Our Family Coalition and Out4Immigration call for an
Inclusive Comprehensive Immigration Reform that upholds our nation's family unification principles and is inclusive of LGBT families.
Ten days ago, a bipartisan group of Senators released their much anticipated Immigration Reform bill, called the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. We applaud the inclusion of a path to citizenship for the nation's 11 million undocumented new immigrants as a positive step to reform our flawed system. It looks like legislators still have a long way to go, however, as they attempt to align our immigration laws to family values that recognize ALL of our families.
Under the current version of the bill, LGBT spouses are completely invisible within the definition of who is considered immediate family for the purpose of immigration law. This exclusion is devastating to more than 40,000 same-sex bi-national couples currently living under the constant fear of being torn away from their families or having to choose between their nation and their loved ones.
There are also other problematic provisions in the bill that would impact not only LGBT families, but a large majority of working class families. Low-income immigrants, for example, may be not be eligible to access the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and CHIP for 10 years! This is a major issue that will, literally, cost lives.
We will continue to push for LGBT Family inclusion and for the removal of unfair roadblocks and other harsh measures that are not aligned with our values as the bill moves through the amendment process. Please join us!
What can you do?
1. Call on elected leaders to support LGBT inclusion in the Comprehensive Immigration Reform! Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): 202-224-3841, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA): 202-224-3553. If you are not in California, call (202) 224-3121; ask to be transferred to your Senator. We must let our representatives know that the Senate's immigration bill is incomplete without our families.
2. Join our LGBT contingency at the May 1st March/Rally here in SF. The March will begin at 24th and Mission at 3pm and proceed to Civic Center for a 5pm rally. Our group is gathering at 2:30pm by the 24th St. BART - look out for colorful "Proud of My Family" Posters and Out4Immigration's banner. We will not give up the fight until LGBT families, and same-sex bi-national couples are included in a just and humane bill!