who recently dedicated a song at a concert in his memory.

    “She was having a great time, and all of a sudden a Lady Gaga song came on, and they all started chanting for Jamey, all of his friends,’’ Jamey’s mother, Tracy, told Curry. “Then the bullies that put him into this situation started chanting, ‘You’re better off dead!’ and ‘We’re glad you’re dead!’ and things like that.

    “My daughter came home all upset. It was supposed to be a time for her to grieve and have fun with her friends, and it turned into bullying even after he’s gone.’’

    (me) I am livid over this…. NOM, et al, NONE of them are "protecting" children… They are KILLING children by spreading hatred. They all have blood on their hands……EVERY last one of those bigoted kids, whose parents should lower their heads in shame for raising sociopaths, should be EXPELLED & charged accordingly……. > I …Ronnie

  • 4. James A. Tuttle  |  September 27, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    In other news Joe My God is reportin that the Stop SB48 folks are saying they have gathered enough signatures to place a repeal of the bill on the 2012 ballot. I'm so sick of fighting the a**holes for every little thing. Let's prevent gay middle and high schoolers from having any positive role models and let's once again let them tell everyone that we are less than worthy.

  • 5. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  September 27, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Some of the lucky ones who actually made it to the United States may someday benefit from these policies, but this is only a half-wit measure that doesn't help others who were not allowed into the country, but who are in binational relationships with American citizens. I can assure you there are people like that, and they have to stay separate when those who are already together in the US can stay together. Where's the justice? All I can think about now is the song from Monty Python: "Always look at the bright side of life…" Someday… someday…

  • 6. Sheryl_Carver  |  September 27, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Maggie's new MADA (Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance) should really be called BADA (Bigots Attempting to Disavow Accountability).

    I do not know how these people sleep at night. Perhaps they are so mentally ill that they have no ability to understand how they promote hatred & death.

  • 7. Gregory in SLC  |  September 27, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    We'll get there sooner than later! My hubby has lived like a fugitive for 15 years. Some days easier to cope than others. President Obama speaking @ the U.N. to promote gay rights is a good sign me thinks!

  • 8. Ronnie  |  September 27, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    In First-Ever Count, Census Bureau Reports 131,729 Same-Sex Married Couples in the U.S. http://www.towleroad.com/2011/09/in-first-ever-co

    "The U.S. Census Bureau has released its first-ever estimated count of same-sex couples in the U.S.:

    The U.S. Census Bureau released today new statistics on same-sex married couple and unmarried partner households. According to revised estimates from the 2010 Census, there were 131,729 same-sex married couple households and 514,735 same-sex unmarried partner households in the United States."

    (me) 131,729 x2 + 514,735×2 = 1,292,938 tax paying American citizens (not including single people) who are being taxed equally if not more then their heterosexual counterparts but are not treated equally by being denied over 1400 government granted rights, benefits, & privileges that their heterosexual counterparts receive including the right to use a specific word, that NOBODY owns, on legal documents…

    That is 1,292,938 tax paying American citizens (not including single people) who are being treated as less than by the government that takes their hard earned money so that the marriage clerks can be paid, the licenses can be printed out, the public parks can be kept clean, etc etc etc & then told you can't use it unless you do it how some heterosexist fascists want & demand…

    That is 1, 292,938 tax paying American citizens & human beings (not including single people) whose personal & public lives are being limited & stepped on by NOM et al imposing HUGE government policies and their anti-American immoral & unethical inhuman superiority complex fueled agenda on those who will not and by Constitutional law do not have to live their lives how NOM et al wants & demands according to their autocratic & theocratic beliefs & definitions…

    That is 1,292,938 tax paying American citizens (not including single people) whose First Amendment rights are being denied & violated by the government to appease the selfishness and holier-then-thou iniquitous superiority complexes of NOM et al.

    That is 1,292, 938 tax paying American citizens (not including single people) whose 14th Amendment rights to "Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit of Happiness" are being denied and violated by the government because despotic traitors to American Freedom & Humanity believe that they have the right to deny those natural born & government guaranteed rights to LGBT American citizens & human beings while still taxing us for those rights that are BY LAW supposed to be granted to EVERYONE!!!!!!…

    Maybe I need to spell it out…..
    One Million, Two Hundred Ninety-two Thousand, Nine Hundred Thirty-eight tax paying American citizens (not including single people) who are not treated as if they are FULL American citizens… but oh how the government loves to take their money…….. Maggie G. & the rest of her benighted vile ilk think, in their infinite delusions, that they are being "oppressed" & "victimized" because we, the LGBT & Straight Allies aka the Equality Community, will not allow them to step on our throats anymore.. I say she & they are all full of it and are nothing but a failed joke…. Oh no, am I going to be sued now by Maggie G's new ""Marriage' Anti-deceny Alliance: Pillorying & Defaming" thing?……DO IT!!!!….

    I AM SOMEBODY & I DESERVE FULL EQUALITY…RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!!!….VIVA LA REVOLUCION!!!!….. > I …Ronnie

  • 9. bjasonecf  |  September 27, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    UPDATE: Perry v. Brown

    Judge Ware finds as Moot Defendant-intervenors Motion to Stay and Motion to Shorten Time on Decision to unseal videos of the District trial – as the 9th Circuit has issued a Stay in this matter.
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/66592239

  • 10. Gregory in SLC  |  September 27, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    sending love, understanding and good Karma you way Jen! Hope you reach your dreams! Gregory

  • 11. Sagesse  |  September 27, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    The Williams Institute counts 901,997 same sex couples, using the same data. Wonder what accounts for the difference,versus 131,729 + 514,735.

  • 12. Elizabeth_Oakes  |  September 27, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    It's okay to promote hatred and death for those who are ungodly in their estimation. This is why we need civil protection from them, especially children.

  • 13. Sagesse  |  September 27, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    Solved. The government revised its numbers downward.

    Gay couples living together nearly double in decade; over 130,000 of them say husband or wife
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/census-131

  • 14. Kalbo  |  September 27, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    Yep. We are desperately trying to find a way to be together — now! :,(

  • 15. Ann S.  |  September 28, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    §

  • 16. Franck  |  September 29, 2011 at 5:22 am

    Relief in this domain can't come soon enough. I've literally spent the whole year getting immigration doors slammed to my face… Even the most optimistic prospect I was given was "maybe in a few years, but that's not even a certainty".

    – Franck P. Rabeson
    Days spent apart from my fiancé because of DOMA: 1560 days, as of today.

Having technical problems? E-mail equalityontrial AT couragecampaign DOT org for assistance!