Aboard Air Force One
By Rachel Tiven on 01/29/2013 @ 03:07 PM
An hour ago, White House press secretary Jay Carney confirmed to reporters traveling with President Obama aboard Air Force one that the commander-in-chief wants our families in immigration reform.
Speaking about the inclusion of the Uniting American Families Act in the coming immigration reform bill, Carney said, “The President believes that it should be included and that should come as no surprise.... As we've said all along, this is consistent with the principles he has laid out over the last four years. And the President has long believed that Americans with same-sex partners from other countries should not be faced with the painful choice between staying with the person they love or staying in the country they love.”
The President has our families’ backs, now let’s back him up and get inclusive immigration reform passed.
First, call the White House and tell President Obama: “Thank you for including LGBT families among your priorities for immigration reform.” Dial the White House at (202) 456-1111, or if the line is busy, send him a message online here.
Then, call both of your Senators and tell them: “I support the President’s plan for immigration reform that includes LGBT families.” Dial the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. The operator will be able to connect you with your Senator. Then, call back again to speak with your other Senator, too.
Finally, forward this post along to five of your friends, and ask them to call and support the President’s inclusive plan, too.
President Obama has shown his leadership before, leading the charge to help topple “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and transforming public opinion about marriage equality. We know his leadership can help our families make history this time, too.
Together with the President, we can pass inclusive immigration reform.
Ally organizations stand up for LGBT families!
By Kathryn Baxter on 01/29/2013 @ 12:25 PM
Immigration Equality is proud to partner with immigration, Latino, Asian Pacific Islander, and other groups to work towards fair, inclusive immigration reform that keeps all families together and offers a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented. Many of these groups called yesterday for a bipartisan group is Senators to explicitly add LGBT families to their immigration reform framework and bill. We thank our allies for supporting the LGBT immigrant families in their communities!
“We will stand up for every family, including LGBT families, who deserve the same protections as every other family.”
“The Senate-proposed principles tackle our long backlogs of family members waiting in line to come to the U.S., but at the same time did not expand immigration benefits to same-sex partners.”
“We are also disappointed by the exclusion of the Uniting American Families Act to ensure fair treatment of LGBT families from the bill.”
“We will work toward ensuring that adopted reform recognizes and addresses all of the elements of our current immigration system that are at odds with our nation's constitutional principles, including… enforcement of family unification policies that discriminate against LGBT couples.”
“We are also hopeful that as this proposal moves through the legislative process, LGBT-inclusive measures which LULAC has long supported will be added to the legislation.”
Joint statement by National Center for Lesbian Rights, Human Rights Campaign, Immigration Equality Action Fund, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, and National Center for Transgender Equality:
“Any legislation must include the ability of couples in same-sex relationships to sponsor their spouse or permanent-partner in the same way opposite-sex couples have long been able to under current immigration law.”
“As we learn more about the Senate principles and hear President Obama’s immigration framework tomorrow, we hope the President specifically outlines a proposal that fully integrates the needs of LGBT immigrants in the United States.
“We will work non-stop to make sure our families are part of comprehensive immigration reform legislation when it is introduced. Any immigration bill in Congress must allow LGBT people to sponsor their spouse or permanent partner in the same way opposite-sex couples have long been able to under current immigration law.”
The Washington Examiner also highlighted the broad support across groups for LGBT family protections. We pledge to continue working with our allied organizations for fair, inclusive immigration reform and are grateful for their support.
Today I need you to make three calls.
By Rachel Tiven on 01/28/2013 @ 12:30 PM
Earlier this morning, a bipartisan group of Senators issued a framework for comprehensive immigration reform. To our great disappointment, their plan does not explicitly include LGBT binational families.
Today’s framework is a starting point, but not yet a bill. Will you make 3 phone calls today to insist that our families be part of any immigration reform bill in Congress?
First, call the White House. Tomorrow, President Obama will unveil his own plan for immigration reform during a speech in Las Vegas. Earlier this week, the White House issued its strongest statement yet in support of our families. Now, we need to ensure the President doesn’t forget us tomorrow.
Call the White House at (202) 456-1111. Tell the President, “I appreciate the President’s support of LGBT immigrant families. I am calling to ask that when the President speaks tomorrow in Las Vegas, he specifically call for immigration reform that keeps gay binational families together.”
Then, call each of your Senators. Dial the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. The operator will be able to connect you with your Senator. When they do, tell them, “I am a constituent, and I am calling to ask the Senator to work for a comprehensive immigration reform bill that includes the Uniting American Families Act.”
Then, call back a second time, and send the same message to your other Senator.
With your help, we can work to ensure that, when legislation is introduced in Congress, it includes our families. Now is the time to pass immigration reform that helps all families. That starts – right now – with your phone calls.
Don’t be tardy for the party!
By Lauren Lomauro on 01/25/2013 @ 04:12 PM
Valentine’s Day presents a special opportunity to raise awareness about the thousands of loving couples separated or facing separation because of our country’s unjust immigration laws. This year, we hope you will mark the occasion by attending a Valentine’s fundraiser in your city, or by hosting your own. It’s not too late!
We are especially grateful to our beverage sponsor, Diageo, an outstanding partner in our Business Coalition for UAFA. Diageo has generously agreed to donate a delicious bottle of reserve from Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines to each host who raises $1,070 (the price of a green card) or more at their party!
Please join any of our Valentine’s day parties below or support them with a donation:
- Brooklyn Movie Night: Crossing Over
Friday, February 15 at 8pm
- Chicago Bar Night
Saturday, February 16 at 4pm
- Denver Bar Night
Wednesday, February 13 at 5:30pm
- Kansas City (RSVP by email)
Stay tuned — later this spring!
- London Movie Night: Edie and Thea: A Very Long Engagement
Monday, February 18 at 6:30pm
- London Donor Dinner with the Filmmakers (RSVP by email for address)
Tuesday, February 19 at 7pm
- Los Angeles House Party in the Hollywood Hills
Saturday, February 9 at 3pm
- Miami Bar Night
Sunday, February 17 at 9pm
- Rio de Janeiro Bar Night (RSVP by email for address)
Thursday, February 28 at 7pm
- San Francisco Bar Night
Friday, February 15 at 9pm
- Seattle House Party
Thursday, February 14 at 7pm
- Washington, DC House Party (RSVP by email for address)
Saturday, February 16 at 7pm
Thank you for your loving support. We hope you will donate to a Valentine’s Day party near you.
NYC Binational Couple Knows The Value Of Community Service
By Ameesha Sampat on 01/19/2013 @ 10:25 AM
Today, as we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a National Day of Service, Immigration Equality would like to shine a spotlight on one binational couple that have made service and volunteerism within their community a part of their regular lives.
Steven Eng, a U.S. citizen, and Neal Stone, his Canadian partner, are “diehard volunteers” when it comes to community service and contributing to service groups and organizations. The two met when they were both employed at the same urban planning firm in New York, and volunteered to participate in the firm’s holiday choir. Fortunately for the couple, Neal has always maintained lawful non-immigrant status for the almost 15 years he has lived and worked in the United States. They bought a house together in 2006, were married in 2009, and have made Jackson Heights their home.
I had the chance to speak with Steven about their experiences volunteering and what it means to them.
How did you first get involved in community service?
Neal comes from a long family line of people back in Canada who set a great example for him with their public service and volunteerism. He believes that volunteerism is done with the best of intentions to work together with others to make communities and society better. That's why he does urban planning, professionally; there's great satisfaction knowing that you're contributing to making the world a better place to live for everyone.
I grew up in a pretty poor area, and both of my parents were always working. I grew up around people who didn’t have a lot, but were good people. I saw the amount of time my parents would give to me at school, as best they could, to help raise money or make food for school banquets. Probably it came from my parents’ own sense of giving… Once I was out on my own and opportunities came up, it was a no-brainer.
You each have your own separate projects – Steven founded a young not-for-profit organization, National Asian Artists Project (NAAP), and Neal is beginning an elected two-term Chairmanship this spring for the National Gays & Lesbians in Planning within the American Planning Association – but do you also participate in events together?
We do both belong the Lions Club. We also have friends that will have activities going on who will ask for volunteers, and we’ll do it together, like the Youth Dance at the LGBT center in Manhattan. Aside from our individual projects, most of our volunteer time is together. We like to help each other out.
What would you say was the most memorable or meaningful event you’ve participated in?
The LGBT youth dance was really important to us. Seeing out teenagers – we were in awe this would even happen, because when we were growing up that would not happen. We were able to give them a safe environment where they could just be themselves. That’s not something we ever got to experience.
Anything big coming up on the horizon?
As Lions Club members, we will again be participating in the January 28th night-long New York City Department of Homeless Services HOPE survey for their National Day of Service. The HOPE survey is performed on one of the coldest nights of the year, when the parks, subways, streets and other public spaces of all five New York City boroughs are canvassed by more than 3,000 volunteers to count and find assistance for the number of people living unsheltered in the city. Additionally, fundraising for the 2013 New York City AIDS Walk on May 19th in Central Park has already kicked off, and we will again proudly be a part of Scott A. Kramer’s Pat Benatar-inspired “Team Invincible” – as we have for much of the past decade.
Do you have plans for the National Day of Service on Saturday?
We’ll both be doing more planning work on upcoming projects – Neal’s starting his new position with Gays & Lesbians in Planning within the American Planning Association, and is excited to implement some new programming, and I plan to be very busy with my not-for-profit!
Do you have any advice for people who are thinking of getting involved in their community?
Ask yourself first: what is it you really enjoy? I’m quite certain that there is a way to offer it to people who can benefit from it. It can be anything! If you love to read, then read to people. There are plenty of underserved people in most communities that can always benefit from any individual’s talent or interest. Find a community center or organization that has outreach and see if you can offer your services.
I will admit that I had the luxury of growing up around supportive and loving people, which a lot of people don’t have. It’s that kind of support that enables somebody to take another step and say, “I’ll be happy to do this for other people.” I’m lucky, and I know that.
Steven and Neal are a family that is contributing to their community. Share your story, too, to help us show Congress, the media, and anyone who doubts that our families need a permanent solution to make their communities truly their homes.
Send a postcard to Congress with just a few clicks
By Julie Kruse on 01/11/2013 @ 10:13 AM
I’m excited to let you know that the Latino community is standing with Immigration Equality to fight for LGBT immigrant families, and we are standing up to support immigration reform that helps ALL families! Thirty national Hispanic organizations and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus have called for comprehensive immigration reform that includes LGBT families and the Uniting American Families Act.
Now, Immigration Equality is standing up with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the largest Hispanic membership organization in the U.S., to call for comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship and family unification — for all families.
In November, both the Latino and LGBT communities flexed our electoral muscles, and made it clear that we can win at the polls – for LGBT families, and for immigration reform. Members of Congress of both parties got the message loud and clear, calling for immigration reform.
Now, our communities join together to remind Congress that we voted for immigration reform — and that we want them to act. Click here to send a postcard telling your members of Congress exactly that.
In addition to calling for a pathway to citizenship and fixes to the employment visa system, the postcard explicitly calls for the ability of LGBT Americans to sponsor their partners/spouses for immigration.
When you digitally “sign” this postcard online, LULAC will mail a hard copy of your postcard to your Members of Congress. We need Congressmembers’ mailboxes flooded with these postcards — demanding immigration reform that is truly comprehensive by including all families.
The fight for immigration reform that is inclusive is one we are poised to win, but need your help every step of the to make it happen. We need you fighting like your family depends on it… because it does. Over the coming months we’ll be asking you to help us win equality in a number of ways — calling your Members of Congress, writing letters to the editor, attending an event in your area, or sharing your story.
There will be lots to do in these critical months. Today, we’re just asking you to sign a postcard.
Where's the Party?
By Lauren Lomauro on 01/08/2013 @ 02:20 PM
Share the love during the week of Valentine’s Day by hosting a fundraising party for Immigration Equality. A February party is a fun way for you to bring together supporters and future supporters.
There are so many ways to participate:
• Host a brunch or cocktail party at your home. • Hold an event at a neighborhood bar. • Have a bake sale.
We have all the tools you need to make your party a success.
Not interested in hosting but want to mingle with like-minded supporters of equality? Sign up here for the guest list. We’ll let you know about parties in your area.
I look forward to hearing your great party ideas!
Remembering Senator Inouye
By Julie Kruse on 12/18/2012 @ 01:03 PM
We are saddened by the death of Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii yesterday. Senator Inouye broke barriers as the first Japanese-American elected to the United States Congress. During his more than 50 years there he was a strong champion for social justice and equality. He supported equality for LGBT immigrants and was a strong advocate of immigrant rights and LGBT equality overall. He was a long-time co-sponsor of the Uniting American Families Act. In 2011, Senator Inouye signed a letter to the Department of Homeland Security asking for green cards for same-sex spouses to be held rather than denied – progress we are still fighting for today. He was a co-sponsor of many other pieces of pro-LGBT and pro-immigrant legislation, including the Respect for Marriage Act and the DREAM Act.
Senator Inouye’s staff that Immigration Equality worked with, like the Senator himself, were kind, generous with their time, helpful, and cared deeply for all Hawaii families.
Daniel Inouye’s death is a loss not just for the Senate and the state of Hawaii, but for all who seek to advance justice.
Republicans Co-sponsor UAFA in House
By Kathryn Baxter on 12/14/2012 @ 10:27 AM
Today, Republican Congressmen Charlie Dent (PA-15) and Richard Hanna (NY-24) became co-sponsors of the Uniting American Families Act, joining their Republican colleague in the Senate, Susan Collins of Maine. This exciting news means UAFA is once again a bipartisan bill in the House and is now for the first time ever a bipartisan bill in both chambers of Congress. Their co-sponsorship demonstrates the broadening belief that gay and lesbian families should no longer be torn apart by immigration law.
In deciding to co-sponsor this bill, the Congressmen noted the negative impact that current, discriminatory law has on American businesses that are unable to recruit and retain talent. A CNN Money article released Monday showcased the significant corporate support for UAFA.
Pfizer is just one of 30 corporations that are members of the Business Coalition for UAFA. In 2005, Pfizer worked with Gordon Stewart, to find a suitable position for him in the UK 2005 so he could work and live with his partner there, as the UK recognizes same-sex couples for immigration benefits. "It takes a significant commitment from both Pfizer and me to maintain this relationship," says Stewart. "If I didn't have this opportunity, I would've had to choose between my partner and my career."
“I applaud Congressman Hanna for stepping up to support New York families and businesses by cosponsoring this legislation,” said Stewart.
Congressmen Dent and Hanna are both endorsed by the Log Cabin Republicans, the nation's largest organization of Republicans who support fairness, freedom, and equality for LGBT Americans.
If you are a constituent of Congressman Hanna or Dent, please call and thank him for his support. You can reach Congressman Dent’s office at 202-225-6411 and Congressman Hanna’s office at 202-225-3665. If your representatives in Congress are not yet cosponsors, send them a note and ask them to follow Congressmen Dent and Hanna’s lead.
A season to share (your story)
By Kathryn Baxter on 11/29/2012 @ 10:25 AM
With the holidays just around the corner, many people take this time of year to send cards or newsletters to family and friends — updating one another on life events and sending warm wishes for the new year.
This year we’re asking you to add a few more people to your correspondence list: write a letter to your members of Congress and ask your friends and family to do the same.
Our online tool makes it simple to send emails to all of your elected officials. We give you some text to start; you just add your own story about what UAFA would mean for you. Personal stories make a huge difference in demonstrating to your Member of Congress that this is a local issue that matters to their constituents.
We also ask you to share this opportunity with the people who are important to you. Please forward this post to six friends and ask them to write a letter too. Members of Congress need to hear not only from families directly affected by this situation — also but from extended family, friends, and the community members who care about this issue.
Forward this post to six friends who care about you and your family and ask them to join you in writing to their Members of Congress.
Thanks in advance for taking action.
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