United American Families Act Introduced in House of Representatives
February 5, 2013 by Maureen McCarty, HRC Associate Director of Digital Media
Today a bipartisan coalition in the House of Representatives re-introduced the United American Families Act (UAFA) as part of the push for comprehensive immigration reform.
Under current immigration law, U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents may sponsor their spouses and immediate family members for immigration purposes. However, same-sex partners and spouses of U.S. citizens and permanent residents are not considered “spouses,” and their loved ones cannot sponsor them for family-based immigration. This leads to LGBT couples facing a choice between family and country.
UAFA would remedy this injustice by amending the current legislation to define “permanent partner” as an individual who is at least 18 years of age who is in a committed relationship with another individual at least 18 years of age who is not a first, second or third-degree blood relative, with the intent that this be a lifelong commitment. The individual must be financially interdependent with his or her partner, cannot be married to an opposite-sex spouse or in another permanent partnership and must be unable to enter into a marriage recognized under the INA with the partner.
HRC thanks Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) for leading the bipartisan coalition that re-introduced this critical legislation. We also thank the coalition’s other members, who include Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Steny Hoyer (D-MD), RichardHanna (R-NY), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Charlie Dent (R-PA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), John Conyers (D-MI), Jared Polis (D-CO), David Cicilline (D-RI), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Mark Takano (D-CA), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY),Mike Honda (D-CA), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).
As the House and Senate prepare to move forward with comprehensive immigration reform, HRC will continue working with our political allies to include bi-national same-sex couples in reform efforts.
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