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 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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
President Obama Wants to Hear from You
By Steve Ralls on 09/28/2011 @ 02:14 PM
Last week, the White House launched a new, online site that allows everyone to weigh in on issues they care about. We the People is the first-ever White House petition site. Users can search for petitions related to issues they care about . . . or create one of their own. Administration officials have declared that any petition garnering 5,000 signatures or more will receive a response from the White House.
Among the issues already highlighted at the petition site are immigration rights for LGBT families, and repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
We’re getting you started with two petitions we think you’ll care about.
- Click here to ask the President to support the Uniting American Families Act
- And here to demand repeal of DOMA
Of course, the White House site is filled with petitions on a variety of issues many of you care about – including multiple petitions for many different causes. So, after adding your voice to the petitions above, search for others, too.
Together, we can send a strong, united message to the President: End the discrimination LGBT families face under federal law.
Five New UAFA Cosponsors
By Julie Kruse on 09/16/2011 @ 11:47 AM
John Larson (D-CT-1), Chair of the House Democratic Caucus; Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO-5, pictured), Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus; Mike Thompson (D-CA- 1); and Danny Davis (D-IL-7) have joined as cosponsors of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), and 124 in the House. Maria Cantwell, Democratic Senator from Washington state, also signed on, bringing the total number of cosponsors to 23 in the Senate.
Local faith leaders have played a major role in urging their members of Congress to cosponsor UAFA. In an effort led by Immigration Equality Outreach Consultant Tom Tierney, over 1,200 local faith leaders have joined the Faith Coalition for the Uniting American Families Act. Many of these leaders have called, mailed, and met with their members of Congress about UAFA.
Also, state and local LGBT organizations, such as PROMO in Missouri, Equality Illinois, Equality California, and Equal Rights Washington have pressed their Congressional delegations to sign on to UAFA and help families facing separation in their states. A big shout out to these groups! Local PFLAG and Stonewall Democrats chapters have also reached out, as have many local elected officials. A big shout out to these folks!
Most importantly, you have reached out to your members of Congress to tell them: support your constituents - cosponsor UAFA! Thank you so much for your advocacy and keep up the good work!
This support for legislative change ending discrimination against LGBT families in immigration law comes at the same time as members of Congress press the administration to help families until the law changes. Members continue to urge the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to hold the green card applications of gay and lesbian spouses of Americans rather than denying them, and to stop deporting any of these spouses or partners.
In a statement on the administration’s new deportation policy of August 18, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said:
It is my hope that today’s action by the Administration will result in the suspension of immigration proceedings against gays and lesbians who have petitioned for their spouses, such as my constituents, Bradford Wells and Anthony John Makk, who face separation because of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act.
Immigration Equality continues to fight for administrative relief for all LGBT immigrants and their families right now, but it is also essential that the law changes to provide a permanent, long-term solution.
Please urge your Senators and Representative to cosponsor the Uniting American Families Act. The more cosponsors UAFA has, the clearer the mandate: immigration reform MUST include LGBT families!
Click here to urge your members of Congress to cosponsor UAFA.
October 4: Join Bradford & Anthony in Washington
By Rachel Tiven on 09/12/2011 @ 05:21 AM
After a summer of sharing their story in major news outlets like CNN, MSNBC, Countdown with Keith Olbermann and in front page news stories across the country, Bradford Wells and Anthony Makk will be joining Immigration Equality in Washington. They will be meeting with key Congressional leaders ... and they’d like to meet you, too.
Please join them — and the Immigration Equality team — on Tuesday, October 4th, for our Third Annual Capital Reception & Fundraiser, hosted by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. We’ll have important updates on our work to help families like Bradford & Anthony ... celebrate the successes of the past year ... and build the support we need to continue our critical work on Capitol Hill.
Tuesday, October 4th
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
1526 14th Street, NW
(between P & Q Streets, NW, in Logan Circle)
Washington, DC 20005
The event is free, however your support is welcome, and critical to our success. We hope that if you're moved by our work, you'll help us reach our goal of $15,000 for our on-going work on behalf of LGBT immigrant families. Donations can be made online at ImEqActionFund.org/DCevent
Thank you for being part of the Immigration Equality family. I look forward to seeing you in Washington on October 4th.
How our Laws are Made
By Connie Utada on 09/07/2011 @ 06:01 PM
Some of you have asked: what is happening with the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), H.R. 1537 / S. 821, five months after being introduced?
The short answer is that it is sitting in the Judiciary Committee but that response may not be useful to get to the solution we are seeking: to end discrimination in immigration law by allowing gay and lesbian couples to sponsor their foreign-born partner and children for immigration purposes. Currently, there are 120 cosponsors in the House and 21 in the Senate and, the numbers are continuing to climb.
The process of a bill becoming a law is very long and often times, frustrating. The three minute clip of Schoolhouse Rock's I'm Just a Bill is helpful but does not quite do it justice.
I'm Just a Bill (Schoolhouse Rock!)
To understand what that process looks like, we thought it would be beneficial to provide a graphic that lays out the progression in a very colorful, chutes-and-ladders manner depicting the many avenues a bill must go through toward final approval.
Copyright © Creative Commons License: Mike Wirth
Looking at the How Our Laws Are Made graphic above, UAFA is currently located in the left-side lime green panel titled “Committee Assignment” on the House side; and, in the rust/burgundy panel at the beginning of the Senate side. Also noteworthy is the stick figure holding its arm up, carrying a briefcase marked: Lobbyist (on the far left) — that is the Immigration Equality Action Fund.
To help move the UAFA out of its current position, please contact your Representative and both Senators to either thank them for cosponsoring the UAFA or to ask them to cosponsor the bill.
Why Do We Ask For Zip Code?
By Christopher Edwards on 09/06/2011 @ 01:45 PM
Members of Congress are focused on constituent services. They see as their primary purpose. This is a difficulty we, and other immigration groups, face when advocating for exiled and immigrant families.
So as such it's important that we have U.S. zip code information. It's why we ask for it in our Contact Congress alarts and it's why we collect that information for our listserv sign-up (at right).
That being said, we understand we have a large segment of our audience that is out of the country and it's why make sure to make regular use of our blogs both at Immigration Equality and here at the Action Fund as well as our Facebook and Twitter feeds to keep you up-to-date.
So what to do if you are living in exile? I recommend that you use the zip code of your family or use your previous zip code before you moved into exile. The reason you are living in exile is very much apart of your story and your former representatives in the U.S. need to know it and know why you are no longer a tax-paying member of their district.
Many years ago I moved from California to DC in order to find work for both myself and my foreign-partner. But DC has no voting representation and I continued to use my address in California in order to reach out to my Congressperson and Senators there and let them know I had become a nomad in my own country. And why.
So do the same today, take action and let Congress know why you are not living in the U.S. Find 5 ways you can take action here.
DHS: "Our understanding of family includes LGBT families"
By Julie Kruse on 08/19/2011 @ 01:41 PM
Yesterday, the White House and the Department of Homeland Security confirmed: their understanding of family includes LGBT families.
The White House and DHS said that LGBT family ties, including those of gay spouses and partners, will be considered as DHS conducts a case-by-case review of the approximately 300,000 immigrants currently in deportation proceedings to determine which cases are high priority and low priority. DHS plans to close many low priority deportation cases. DHS and DOJ will also utilize these factors in determining whether to place someone in deportation proceedings in the future, or to close a deportation case. Immigrants whose cases are closed will not be subject to deportation in the future “unless the facts of their case substantially change.”
Today’s announcement from DHS appears to be very good news for LGBT couples who are facing imminent separation via a removal order or deportation. LGBT spouses and partners will likely benefit from more of the deportation cancellations and delays that we have seen a few of in the last few months. This is truly groundbreaking, as Immigration Equality does not know of cases in which deportations were cancelled or delayed due to lesbian or gay partnerships or marriages prior to the administration’s decision that DOMA is unconstitutional.
We must all work to ensure this important development makes a difference for real families.
- It’s terrific the administration and DHS consider families to include LGBT families. We must make sure the field officers and attorneys prosecuting cases know that so they actually exercise discretion in the field when determining whether to drop or commence deportation proceedings. LGBT families were not listed in a long list of factors for consideration for discretion in a June memo that this new memo will be based on, as we had requested. So we must continue to press for them to put this new policy in writing.
It IS very helpful that the New York Times and many other media sources put it in their coverage. This will help educate immigration practitioners around the country and aid attorneys advocating for LGBT immigrants that have American spouses or partners.
Nancy Pelosi put it in her press announcement about the new policy also. She definitely shows that immigration is a DOMA issue and vice versa!:
"It is my hope that today’s action by the Administration will result in the suspension of immigration proceedings against gays and lesbians who have petitioned for their spouses, such as my constituents, Bradford Wells and Anthony John Makk, who face separation because of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act."
- This is not the moratorium on the deportation of lesbian and gay spouses and partners that the Washington Post editorial called for this week. It will help families on a case by case basis only.
- This change does not impact the many couples who need relief but have not received a removal order or deportation notice. It does not help LGBT folks filing for a spousal-based green card for their lesbian or gay spouse, who want that application held in abeyance (as so many of you have asked in signing our petition) so they can stay here legally. Instead, they will continue to live in the constant worry that they are or will be out of status, and could be picked up by police participating in Secure Communities or an ICE agent who may or may not have heard about the new guidelines, and placed into detention and/or deportation proceedings. Or, if the Utah, Alabama, or Georgia laws go into effect, the US partner could be criminalized for “harboring” their loved one.
As our legal director Vickie Neilson said in a recent blog: "What better proof do we need that our immigration system is broken than that the response of many [to the case of Bradford Wells and Anthony Makk] — friends and foes alike — has been “why doesn’t he just fall out of status, violate the immigration laws, and then some day, immigration may exercise discretion on his behalf to not deport him?”
Many Immigration groups share the concern that this new process does not outline an affirmative process by which immigrants can win relief, only a way to address deportations. This is extremely significant. For example, someone whose deportation is cancelled based on this new process will be able to apply for work authorization, but someone who is simply undocumented and not facing deportation cannot. Similarly, an LGBT spouse/partner whose visa is expiring can do nothing under this new policy to stay in status.
- DHS said that there will be “the same narrow mechanisms” in place to allow LGBT spouses and partners they have already deported to return to the US. Nonetheless, parole, the mechanism that allows people to return to the US, is one of the areas which the DHS June memo outlined should be a process in which DHS employees can exercise discretion. Immigration Equality only knows of one gay spouse who returned via humanitarian parole following a deportation, after major advocacy by Senator Kerry.
- Administrative relief is a critical interim solution for our families. But, it can be reversed by any future president. We must continue to fight to end the discrimination against our families in immigration, by pressing for passage of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA).
Click here to email you members of Congress to urge them to cosponsor and support UAFA.
Thanks for all of your terrific advocacy for inclusion of LGBT families and gay and lesbian spouses and partners in any immigration reform. The hard work had an important payoff yesterday! Please continue to watch this blog or follow us on Twitter and Facebook. The updates are coming fast and quickly so please stay connected.
Join Bradford & Anthony for a Special Call This Friday
By Bradford Wells & Anthony Makk on 08/17/2011 @ 07:36 PM
We hope you will join us for a special conference call this Friday, August 19th at noon eastern time to learn about what’s next for us and other families in our situation.
The extraordinary support you have shown our family over the past few weeks has meant so much. From the thousands of messages you’ve sent to the White House on our behalf, to the notes of support you’ve left online, we have moved beyond words by your actions and well wishes.
With your help, we know we can win. Just this week, the Washington Post editorial board published a powerful editorial calling for help not just in our case, but for every lesbian and gay family facing separation because of discriminatory laws. Make no mistake: This is a turning point for our families, and it is imperative that we seize it.
Please join us this Friday at noon eastern time to learn more about how you can help. To join our call, simply dial (800) 868-1837 and use access code 393639#.
We look forward to talking with you — and thanking you — on Friday’s call.
Please join us.
P.S. Can't make the call? Please make a contribution. The legal intake hotline is running at four times — 4x! — its volume just six months ago, and your support allows Immigration Equality to continue providing free, expert immigration advice to the community. Thank you!
Video: Immigration Equality Clients Share Their Story on 'Countdown'
By Steve Ralls on 08/11/2011 @ 09:50 AM
Anthony John Makk and Bradford Wells speak out against the Obama administration's decision to use the Defense of Marriage Act to deny Makk, a citizen of Australia, permanent residency. The gay couple were legally married seven years ago in Massachusetts. Makk is also the primary caregiver for Wells, who's battling AIDS. He's been ordered to leave the country by Aug. 25.
Bringing in New UAFA Cosponsors
By Daniel Rotman on 08/04/2011 @ 12:19 PM
Being the Student Coordinator for the Newly Elected Members of Congress Program last January at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government has proven to be quite fruitful: I have been able to take the contacts and relationships I made with newly elected members and translate them into meaningful relationships for Immigration Equality.
Many of the freshmen Democrats who were elected into the 112th Congress are very supportive of LGBT and immigration rights. Being able to harness my contacts with them and their sincere interest in the issue has translated into several new co-sponsors of the UAFA and new allies in the House. Congressman Clarke of Michigan joined as a co-sponsor within 24 hours of our meeting with him. Congresswoman Hanabusa of Hawaii joined as a co-sponsor within 8 hours of our meeting with her. And, Congressman Keating of Massachusetts joined as a co-sponsor within 2 hours of our meeting with him. We also signed on Congresswoman Wilson of Florida.
I am so happy to have been able to help make this contribution to IE and my experience as a whole this summer has been so great. I love the work we did out of DC this summer at IEAF and am proud of the work the org does as a whole.
I look forward to continuing to be a part of the fight!
Daniel Rotman is the 2011 Policy Fellow at Immigration Equality Action Fund. Please join his work for the Uniting American Families Act and LGBT immigrant families by reaching out to your congressperson, or former congressperson if you're living in exile, today!
Put a Halt to HALT
By Connie Utada on 07/21/2011 @ 11:57 AM
The House of Representatives has scheduled a hearing on Tuesday, July 26th at 1:30pm in an attempt to roll back the important progress we’ve made toward keeping our families together. Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) has introduced legislation, known as the Hinder the Administration’s Legalization Temptation Act (HALT), to eliminate ICE’s ability to use discretion in deciding who should be targeted for deportation. Smith’s bill follows the agency’s June memo instructing ICE officials to take immigrants’ American families and spouses into consideration when deciding who is a priority for removal from the United States.
If successful, Congressman Smith’s bill would strip away any possible discretionary relief for LGBT immigrant families facing separation.
Congresswoman Lofgren, who has been a steadfast ally of our families, is prepared to take on Smith’s discriminatory crusade during Tuesday’s hearing ... but we need to show up and provide visible support for her advocacy on behalf of our families.
Please join us on Tuesday, July 26th at 1:30pm in Room 2141 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Our families’ presence will send a strong message to Congress to not roll back relief for immigrants and their loved ones. If you’re able to join us, please RSVP here and bring a friend with you, too.
Thank you for standing with us. I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday.