Coalition of Leading Tech Companies Endorses UAFA
By Chris Fleming on 03/21/2012 @ 09:30 AM
We are pleased that Compete America has formally endorsed the Uniting American Families Act. Compete America is the leading advocate for reform of U.S. immigration policy for highly educated foreign professionals. Its members include Google, Microsoft, Intel, Cisco, and many other technology sector businesses.
In a press release issued on March 1, 2012, Compete America stated that discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans under U.S. immigration law “is unacceptable for employers and their employees and hurts America’s competitiveness.” The organization’s Executive Director Scott Corley continued, “We don’t want to see our employees separated from their families. We want these skilled workers to be able to live here, where they can help grow our businesses and expand our economy.”
Immigration Equality Action Fund’s Executive Director, Rachel B. Tiven, says this endorsement represents many Fortune 500 companies’ frustration at seeing their gay and lesbian employees treated differently — and suffering the consequences.
“Our nation’s most innovative companies are saddled with unnecessary challenges and costs due to this discrimination,” Tiven said. “Losing an innovative engineer or moving a key researcher abroad starves American companies of their talents and the revenue they could generate here .”
In addition to Compete America’s endorsement, more than 20 global companies have joined the Business Coalition for the Uniting American Families Act,. To learn more, visit the Business Coalition here.
Senator Leahy Stands Up for Frances & Takako
By Christopher Edwards on 03/20/2012 @ 05:17 PM
Today Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont released a statement of support to the Congressional Record on the case of his constituents and our clients Frances Herbert and Takako Ueda, as well as constituent Michael Upton, who cannot live with his partner in the US, and Gordon Stewart, former Immigration Equality Board member, who lives with his partner abroad because they cannot live together in the United States.
Seantor Leahy has long been a supporter of our families and is lead sponsor of the Uniting American Families Act in the Senate. The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the U.S. Congress.
His statement, which you can read online, reads in part:
This case underscores not only the harm that current Federal law causes to same sex couples, but the additional hardship placed upon same sex binational couples whose marriages are not recognized as the foundation of a spousal-based green card petition.
We wholeheartedly agree. The burden on our families is beyond unreasonable. Thank you Senator Leahy for defending our families and calling for action!
Chicagoans Organize To Support the Action Fund
By Morris Floyd on 03/20/2012 @ 01:18 PM
Immigration Equality is grateful for the efforts of our growing group of midwest activists who hosted our first community fundraising house party in Chicago. Below is co-host Morris Floyd's report from the field.
I was part of a group of friends who organized a fundraising house party to support the Immigration Equality Action Fund on March 17. Although it was started in response to the Valentine’s Day initiative, we used the St. Patrick’s Irish-inspired theme — also appropriate in an immigration context!
We were delighted by the response!
The initial goal has been to raise at least $2,160 — the cost of two “Green Card” applications — but more than $3,000 has actually come in so far, with more promised. Sandra Carter, owner of Taste Food & Wine on Chicago’s north side, worked with friends to host a performance of “Florence Nighinjail” at the shop on March 4. The total includes more than $700 in proceeds from ticket sales and contributions that was presented at the fundraiser.
Those attending included representatives of bi-national families with partners from Aruba, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany and Scotland, among others. They enjoyed St. Patrick’s Day themed food and beverage, great conversation and networking. Ten other donors made gifts online, even though they could not attend.
From to talking to many of the participants, it was clearly unnecessary to reiterate the challenges that same-sex bi-national couples experience — uncertainty, waiting, sometimes prohibitive legal expense, and anger about the injustice of immigration law. One man described his feelings of rage and powerlessness when his partner was turned back at the U.S. port of entry because he had entered the country so many other times previously, even though he was never “out of status.” Another reflected with pain on the likelihood that the family will have to move abroad when his partner finishes school. “Yes, we have those options, but why should we have to consider them when a heterosexual married couple does not?” Still others addressed the stress of long-distance relationships or the anxiety associated with undocumented partners who could be discovered and deported with little warning.
Along with many of the participants, co-host David Gunnell emphasized the hope that the event would be a first step toward a major Midwest presence for Immigration Equality, noting that the issues affect people all over the country and not just on the coasts. Aimee Cousino, an organizer of the “Florence Nightinjail” performance, commented on how few attendees understood the difficulties that same sex bi-national face and how happy they were to offer support when it was explained.
My friends and I were surprised and disappointed when we realized that the only “Valentine” events being held in the U.S. other than Chicago were on the coasts. Besides the opportunity to raise additional money in support of Immigration Equality and the Action Fund, a presence in other cities across the country helps amplify the message of hope and knowledge of the resources for same-sex bi-national families. Moreover, it’s a way to provide education that enhances the climate of public support for the Uniting American Families Act, which will be especially important during this election year.
Join the Safe Haven Awards Host Committee!
By Rachel Tiven on 02/27/2012 @ 04:28 PM
It is with great pleasure that I invite you to join the host committee for our annual Safe Haven Awards in Manhattan. For one incredible evening, the entire Immigration Equality family comes together – our pro bono community, business coalition partners, faith leaders, political champions, and loyal supporters like you.
2012 Safe Haven Awards
Thursday, May 17
6:30 – 10pm
AXA Equitable Center
787 7th Avenue between 51st and 52nd Streets
New York City
Host committee members ensure the success of the Safe Haven Awards in many critical ways such as:
- Sponsoring the Safe Haven Awards at the $589 level or higher
- Asking friends, family, and colleagues to join them in purchasing tickets
- Attending our annual invitation signing party the first week of April
Attended annually by over 400 people, the Safe Haven Awards celebrates our shared commitment to equality for LGBT and HIV-positive immigrants and their families. Look for an email in the coming weeks with information on ticket sales, guest speakers, and honorees. I hope you will join us.
P.S. Be sure to join the host committee by Monday, March 5 if you would like to be listed on the print invitations. We’ll add names to the website and emails on a rolling basis as new members join.
Andrew Sullivan on the Fight for LGBT Immigrant Families
By Steve Ralls on 02/27/2012 @ 01:26 PM
Author, blogger and activist Andrew Sullivan - who also serves as an Immigration Equality Action Fund board member - talks movingly about his support of full equality for LGBT immigrant families in a new video posted at The Daily Beast.
Sullivan, who recently appeared on our behalf at several London Immigration Equality events, shares his thoughts on that experience with Daily Beast readers. He also talks about rallying European support for fair immigration laws.
Andrew's video is below, and is also available at The Daily Beast website.
2 Things to be Passionate About
By Andrew Sullivan on 02/14/2012 @ 09:00 AM
Most people know many of the things I’m most passionate about: politics, blogging, civil equality, and spirited debate. But I have another passion you might not know about, too: Immigration Equality Action Fund.
I don’t offer endorsements very often, but I am incredibly proud to serve on Immigration Equality Action Fund’s board and to support their work on behalf of LGBT immigrants and their families. I joined the board because there are very few organizations who can point to a track record as impressive as this one:
• Ending the HIV travel and immigration ban. • Winning asylum for 500 (and counting) LGBT asylees fleeing persecution abroad. • Stopping the separation of families (like Bradford Wells and Anthony Makk) facing deportation because of discriminatory immigration laws.
Those are three monumental achievements in the LGBT rights movement, and they were all made possible by Immigration Equality Action Fund’s ground-breaking work. They’ve done the heavy lifting needed to change countless lives, including my own. I know, first-hand, the impact of their efforts. I too was in a bi-national marriage and had to struggle because of my HIV status to win the right to live with my husband, Aaron, in America. It was an arduous process and took eighteen years. But throughout it all, I found Immigration Equality to be peerless in their passion, unsurpassed in their expertise, deep in their care for those in desperate trouble. They don't just fight for changing the law; they work tirelessly to help real couples in real crises.
I don't know of any gay rights organization as dedicated to getting things done as Immigration Equality. Without them, HIV would still be a bar for non-Americans to even visit this country. Without them, we will never end the appalling tragedy of American citizens having to choose between the person they love and the country they live in.
I also know it doesn’t happen for free. So here's my request on behalf of all those who fall in love with someone from another country.
By becoming a monthly donor to Immigration Equality Action Fund, you can ensure the funds are there to win equality for every family facing separation, or forced into exile. I just can’t think of a better way to honor the day dedicated to love, passion and togetherness.
Please join Immigration Equality Action Fund with a monthly donation of $36, $50, $100 or more. Your gift will help us to plan for the future – and continue fighting – while knowing that the support will be there to keep us moving forward.
Ending discrimination. To keep love alive across borders and oceans. Two things to be passionate about this Valentine’s Day.
More Co-Sponsors for UAFA!
By Connie Utada on 02/06/2012 @ 12:47 PM
Congress has only been back in session for a few weeks and the Uniting American Families Act gained two new co-sponsors!
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH, pictured) and Representative Rob Andrews (D-NJ-1) have both signed onto support the bill. Currently, there are 24 Senators (including lead sponsor Patrick Leahy) and 131 Representatives (including lead sponsor Jerry Nadler) who have cosponsored UAFA.
Immigration Equality commends the new cosponsorship of Senator Shaheen and the returning cosponsorship of Rep. Andrews, and their public support for LGBT binational families in their district, state, and beyond.
We also thank everyone who contacted their Representatives and Senators to inform them of the constituent support for UAFA. If you have not done so, please contact your member of Congress today and ask him/her to cosponsor the Uniting American Families Act and if he/she is already a cosponsor, please thank them for their continued support.
Photo via shaheen.senate.gov
Find a Valentine's Fundraiser (Or Host One!) Near You
By Tara Sadooghi on 02/01/2012 @ 05:14 PM
As a day about love and commitment, Valentine’s Day can be a special opportunity to raise awareness about the thousands of loving couples separated by our country's unfair immigration laws. And this year, you can mark the occasion by joining a house party near you to support our work to include binational families in immigration reform!
- London Pub Night, featuring blogger, activist and author Andrew Sullivan
Wednesday, February 15th
- Los Angeles Bar Night
Saturday, February 18th
- Brooklyn House Party
Saturday, February 25th
- DC House Party
Saturday, February 25th
- San Francisco Bar Night
Saturday, February 25th
- Chicago House Party
Saturday, March 17th
Online Toolkit (or How You Can Host Your Very Own Valentine’s Fundraiser!)
It’s not too late! Immigration Equality would still take on more volunteers from around the globe to host their own Valentine’s house party fundraisers. Not only do we wish to raise awareness with our nearest and dearest about the injustices we face as binational families, we also need to raise the funds we will need to win full equality.
Each house party can include an optional call-in on the day of, from Executive Director Rachel Tiven. Included below is an online toolkit on how to get your party started and the best tips for a successful day of. Interested hosts should contact Tara Sadooghi, at email@example.com, for more details.
Elements of an Immigration Equality Toolkit
- Personal fundraising page with thermometer! See the complete ‘How To’ on how to set up your very own page, below!
- A checklist/timeline (download the PDF) to track all that you need for a successful event
- A unique Immigration Equality graphic (see below) to use on your Facebook, Twitter and various social media pages to advertise your event
How to Set Up a Community Fundraising Page
- Visit the Community Fundraising Dashboard. Clicking here will redirect you to the dashboard where you can set up your personal fundraising page.
- Register and create an account otherwise log-in if you already have a log-in. Please note: If you are creating an account for the first time, you will have to visit the Community Fundraising Dashboard again after you create your account.
- Once in your Dashboard, select “Create your page”.
- Select your goal. Our general advice is to set a goal of $1,080 which is the cost for one green card application fee. If you feel comfortable setting a higher goal, we encourage you to do so!
- Title your fundraiser.
- Write your appeal, we’ve given you a head start. Tell others why you want to end immigration discrimination against LGBT families.
- Choose an image (optional), one of your family or someone impacted by immigration discrimination or use our event logo below. (Right click to save the image and upload it.)
- Choose at least 5 donation levels from the 8 options provided.
- Then, click “Create” … and you are done with the set up! Now promote your page as a Valentine’s Day House Party event!
Ways to promote your Valentine’s Day House Party
- Share the link to your page on both Twitter and Facebook
- Invite your friends, Facebook events are a great way to do this. Use the image below (right click to download) in your Facebook event. Remember to link to your donation page in the Facebook event!
- Circulate an email to your friends, family, colleagues and networks that includes a brief description telling others why you want to end immigration discrimination against LGBT families. Remember to link to your donation page!
How to make your party the most successful on the day of:
- Join a conference call with Director of Development, Win Chesson, to learn the best tips on how to make a successful fundraising pitch on the day of your event.
- Have a computer set up and logged in to your personal fundraising page so that people can make donations straight to your campaign at the party.
- Have your television or computer set to screen IE videos from YouTube at the party, like the Day in the Life of Immigration Equality video at the end of this post.
- Relax and enjoy!
A First Class Commitment: Ogilvy & Mather Joins the Business Coalition for UAFA
By Chris Fleming on 02/01/2012 @ 10:38 AM
Immigration Equality Action Fund is proud to welcome Ogilvy & Mather – one of the world’s largest and most well-respected advertising, marketing and public relations firms – to the Business Coalition for the Uniting American Families Act. Ogilvy is now one of twenty global business leaders to join the Coalition, and endorse passage of UAFA, which would end the separation of LGBT immigrant families.
Business Coalition members are critical allies in our Congressional outreach campaign. By providing first-hand accounts of the attrition, relocation and other costs businesses pay because of discriminatory immigration laws, these business leaders add a powerful voice to our efforts on Capitol Hill. Ogilvy, and other Business Coalition members, are sending a clear message to lawmakers: Discrimination against LGBT families is bad business.
Ogilvy’s commitment to ensuring that all of its employees and customers are treated as first class citizens is in keeping with its corporate mission of “Only a first class business, and that in a first class way.”
For more information on the Business Coalition for UAFA, click here. To add your company to our growing list of business allies – and for information on how you can help recruit your company to join the Coalition, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image via Ogilvy.com
Make The State of OUR Unions Stronger: Tweet the White House This Thursday
By Steve Ralls on 01/24/2012 @ 03:11 PM
UPDATE: At Thursday's LGBT Twitter town hall, the White House weighed in on a question urging the President to stop the separation of binational families:
POTUS supports #DOMA repeal to help keep binational #LGBT couples 2gether @DHSgov enforcement discretion includes #LGBT #WHchat
This evening, President Obama will deliver his annual State of the Union address, outlining his priorities and goals for the country for the coming year.
As soon as the President concludes his remarks, pundits, politicos and everyone in-between will begin their analysis of what the President said . . . what he didn't say . . . and what he should have said.
This year, you get a say, too.
At 11am ET on Thursday, you can join a live session of the White House's LGBT Office Hour - via Twitter - with Miriam Vogel, White House Senior Policy Advisor, and Gautam Raghavan, White House Associate Director for Public Engagement.
You can ask questions, using the #WHchat hashtag - and follow the Q & A through the @WHLive Twitter account.
It's your chance to tell the President: Make the state of OUR unions stronger by ending green card denials for LGBT spouses and beginning the work to pass the Uniting American Families Act.
At 11am Thursday, join us in sending one of these tweets to the White House:
Will the President stop denying green cards filed by lesbian and gay couples?
Will the President endorse the Uniting American Families Act to stop the separation of LGBT families?
If we all tweet at 11am on Thursday, we can send a powerful, coordinated message to the White House: We can't wait. The time to stand up for our families is right now.
Image via WhiteHouse.gov
Leader Pelosi thanks LGBT Binational Families for their Patriotism
By Julie Kruse on 01/19/2012 @ 06:11 PM
“I’m very proud of your efforts and I’m honored to be associated with them.”
Today, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke on a phone call with over one hundred Immigration Equality supporters, most of whom are directly affected by discrimination against LGBT families in immigration law, struggling to keep their families together in the United States.
Leader Pelosi closed her remarks by saying to the audience:
What they (LGBT binational families attending the call) are doing for themselves, for their families, for their loved ones, I know they know they’re doing for our country…When we end discrimination in any way we make our country more American and I thank them for their patriotism. As we all know [addressing] one case at at time, what it means it people’s lives; but it also strengthens our country as we move towards ending discrimination. So I thank you all for doing that. I’m very proud of your efforts and I’m honored to be associated with them.
On building support for the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) and the Reuniting Families Act which includes UAFA, Leader Pelosi said:
We must continue to build support for legislation: the Uniting [American] Families Act – thank you for your leadership there — and the Reuniting Families Act, both of which I’m proud to cosponsor. I thank my colleagues for their leadership — Barney Frank, Jerry Nadler, and others have been wonderful.… This week, as we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, I am reminded that he said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. How beautiful. I believe that this is the case with marriage equality and the LGBT immigration policy. The fight is far from over, but we’ll continue to work towards the day when all American families are treated with respect and viewed equally in the eyes of the law.
On advocating with the Obama administration, Leader Pelosi stated:
I joined several of my colleagues in the House in seeking abeyance for all DOMA-related immigration cases while litigation on DOMA’s constitutionality is pending. I think it’s very important.
Regarding discretionary relief in deportation cases, Leader Pelosi stated:
The administration [is undertaking] a case by case approach; we have urged them to fully consider LGBT family ties as part of their new efforts to prioritize immigration enforcement on those cases that have impacted our national security. That will make a big difference.
On Immigration Equality’s work, and Bradford Wells and Anthony Makk’s case, Leader Pelosi stated:
Thank you for your advocacy and determination, thank you Immigration Equality for bringing us closer to that concept being a dream come true for all Americans, for all America’s families. I thank you for giving me the opportunity to express my appreciation to you for what you do, to receive your thanks that I will explain to my colleagues for what they do, and to just to take the opportunity once again to celebrate the Bradford Wells and Anthony John Makk victory that we had; hopefully it will be a model for how we go forward.
To listen to a recording of the entire Call for Change with Nancy Pelosi and Executive Director Rachel B. Tiven, dial 1-800-977-8002 and then enter *57676248#. For an audio file (MP3) of the entire Call for Change with Nancy Pelosi and Executive Director Rachel B. Tiven, download here.
This Action Updates post reprinted from the Immigration Equality Blog.
Going to Creating Change? Lobby for UAFA!
By Connie Utada on 01/18/2012 @ 12:47 AM
Immigration Equality needs Creating Change attendees to lobby for UAFA on Thursday, January 26! If you are going to Creating Change and want to lobby, we need to know.
From January 25-29, 2012, Creating Change, the largest national conference focused on organizing and skills-building for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community will be in Baltimore, MD and it will include a day of lobbying on Capitol Hill on January 26. If we can rally a large enough group, we can include lobby training on the Uniting American Families Act (S. 821 / H.R. 1537), a bill that will allow gay and lesbian Americans and Legal Permanent Residents to sponsor their foreign born partners for immigration. If you are going to Creating Change and want to lobby, we need to know.
Call for Change with Nancy Pelosi: Thursday, January 19th
By Rachel Tiven on 01/16/2012 @ 10:00 AM
Dr. Martin Luther King said: “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.”
Our vision of a more fair and just world gets closer every day. Today, as we celebrate Dr. King’s life and legacy, I am so grateful for you – the Immigration Equality family – that is making massive change possible. We all know that the struggle goes on as we work to keep our families together.
I hope you will join me this Thursday, January 19th, for a special conference call with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to kick off our 2012 blueprint for change.
Immigration Equality’s Call for Change with Nancy Pelosi
Thursday, January 19th 11am – Noon ET (8 – 9am PT)
(international callers should dial 404-920-6440)
Access Code 57676248#
We’ll have a special message for our supporters from Leader Pelosi, who recently intervened to win a landmark victory for her constituents, Bradford Wells & Anthony Makk. And, we will look at the opportunities and challenges in the year ahead. We’ll also discuss the work we’re planning in Washington and how you can be part of our strategy, no matter where you are.
In 2011, we stopped the deportation of Michael Thomas . . . enlisted critical new allies like Leader Pelosi in our fight . . . and put our families on the national radar as never before. In 2012, we will win even more success for LGBT immigrant families.
Please join me, and Leader Pelosi, on Thursday for this exciting kick-off to a new year of progress as we rally behind a call for change.
Immigration Equality Statement on Appointment of Cecilia Munoz to Domestic Policy Council
By Steve Ralls on 01/10/2012 @ 01:50 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 10, 2012
CONTACT: Steve Ralls (202) 347-7007 / email@example.com
IMMIGRATION EQUALITY STATEMENT ON THE APPOINTMENT OF CECILIA MUNOZ TO DOMESTIC POLICY COUNCIL
WASHINGTON, DC - Rachel B. Tiven, executive of Immigration Equality Action Fund, issued the following statement today regarding President Obama’s appointment of Cecilia Munoz to head the White House Domestic Policy Council.
“The President’s appointment of a trusted and experienced leader on immigration issues to head the Domestic Policy Council is welcome news. As President Obama’s point-person on immigration and Hispanic outreach, Ms. Munoz has been an important ally working with Immigration Equality to ensure fair and inclusive immigration policies. Munoz understands the critical impact of a broad range of immigration issues on the day-to-day life of our country. Her new role, as a leader among the President’s most experienced and devoted advisers, ensures that the voices and views of our country’s diverse communities will be heard as the Administration tackles important domestic policy initiatives.”
# # #
Immigration Equality Action Fund advocates on Capitol Hill for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and HIV-positive immigrants and their families. To end discrimination in U.S. immigration law, Immigration Equality Action Fund works to pass the Uniting American Families Act and LGBT-inclusive Comprehensive Immigration Reform. The Action Fund lobbies legislators and other policy makers, builds coalitions, and empowers LGBT immigrant families around the country to fight for change.
Two More Co-Sponsors for UAFA
By Connie Utada on 12/20/2011 @ 10:44 AM
Support for the Uniting American Families Act continues to grow. Representatives Donald Payne (D-NJ-10) and Joe Baca (D-CA-43) have both added their names to the list of co-sponsors for the bill, now totaling 130 in the House of Representatives (including lead sponsor Jerry Nadler) and 23 in the Senate (including lead sponsor Patrick Leahy).
We are incredibly appreciative to Congressman Payne and Congressman Baca for standing with LGBT families and ending discrimination in immigration law!
Thank you to all you who contacted your members of Congress and let them know the need for UAFA. If you have not done so, please contact your member of Congress to ask them to cosponsor the Uniting American Families Act!
What’s the Update? : An Important Note About Our Action Fund Site
By Steve Ralls on 12/19/2011 @ 02:08 PM
Over the course of the past few weeks, you may have noticed that the Immigration Equality Action Fund site hasn’t been updated as frequently as in the past. And, if you’re especially attentive, you may have noticed some changes to the content on the site as well.
Let us explain.
We originally envisioned our Action Fund site as a clearinghouse for all things related to our legislative advocacy, such as our lobbying efforts on behalf of UAFA and other critical bills in Congress. The Action Fund site also includes tools that allow you to easily send a message to your Member of Congress and a calendar of upcoming events. Along the way, however, we also re-designed and re-launched our primary Immigration Equality site, too, at www.immigrationequality.org.
The result has, regrettably, meant some confusion about what information is where. So we wanted to take this opportunity to clarify where information is housed on our two sites.
Beginning today, Take Action campaigns (such as our current campaign on behalf of Frances & Takako) will be housed here at the Action Fund site. Future actions will also be here, and you’ll continue to visit this site to send messages to Congress, and receive the latest updates on legislation and our work on Capitol Hill. Beginning today, our “blog” here on the Action Fund site will become “Action Updates” . . . a clearing house and archive of all of our calls to action.
You will soon notice, however, that our press section will be disappearing. All press articles, and press releases, will be housed at www.immigrationequality.org. And, information regarding our free legal services, including LGBT asylum and legal advice for couples, will be on the primary site as well.
So, to clarify: Our Action Fund site will focus solely on taking action in support of legislation, and on our work in Washington, D.C.. All other information – including press, legal services and more – will be at www.immigrationequality.org.
For the latest, and breaking news, visit www.immigrationequality.org. There, you’ll find our blog (currently titled “Updates,” but soon to be renamed as, simply, the blog) and the latest news about our work.
We apologize for the inconvenience, and confusion, that has resulted as both sites have undergone (re)construction.
And thank you for remaining engaged in our work and in the fight to end discrimination against our families.
Image via Android Community.
Take Action: Administration Denies Green Card for Frances & Takako
By Rachel Tiven on 12/13/2011 @ 05:47 PM
Just moments ago, CNN broke the news that the Obama Administration has denied a green card for Frances Herbert’s spouse, Takako Ueda. In denying their request, the Administration has informed Takako that, “You are required to depart the United States within thirty (30) days from the date of this decision, or be subject to removal proceedings.”
In June, thousands of supporters signed our petition asking President Obama to not turn down the green card application Immigration Equality’s legal team filed on Frances and Takako’s behalf. Now, we need you to speak up for Frances and Takako again, and let the White House know: We will not allow the government to separate loving, committed families.
Please take a few minutes – right now – and call President Obama at (202) 456-1111. When the White House answers, tell them:
“I signed a petition earlier this year asking President Obama to keep Frances Herbert and her spouse, Takako Ueda, together. Now, I’ve learned that the Administration has denied their request for a green card. I support allowing lesbian and gay couples to stay together. Stop the separations, and stop denying green cards filed by lesbian and gay couples.”
As Immigration Equality told CNN today, we will appeal the green card denial and fight to ensure Frances and Takako – and other couples in their situation – are not torn apart.
Please join us by calling the White House today and letting President Obama know you support keeping Frances and Takako together.
It is time to stop denying green cards for LGBT families.
We Welcome Four New UAFA Cosponsors
By Julie Kruse on 12/12/2011 @ 05:48 PM
Copyright © Photo from The Hartford Courant.
Representatives Gary Peters (D-MI-9), Nydia Velazquez (D-NY-12), Chris Murphy (D-CT-5, pictured) and Janice Hahn (D-CA-36) have cosponsored the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA). Both Congresswoman Velazquez and Congressman Murphy joined after their staff met with constituents who shared their personal stories about being in a bi-national relationship.
We are grateful to these members of Congress for supporting the right of LGBT binational families in their districts and beyond to be allowed to remain together, at home.
Thanks to all of you who have reached out to your members of Congress to urge them to cosponsor UAFA. You can tell your story to your member of Congress – and ask them to cosponsor UAFA – in our Take Action section here.
Dispatch from Washington
By Rachel Tiven on 10/06/2011 @ 03:24 PM
You’ve heard me say that we are fighting for LGBT immigrant families on every front: in Congress, in the courts, and at the White House. This week, our focus was on Congress.
Bradford Wells and Anthony Makk, who have been together for 19 years and are fighting for the right to stay together, traveled east from San Francisco to tell their story to Congressional leaders. Bradford and Anthony — whose story has made headline around the world — are determined to turn their case into progress for all LGBT immigrant families.
The most powerful women in Congress support them:
- Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, their own Representative, met with Bradford and Anthony and pledged to do everything she can to help LGBT immigrant families, and to keep them together.
- Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, representative for Florida’s 20th Congressional District and the Chair of the Democratic National Committee, was so moved by Bradford and Anthony’s story that she joined them, along with more than 100 Immigration Equality supporters, at our D.C. reception hosted by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.
- Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, ranking member of the House immigration sub-committee, sponsored a packed staff briefing on Capitol Hill. Bradford and Anthony - and the Immigration Equality team helping them - urged lawmakers to support the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) and to call on the White House to end the deportations of lesbian and gay spouses.
Our amazing week in Washington was recapped in this morning’s San Francisco Chronicle. “At first [Bradford and Anthony] said they were fighting only for themselves,” the paper reports, “but now feel they represent all the estimated 36,000 binational same-sex couples who are barred spousal immigration benefits.”
Indeed, Bradford and Anthony are leading the charge, with Immigration Equality, on behalf of our families. And, they are solidifying support among leaders in Washington, too.
You can be part of their work by signing our petition — ImEqActionFund.org/TellObama — and urging the Obama Administration to halt the separation of our families. We’ll personally deliver your message to the White House, and ensure your voice is heard.
Photos from the Third Annual Capital Reception and Fundraiser
By Christopher Edwards on 10/05/2011 @ 03:13 PM
Last night in Washington, DC, the Immigration Equality family came together at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Showroom to celebrate the enormous victories for LGBT immigrant families in the last year and re-charge for the fight ahead. The Third Annual Capital Reception and Fundraiser was our most successful yet.
Bradford Wells and Anthony Makk who are in Washington to advocate for their family and yours on Capitol Hill led things off and were joined by Congresswoamn Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Representative of Florida's 20th District and Chair of the Democratic National Committee as well as Executive Director Rachel B. Tiven and Mitchell Gold.
More coverage soon, see below for pictures from the event. And it's not to late support the Third Annual Capital Reception and Fundraiser. Give online at ImEqActionFund.org/DCEvent
Event photography by the fantastic Judy Rolfe who has long covered Immigration Equality events. See more of her work at www.rolfephotography.com