Target: Obama Administration
Goal: Secure immigration rights for same sex marriages and partnerships
There have been many changes made by the Obama Administration to improve the immigration system, but none have improved circumstances for same-sex marriages. Binational same-sex marriages or permanent partnerships can still be broken up due to unfair immigration laws. The Obama Administration needs to make reforms to the immigration system that will keep LGBT families together and improve the US Asylum System for LGBT applicants.
In opposite-sex marriages a U.S. citizen or permanent resident is able to sponsor their spouse for immigration reasons, but same-sex partnerships are not federally recognized and therefore are not “spouses” and cannot be sponsored. This problem is putting an estimated 32,000 couples raising more than 11,000 children at risk of being broken up or forced into refugee. Due to this problem the extreme hardship a same-sex spouse may face if their partner is deported is not considered. Consequently if an undocumented man is caring for his ailing husband he can be deported despite the hardship it will force upon his husband.
Also asylees and refugees in the US can seek derivative status for their spouses to remain together, but same-sex spouses are not considered “spouses” for reason of derivative asylum. So in order for partners in a same-sex marriage to stay alive they must separate and lose the person they love. If the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) were included in immigration reform it would allow permanent partners of US citizens or permanent residents to seek citizenship in the same way as spouses in heterosexual marriages.
No family should have to be broken up or faced with extreme hardships due to inequality in the immigration system. By signing this petition you are urging the Obama Administration to include the UAFA in immigration reform. Fair laws are needed to allow the same protection for both same and opposite-sex marriages.
Dear Obama Administration,
There is a lack of equality in our immigration system pertaining to same sex marriages or permanent partnerships. Same-sex marriages face the possible risk of having to be broken up because they are not federally recognized. By including the Uniting American Families Act in immigration reform you are providing the same protection to both same and opposite-sex marriages due in the immigration system.
Due to same-sex marriages or unions not being federally recognized, laws that allow spouses of US citizens or permanent residents to seek family-based immigration do not pertain to same-sex partnerships. This problem is causing families all over the country to be broken up and this can bring about extreme hardships sometimes. An estimated 32,000 binational couples are present in the US and are raising more than 11,000 children, these families cannot afford to be broken up unfairly.
This same problem occurs for refugees in asylum seeking derivative asylum status for their partners. Instead of being able to stay with their partners in a time of fear, they must part ways to stay alive and avoid persecution. If UAFA were included in immigration reform refugees could seek derivative asylum status for their same-sex permanent partners the same way opposite sex marriages do.
I am urging you to include UAFA in immigration reform to provide equality in the immigration system. If immigration reform is not approached with equality in mind, our immigration system will never be sustainable.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ashley Hayes via CNN