Immigration Series: Stop Tearing Families Apart
May 15, 2013 by Carolyn Simon, Deputy Director of Digital Media
Unfair U.S. immigration laws are forcing loving, married, same-sex couples to leave the country or be torn apart.
John and Erwin, who have been together for 15 years, could be among these couples. Erwin is on track to earn his Ph.D. later this year and, when he does, his student visa will expire, and he could be sent back to the Philippines where he was born.
“If we weren't gay, we wouldn't be facing this nightmare,” John says. “I could sponsor my spouse for a green card. But, unlike dozens of other countries with fair immigration laws, the U.S. doesn't allow that.”
This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee is considering legislation to address comprehensive immigration reform. The committee has to decide in the next few days whether to include protections for binational same-sex couples in the bill – which is the key to ending the discrimination faced by people like Erwin and John.
There are an estimated 24,700 couples like John and Erwin, with one native-born U.S. citizen and one non-citizen, raising more than 11,000 children.
If the bill is amended to include protections for binational same-sex couples, it will provide people like John the exact same rights as everyone else to sponsor their husband or wife for immigration. It will end this nightmare for us.
Hardworking people like Erwin who come to the U.S. should be treated fairly regardless of whom they love – and the Judiciary Committee can bring us one step closer to equality.
Stand up for Erwin and John today – urge your senator to support an amendment to include binational same-sex couples in immigration reform.
Over the coming weeks, HRC will chronicle the stories of a diverse group of Americans who are harmed every day by this country’s immigration laws. Stay tuned to the HRC Blog.
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