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Take Action to support inclusion of our families in comprehensive immigration reform!
At a Reform Immigration for Families: Family Unity Can’t Wait rally at the Capitol yesterday, Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) spoke about the need for comprehensive immigration reform and released a set of principles that he feels should guide Congress’ comprehensive immigration reform effort. These included a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented, family unification, and humane treatment of immigrants.
Congressman Gutierrez is a key leader of immigration reform in Congress and heads the influential Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ Immigration Task Force. He is also a strong supporter of LGBT rights and a cosponsor of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA).
Immigration Equality participated in the rally and received a lot of positive feedback and support from other attendees.
The family unification section of Gutierrez’ principles included the following statement:
"Family is the bedrock of our society, and immigration reform must support strong, united families and treat all immigrant families fairly and equally."
Congressman Gutierrez is expected to write a comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) bill later this fall. Through his principles, he definitely opened the door for inclusion of our families and UAFA in CIR.
It is up to our community to build strong support for our inclusion in CIR – and for CIR itself. CIR is critical to the LGBT community for family unification through UAFA. It is also critical for other LGBT community members who call Immigration Equality’s hotline regularly. As Ron Buckmire of Immigration Equality’s Board of Directors stated recently:
"LGBT families need immigration reform of all kinds. We don’t just need recognition of our loving, committed partnerships – we need to grow up in intact, safe homes with our parents and extended family there to provide us support, not separated by decade-long visa lines. We need enough work visas so that people like me who got a PhD. in the U.S. don’t take our skills elsewhere. We need a path to citizenship so queer kids brought here as babies aren’t treated like criminals. We need to know that if we are detained in immigration jail, we will not be targeted based on our sexual orientation or gender identity."
We must remain vigilant to ensure that our families are included in any comprehensive immigration reform bill, and that Congress passes CIR to fix our broken immigration system. Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121, ask for your House Representative, and tell him or her:
"Please support the Uniting American Families Act and Reuniting Families Act which allow gays and lesbians to sponsor our partners for immigration. Make sure that any comprehensive immigration reform bill ends discrimination against gay and lesbian families by including the Uniting American Families Act."