HRC Blog

LGBT-Inclusive Immigration Bill Reintroduced

Today, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) joined by Senators Harry Reid (D-NV), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), John Kerry (D-MA), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) reintroduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2011, which includes the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA). UAFA allows United States citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their same-sex partners for family-based immigration.

UAFA would provide lesbian and gay individuals the same opportunity as different-sex, married couples to sponsor their partners and spouses for marriage-based immigration. The United States lags behind over 25 countries that recognize same-sex couples for immigration purposes, including Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

UAFA, as a standalone bill, was introduced in the 112th Congress by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) in the Senate and by Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) in the House. This is the second time Senator Menedez has championed LGBT-inclusive immigration reform in the Senate. Representative Mike Honda (D-CA) also included UAFA in the Reuniting Families Act of 2011 introduced in the House.

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