Out4Immigration’s Grassroots Support for Federal Legislation Raises Awareness that LGBT Americans with Foreign Partners Need Immigration Reform, Too
August 10, 2010, San Francisco, CA; More than 30 US cities, counties and the state of California have issued resolutions or written formal letters of endorsement urging Congress to pass the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA). This federal legislation would grant LGBT Americans with foreign partners - same-sex binational couples - the same rights their heterosexual counterparts access through marriage: the right of an American citizen to sponsor their life partner for a green card and keep their families together in the United States.
These actions, spearheaded by Out4Immigration, an all-volunteer organization of same-sex binational couples and their supporters, takes heed from the late Congressional leader Tip O'Neill's belief that "all politics is local."
"We are tired of waiting for Congress to act on our behalf," said Amos Lim, one of the founders of Out4Immigration, who points out that UAFA has been introduced in every session of Congress in various forms since 2000. Although it remains one of the most popular stand-alone immigration bill in the House, and had a hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2009, it has failed, along with Comprehensive Immigration Reform, to move forward in 2010.
"More than 36,000 same-sex binational couples need this law passed now," said Lim. "Families are being torn apart. Countless of Americans have been forced to live in exile to be with the person they love. Those forced to leave the country leave behind elderly parents, young adult children, jobs and communities that they are a vital part of."
Out4Immigration members regularly write to and visit their Congressional representatives to ask for passage of UAFA, but telling their stories to their communities at the local level has proved to be an empowering strategy to raise awareness about the devastating effect the broken immigration system is having on American citizens from the ground up.
"Our members write to or call their mayor, a council member or state senator. These local officials are very accessible and willing to listen," said Lim. "These local resolutions are an official endorsement that collectively carry a lot of weight when they arrive at a Senator or Representative's office. It puts those officials on notice that it is time to fix our broken immigration system."
Anyone can implement a local action in their city, county or state with help from Out4Immigration. An online toolkit is available at this link: h
Join Out4Immigration on the web through our Yahoo! Groups list (visit our website homepage and scroll to the bottom of the page, click on the Yahoo! icon and follow the instructions) and keep up with our daily conversation on equal immigration rights. You can also join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.