By Julie Kruse on 11/16/2012 @ 03:37 PM
The election is over. The yard signs, the TV ads, the red, white and blue balloons — all gone until the next campaign season. We saw some pretty fantastic wins for the LGBT and immigrant communities last Tuesday — historic marriage equality wins at the ballot in four states and exit polls that show massive public support for comprehensive immigration reform.
So … now what?
It’s important to remember that a new Congress presents new opportunities. We’re contacting you as one of our most committed supporters. You’ve taken action in the past — whether by signing a petition, writing a letter, or joining one of our campaigns — to tell Congress your story and ask them to support equal immigration rights for LGBT families.
Now it’s time to take action again.
Set up a meeting with your Members of Congress through our Lobby at Home campaign and write them a letter to tell them what the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) would mean to you.
For those of you who have a newly-elected Representative or Senator, now is the ideal time to meet with them in your home town or state to ask them to become a cosponsor of UAFA. They will be home in the district frequently through November and December. A face-to-face to meeting with a family in the district or state is the most effective way to make your new Member of Congress an early supporter of UAFA.
Writing a personalized letter to your Member of Congress is another effective way to ask them to become a UAFA co-sponsor. We’ve gotten you started with some example text. But you add the part that really matters — your own story of what UAFA would mean to you and your family. Add a paragraph (or two! or three!) to tell your Member of Congress about your story and why this legislation matters to you. Adding a personal touch to the letter takes only a few minutes, but it makes that letter so much more meaningful.
The election season may be over, but the work to win equality for our families continues on. Thank you for being a part of it.
Pelosi, A Staunch Ally of LGBT Immigrant Families, to Remain Minority Leader
By Steve Ralls on 11/14/2012 @ 06:27 PM
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi - a staunch ally of LGBT immigrant families - announced today that she will remain in that her House leadership position when the 113th Congress convenes in January. Pelosi's return is welcome news at a critical time in the campaign to end discrimination against our families.
Pelosi has been an important champion on behalf of LGBT binational couples. When her constituents Bradford Wells and Anthony Makk were facing potential separation, she personally intervened to ensure they would remain together. As Minority Leader, she has been a steadfast voice in support of the Uniting American Families Act, and recently urged the bill's passage during a grassroots call with Immigration Equality supporters.
The new Congress is expected to quickly take up immigration reform legislation in 2013. Pelosi's decision to remain in her key leadership post ensure binational families have a true friend working in their behalf during the immigration debate in the House. Her continued leadership - on behalf of Bradford and Anthony and all families facing separation and exile - will be critical in our work to pass LGBT-inclusive reform.
All of us at Immigration Equality are proud to work with Leader Pelosi and her staff. All of our families are fortunate to have her on our side.
We can win this.
By Rachel Tiven on 11/08/2012 @ 01:00 PM
We woke up on Wednesday with a new mandate. We won not one … not two …. not three … but four ballots on marriage equality. Now we don’t just believe Americans support LGBT people, we know they do. Just as thrilling, national exit polls show massive support – 65% – for comprehensive immigration reform. In Maryland, where immigration and marriage equality were both on the ballot, each lifted the other to victory. The roar in the room when President Obama said “We will reform our immigration system” gave me chills. Whatever political party you support, today is a great day for LGBT immigrants and their families.
If you’re already a supporter, you have my sincere appreciation. You keep this organization going, and we cannot thank you enough. If you’ve been waiting, join us now. We are just 13 monthly donors away from winning a $50,000 challenge grant on Friday. Make a monthly pledge today to help us win.
We’re going to use our mandate to build a better tomorrow for all our families. If you stand with us now, we have a real chance of winning an historic victory within the next 7 months.
With your donation:
- We’ll press the Administration to stop denying green cards for LGBT families. As we wait for the Supreme Court to overturn DOMA, we’ll demand that the government stop denying green cards that will be approve once DOMA falls.
- We’ll continue to answer every single inquiry from families across the country. We’re looking forward to talking to more Mainers, Marylanders, and Washingtonians. Congratulations! We’re going to use the momentum of our wins in the states to win federal recognition for your families, too.
- We’ll keep LGBT immigration issues in the center of the debate in the country, and in Congress. With overwhelming public support for immigration reform and LGBT equality, we’ll seize this opportunity and expand on it.
My promise to you is that we won’t stop fighting until all our families are treated equally. This is our moment, and we will be heard. Will you sign up to give monthly until we win?
The finish line is in sight. We can win this.
Grassroots Call: Post-Election Analysis, 11/8
By Rachel Tiven on 11/07/2012 @ 10:34 AM
The election is over, but what does it mean for LGBT immigrant families?
Please join me tomorrow — November 8th — for a special post-election conference call at Noon ET. We’ll discuss the Presidential and Congressional election results, tell you what it all means for our families ... and talk about how you can be part of our work moving forward.
Immigration Equality Action Fund Election Analysis
Thursday, November 8th
Noon ET (9am PT)
(800) 977-8002 / Access Code 3761622#
Callers from abroad should dial (404) 920-6650 and use the same access code.
The coming weeks and months will be critical for our families. The White House will make important decisions about continued relief for binational couples. The new Congress is expected to tackle comprehensive immigration reform. And we’ll continue to press for passage of the Uniting American Families Act.
Join us tomorrow, and find out what the election results mean for your family, and our work together. Our call will include analysis and a Q & A, too.
The elections are over, but our work goes on.
By Rachel Tiven on 11/06/2012 @ 07:00 AM
Today is Election Day. Please vote.
Today’s election is critically important. In the past few years, we have made real progress on behalf of LGBT immigrant families. LGBT couples are now recognized as family for discretionary relief from deportation. Young, undocumented people—many of whom are LGBT—have been given a reprieve from removal, too. And Immigration Equality clients like Bradford Wells & Anthony Makk have been spared the pain of separation.
Whoever wins today’s presidential election will decide whether whether to continue that progress or roll it back. It’s really that simple.
The next Congress will tackle issues important to our families as well. Lawmakers are expected to vote on comprehensive immigration reform legislation next year. The Uniting American Families Act will be reintroduced in the new Congress, too. Your choice today will help determine the fate of those critically important bills.
Politicians always tell us that every election is important, and that’s true. But this election is especially so for our families. We’ve come too far over the past years to turn back the clock on progress.
Vote as if your family’s future depended on it. Because it does.
Also look for a special email, tomorrow morning, with information on a post-election call this Thursday, November 8th. Mark your calendar now for Noon ET, when we’ll analyze the election results, and tell you what they mean for our families. We’ll send call-in information first thing tomorrow.
Hurricane Sandy Disruptions
By Steve Ralls on 11/05/2012 @ 11:45 AM
Immigration Equality’s New York offices in Lower Manhattan continue to be impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Phone lines in New York are down, and our Manhattan office does not have internet access. Unfortunately, we do not yet know when phone or internet access will be restored. In the meantime, please use the contact us form on our website to reach us. Messages are being delivered, and our staff are using mobile access to respond to messages as quickly as possible.
Please be aware, however, that it may take longer than usual to respond to inquiries. Staff are working from home, and responding as quickly as possible, but many New York staff members also have limited electricity, phone and internet access even while working remotely. If you had an appointment scheduled with a member of our legal team, someone will contact you to re-schedule as soon as possible.
Thank you to everyone who has reached out to offer support following the storm. The good news is that our staff are all safe, and our Washington, D.C. offices are fully operational.
We appreciate your patience as we wait to return to normal operations. Stay tuned to our blog for more updates.
"Why don’t you just move to Spain?"
By Rachel Tiven on 10/12/2012 @ 01:51 PM
People often ask Heather Morgan and Mar Verdugo why they don’t “just move to Spain,” where Heather will be accepted as Mar’s spouse. They married in the United States, but Spain recognizes their relationship. That idea — that LGBT couples should simply pack up and move to a country that will take them — is why Heather and Mar joined the lawsuit to defeat DOMA. “We’re fighting for everyone,” says Mar. “Why should we leave the country that we love?”
Immigration Equality is fighting for all our families. Won’t you stand with Heather & Mar today? Your monthly support helps us keep overhead low so we can keep the pressure on.
One of the most popular pages on our website is called “Moving to Canada.” For many binational couples, the Canadian option will be the only option if the United States doesn’t recognize their relationships soon.
It’s time for all our families to be at home in our country. There’s something you can do to speed up progress: Stand with the plaintiffs. Become a monthly supporter today.
We’re pressing the administration to put a hold on green card denials. Just last week, we won a major victory when Homeland Security put in writing that same-sex relationships count as family in deportation proceedings. Change begins today.
Growing Number of Corporate Leaders Endorse Legislation to End Discrimination Against LGBT Immigrant Families
By Steve Ralls on 10/05/2012 @ 10:00 AM
Contact: Ameesha Sampat / (202) 347-0002, ext. 199 / email@example.com
Immigration Equality Action Fund announced today that industry leaders Ernst & Young LLP, Thomson Reuters and BNP Paribas are the latest to join the organization’s Business Coalition for the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA). The Coalition, now 28 corporations strong, supports Immigration Equality’s legislative advocacy to end discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) immigrant families by calling on Congress to pass S. 821/H.R. 1537. Immigration Equality created the Business Coalition to engage global companies impacted by talented LGBT employees leaving due to immigration restrictions.
“Fortune 500 corporations have led the nation in providing equal benefits to LGBT employees and forbidding discrimination based on sexual orientation,” said Rachel B. Tiven, executive director of Immigration Equality and the Action Fund. “In a globalizing world, however, one area of discrimination remains: international relocation and immigration. Foreign national LGBT employees in the U.S. may not bring non-American partners with them on the dependent visas that heterosexual employees use. As U.S. corporations strive to compete in a global economy, the U.S. continues to lag behind more than two dozen other countries in this critical area of competitiveness. Corporate leaders, like Ernst & Young LLP, BNP Paribas and Thomson Reuters, are able to educate lawmakers with first-hand accounts of the negative impact our discriminatory immigration laws have on businesses.”
Business Coalition members represent a broad array of industries, including travel and hospitality; multi-national consulting and professional services; finance and banking; high-tech corporations; pharmaceuticals; and communications. Showing strong momentum, those signing on this year alone include Ernst & Young LLP, Thomson Reuters, BNP Paribas, Barclays and eBay.
“We are proud to be the first of the Big Four accounting firms to join the Business Coalition for UAFA and advocate for immigration equality for LGBT professionals. We are fully committed to all of our people — regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity — and work to demonstrate this through policy and practice,” said Karyn Twaronite, Americas Inclusiveness Officer, Ernst & Young. “As a global organization, we also view this as an important opportunity to unite with an elite group of businesses that understand the significance of this issue as a matter of both fairness and talent retention.”
“For a company that is committed to human rights, diversity and inclusion, and recruiting and retaining the very best people around the world, immigration equality is a cause that our leadership strongly supports,” Peter Warwick, Chief People Officer of Thomson Reuters, added.
“As a global investment bank, we are committed to both driving retention and fostering inclusion for all of our talent, and there is no question that our LGBT professionals should enjoy equal support in this regard,” said Rachael A. Akohonae, BNP Paribas' Global Head of Diversity CIB. “Joining the Business Coalition for UAFA is a clear step that BNP Paribas has taken to publicly affirm our pride for and commitment to our LGBT talent.”
For more information on the Business Coalition for UAFA, including a list of member companies, visit http://immigrationequalityactionfund.org/legislation/business_coalition_for_uafa/.
About Immigration Equality Action Fund
Immigration Equality Action Fund advocates on Capitol Hill for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and HIV-positive immigrants and their families. The Action Fund lobbies legislators and other policy makers, builds coalitions, and empowers LGBT immigrant families around the country to fight for change.
About Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 167,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.
For more information, please visit www.ey.com.
About Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters is the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. We combine industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in the financial and risk, legal, tax and accounting, intellectual property and science and media markets, powered by the world's most trusted news organization. With headquarters in New York and major operations in London and Eagan, Minnesota, Thomson Reuters employs approximately 60,000 people and operates in over 100 countries. For more information, go to www.thomsonreuters.com.
About BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas is a leader in global banking and financial services and one of the strongest banks in the world (Rated AA by Standard & Poor's i.e. 3rd rating out of a scale of 22). Ranked as the 11th-largest company and 7th-largest bank in the world on the 2010” Forbes Global 2000,” BNP Paribas employs over 204,000 people in more than 80 countries across five continents and has over 15,000 employees in the U.S. and Canada. The Group's North American operations comprise Corporate and Investment Banking, Asset Management and Services, and Retail Banking.
For more information, visit http://usa.bnpparibas.com/en/home/default.asp.
UAFA’s co-sponsor list grows and grows!
By Laura Hoch on 10/03/2012 @ 01:21 PM
We are very excited to announce the three newest co-sponsors of UAFA: Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas (D-TX-30), Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI-3), and Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MD-4). The decision of these Members of Congress to sign on brings our number of co-sponsors in the House to 143 – a record number for UAFA. We also have a record number of bipartisan cosponsors in the Senate – 29.
In addition, Congresswoman Johnson and Congresswoman Edwards became the 29th and 30th members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to sign on to UAFA; 70% of CBC members have now cosponsored.
Help our co-sponsor list continue to grow! It’s easy to ask your own Members of Congress to become the next to co-sponsor. Use our online tool to write them an email sharing your story (or the story of a relative or friend) and asking them to become a co-sponsor. You can also share your story with the Immigration Equality Action Fund team and let us know you would like to be considered for future Congressional outreach. Your personal story means so much in building support for this legislation.
We would like to thank Congresswoman Johnson, Congressman Kind, and Congresswoman Edwards, as well as their staffs, for supporting UAFA and working to bring us another step closer to equality.
By Meghan Austin on 09/27/2012 @ 10:26 AM
While I can’t send sangria over the internet, I can link to the pictures from the annual Women’s Brunch, which was a delicious afternoon.
Hosted by board member Sue Zachman, the brunch featured exciting Supreme Court updates from Executive Director Rachel Tiven and Legal Director Victoria Neilson. Kelli and Lucy, plaintiffs in our lawsuit to defeat DOMA, joined us, as did many new friends.
As the Grant Writer at Immigration Equality, my desk is covered in statistics. Every day, I’m typing furiously about the legal department’s win rate (99%) and how many people called our hotline for help (3,337 in 2011). It’s nice when I can put a face to the Post-it Notes and meet our clients and supporters.
Many of you are in binational relationships and are waiting for the day you can sponsor your partner for a green card. Many of you are allies and want to help out. Whatever your story, we look forward to meeting you soon. It’s not too late to join us in this exciting year, when we’re poised to make history.
Please join me and make a monthly pledge, to help Immigration Equality reach its goal of 100 new monthly donors by October 13th. Since we’ve announced the goal, we’ve had an amazing response, including the women who joined this weekend.
Please stand with us today. http://ImEqActionFund.org/womensbrunch
Meet the Plaintiffs: Frances & Takako
By Rachel Tiven on 09/25/2012 @ 01:05 PM
Every summer, Frances Herbert and her spouse Takako Ueda drive from their home in Vermont to a family reunion in the Midwest. They take the long way, through Ohio. If they took a shortcut through Canada, Takako might not be able to get back. Because Frances cannot sponsor Takako, who is from Japan, for a green card, even a family vacation is full of obstacles. “My life will change tremendously when Takako gets a green card,” says Frances. “The ever-present, haunting stress will vanish.”
As one of the five plaintiff couples in Immigration Equality’s lawsuit to defeat DOMA, Frances and Takako are standing for all couples who’ve been waiting so long for green cards.
With your help, our legal team secured a two-year reprieve for Takako last year. “We have been so touched by their hard work,” says Takako. “Staff attorney Tom Plummer was meticulous and thoughtful. He was incredibly responsive to our questions...responding even after work hours, from the supermarket. Thanks to Immigration Equality, we see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
We’re working around the clock to keep Frances and Takako together, but they need more than a temporary fix. Takako needs a green card. Frances needs to know that Takako will never be forced to move halfway around the world.
It’s time to free Frances and Takako from worry and stress. Help us reach our goal of 100 new monthly donors by October 13th.
We’re working to keep this loving couple together permanently and to win equality, for Frances and Takako, for Tim and Edwin, and for you.
“Lobby at Home” campaign brings on another cosponsor
By Kathryn Baxter on 09/21/2012 @ 11:50 AM
The list of Senate cosponsors keeps growing and growing! Senator Reed from Rhode Island just signed on as a co-sponsor of the Uniting American Families Act—bringing our total to 29, including lead sponsor Senator Leahy.
A Rhode Island resident met with Senator Reed and a member of his staff back in August as a part of our “Lobby at Home / UAFA Now” campaign. His partner is from Taiwan, but can only come to the US for a few months at a time on a tourist visa, leaving the pair separated for most of the year. During the meeting, this campaign participant shared his story and talked to the senator about what UAFA would mean to him.
A month and a half later, Senator Reed signed on as a cosponsor. We were thrilled to call his constituent today and share the good news!
We cannot say it enough: a face to face meeting with a family who is hurt by our country's discriminatory immigration policies is the most effective way to build Congressional support for UAFA.
Like this Rhode Island resident, your story could be the one to persuade your Member of Congress to stand up for our families and become a co-sponsor of UAFA.
Members of Congress will be back in their home states and districts for most of the time between now and the election. Visit our “Lobby at Home / UAFA Now” homepage to find out how you can request a meeting with your and watch our webinar training to walk you through the whole process.
Thank you to all supporters who have taken part in our “Lobby at Home” campaign. And of course, many thanks to Senator Reed for his cosponsorship and his support for our families. Twenty-nine co-sponsors and counting! Your senator could be next…
UAFA’s 1st Republican Co-Sponsor
By Rachel Tiven on 09/19/2012 @ 02:43 PM
Earlier today, Senator Susan Collins of Maine signed on as a co-sponsor of the Uniting American Families Act. Senator Collins becomes the first Republican co-sponsor in this session of Congress, sending a strong message to both parties that keeping our families together is a bipartisan concern.
“This important civil rights legislation would help prevent committed, loving families from being forced to choose between leaving their family or leaving their country,” Senator Collins said today.
We’re so grateful to Senator Collins for her support and leadership. We’re also proud to acknowledge the hard work of our friends at the Human Rights Campaign, who were key in securing the Senator’s support. Today’s news underscores the effectiveness of the broad coalition working to secure UAFA’s passage.
If you are a constituent of Senator Collins, please call and thank her for her support. You can reach her office at (202) 224-2523. If your Senator isn’t yet a supporter, send them a note and ask them to follow Senator Collins’s lead.
We are closer than ever to ending the discrimination, separation and exile our families face every day. With your help — and the support of leaders like Senator Collins — we will win.
Historic Record: Most UAFA Co-Sponsors Ever in House and Senate
By Kathryn Baxter on 09/14/2012 @ 03:56 PM
Yesterday we got the great news that Senator Michael Bennet from Colorado signed on as a cosponsor of the Uniting American Families Act. This brings us to our greatest number of cosponsors for UAFA ever in both the House and the Senate. We now have a total of 140 cosponsors in the Senate and 27 cosponsors in the Senate.
This is a big day for UAFA, but we’re not stopping yet! With a few months left in this session of Congress, now is the perfect time to ask your own Members of Congress to become cosponsors too. Visit our Lobby at Home: UAFA Now home page to find out how you can meet with your Members of Congress in your home town or state and tell them why UAFA matters to you. You can also email them using our online tool to share your story and ask for their support for UAFA.
Thank you to Senator Bennet for supporting our families and for helping us reach this great milestone.
Meet the Plaintiffs: Tim & Edwin
By Rachel Tiven on 09/14/2012 @ 03:15 PM
This summer, Edwin Blesch celebrated thirteen years with his husband Tim Smulian, who is from South Africa. “We're in it for the long haul,” says Edwin. “The pictures say it all: two happy old guys!” Sadly, Tim and Edwin’s happiness has an expiration date: February 7th. That’s when Tim’s temporary reprieve to stay in the U.S. ends.
Edwin Blesch is the namesake of our lawsuit, Blesch v. Holder, which we filed in April. We are challenging the Defense of Marriage Act on behalf of Edwin and four other Americans who can’t sponsor their husbands and wives for green cards simply because they are gay or lesbian. Watch the video to learn more about Tim and Edwin and why they joined the lawsuit.
Over the coming weeks, I will introduce you to all five of our plaintiff couples. You’ll learn more about the case and about other DOMA challenges already advancing toward the Supreme Court and what those cases mean for you. We’re closer than ever to securing a big win for your families, but we can’t get there without your support.
Stand with Tim, Edwin, and all the plaintiffs and say: It’s time! It’s time for LGBT families to stop being deported. It’s time for people who are in exile to return home. Finally, love and reason will win. Tim and Edwin know it’s time. They’ve been waiting since 1999.
Thomson Reuters Joins the Business Coalition for UAFA
By Chris Fleming on 09/12/2012 @ 09:49 AM
The Immigration Equality Action Fund is proud to welcome Thomson Reuters as the newest member of the Business Coalition for the Uniting American Families Act. Thomson Reuters is the 26th member of the Coalition, which is committed to highlighting the impact of discriminatory immigration laws on businesses around the world.
Thomson Reuters relies on the expertise of 60,000 talented employees based in over 100 countries to provide global customers with cross-functional insights and understanding that transcends industries, platforms and borders. The company views a diverse workplace as a valuable business asset and recognizes the need for fair, inclusive laws that allow for the effective management and development of talent on a global basis.
“For a company that is committed to human rights, diversity and inclusion, and recruiting and retaining the very best people around the world, immigration equality is a cause that our leadership strongly supports,” stated Peter Warwick, Chief People Officer of Thomson Reuters.
With a robust framework that sets out the company’s vision for a global workforce which champions the contributions of all employees, Thomson Reuters strives to attract, develop and accelerate the careers of top diverse talent. The company supports several employee resource groups including Pride at Work, a LGBT employee group that includes over 800 members across 32 countries, and has participated in the “It Gets Better” Project. Thomson Reuters achieved a score of 90 on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2012 Corporate Equality Index has was recognized by the Ethisphere Institute as one the ‘2012 World’s Most Ethical Companies.’
An Historic Platform
By Rachel Tiven on 09/04/2012 @ 04:29 PM
This morning in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Democratic National Committee unveiled an historic party platform that, for the first time, includes LGBT immigrant families. In the most pro-LGBT platform in U.S. history, the party not only unequivocally endorses marriage equality for all LGBT couples, but also specifically calls for an end to the separation of our families:
“. . . the word ‘family’ in immigration includes LGBT relationships in order to protect bi-national families threatened with deportation.”
We should all be proud of this incredible development. Immigration Equality’s Action Fund team has worked non-stop to ensure leaders in both parties understand the critical need to change our discriminatory immigration laws and keep families together. The 2012 Democratic platform is just the latest example of our success.
This momentous step forward would not have been possible without key allies in our work. Each family who has stepped up to tell their story – in the media and on Capitol Hill – helped make today’s news reality. We are also indebted to our friends at National Stonewall Democrats and, especially, Professor Tobias Wolff, who originally proposed the language about our families during the platform committee hearings in August.
Our work is more important now than ever. The coming year will be a critical one for our families. Important decisions about immigration, and LGBT equality, will be made by Congress and the White House in 2013 and beyond. If you haven’t already done so, visit our UAFA Now campaign online and ask your Member of Congress to stand with our families. If you can do so, also consider a contribution to our Action Fund to help keep our political momentum going.
The next few months will be critical in deciding our families’ futures. We cannot afford to sit this one out.
Lobbying at Home in Action: Rep. Van Hollen (MD), Latest UAFA Cosponsor
By Kelly Costello and Fabiola Morales on 08/27/2012 @ 11:03 AM
We are excited to announce that Congressman Van Hollen (D-MD-8) has signed on to co-sponsor the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA)! My wife and I met with Congressman Van Hollen and told him our story, which may ring true with many other LBGT binational couples.
My Peruvian born wife, Fabiola, received her nursing degree from Georgetown University. She worked as a nurse in the Cardiology Unit of Suburban hospital on her OPT visa (1 year long). Due to the backlog in Immigrations, she cannot be sponsored as a nurse.
We wish she could become a resident through the marriage visa, however our marriage is not federally recognized because we are both women.
I am an ESOL teacher and work in a title 1 school in Silver Spring, Maryland. We both contribute so much to our community and would like the opportunity to continue doing the work that we love here in the United States. We will have no choice but to move out of the country if we do not find a solution. UAFA is that solution.
Congressman Van Hollen is on the right side of history. Thank you Congressman Van Hollen for helping us get one stride closer to marriage equality!
National Hispanic Organizations Call for Passage of the Uniting American Families Act
By Julie Kruse on 08/22/2012 @ 03:31 PM
In a strong showing of support, over thirty Hispanic national organizations with considerable clout today urged Congress to pass immigration reform including the Uniting American Families Act.
At a time when both major political parties are vying for the Hispanic vote, national Latino business, labor, civil rights, women’s, environmental, media, legal, and educational organizations released their quadrennial National Hispanic Leadership Agenda. The Agenda, which provides comprehensive policy recommendations in the areas of jobs, education, immigration, civil rights, and more, listed UAFA as a priority, calling on elected leaders to:
"Include the Uniting American Families Act in comprehensive reform in order to eliminate discrimination in immigration laws by permitting permanent partners of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to obtain lawful permanent resident status."
The Agenda, led by the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the National Hispanic Media Coalition, and the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, also includes the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (MALDEF), the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators, and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund, and many more.
Immigration Equality is proud to partner with these influential organizations to press Congress for comprehensive immigration reform that includes all families.
Below is a full list of National Hispanic Leadership Agenda members:
Cuban American National Council
Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities
Hispanic National Bar Association
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
League of United Latin American Citizens
MANA, A National Latina Organization
Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund
National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives
National Association of Hispanic Publications
National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund
National Council of La Raza
National Conference of Puerto Rican Women
National Hispana Leadership Institute
National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators
National Hispanic Council on Aging
National Hispanic Environmental Council
National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts
National Hispanic Media Coalition
National Hispanic Medical Association
National Image, Inc.
National Institute for Latino Policy
National Puerto Rican Coalition, Inc.
Self Reliance Foundation
SER – Jobs for Progress National, Inc.
Southwest Voter Registration Education Project
United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
United States Hispanic Leadership Institute
United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce
Congressman Honda Speaks Out For Family In His District Working To Stay Together
By Kathryn Baxter on 08/17/2012 @ 09:48 AM
In a new My Family. Together. video, Representative Mike Honda (CA-15) affirms his commitment to “fight for an immigration system that protects families – all families – and makes our nation stronger and more perfect." He tells the story of a married lesbian couple in his district, Judy and Karin, who have been directly affected by discrimination in our country’s immigration policies. Because Judy cannot sponsor her British wife Karen for residency, she chose to take an early retirement from her job and now travels to live in the UK for six months of each year. Karin visits Judy in the US on a tourist visa, but can only stay a short time each visit.
This video is just one action out of many in Representative Honda’s work on behalf of our families. He is the lead sponsor of the Reuniting Families Act, which includes the full text of the Uniting American Families Act, which would allow LGBT Americans to sponsor their partners/spouses for green cards. He also wrote a letter earlier this month (along with Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, UAFA lead sponsor Representative Jerrold Nadler, and 81 other members of Congress) asking the Department of Homeland Security to put a verbal policy into writing that would help prevent deportations and separations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) partners and spouses.
Immigration Equality thanks Representative Honda for telling Judy and Karin’s story in this video and for all that he continues to do for our families.