LGBT Binational Couples Must Be Included in ICE Deportation Guidelines
  • Petitioned Janet Napolitano

This petition was delivered to:

Secretary of Homeland Security
Janet Napolitano
Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement
John Morton
President of the United States
New York-08
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries

LGBT Binational Couples Must Be Included in ICE Deportation Guidelines

    1. Petition by


October 2012


From Out4Immigration: "Dear Supporters and signed of this petition "LGBT Binational Couples Must Be Included in ICE Deportation Guidelines" on, We are very happy to inform you that Sec Napolitano has finally issued a memo last Friday stating that "she was clarifying guidelines that enforcement officers had used when applying a policy of prosecutorial discretion in cases of illegal immigrants with no criminal convictions" . Ms. Napolitano wrote that she had ordered her department to issue written instructions specifying that those “family relationships” include “long-term same-sex partners.” (NY Times - We have written a little statement about this issue on our blog - you can read it here: Thank you again for signing this petition and we encourage you to check out our other petitions as well as our newly launched Tumblr Blog, United by Love, Divided by Law ( a visual campaign to end discrimination against same-sex binational couples. Thank you again for your support of this cause. It is not over yet but we are one step closer to ending discrimination against same sex binational couples! Regards, Out4Immigration"

2011 will be remembered as a rollercoaster year for the entire LGBT
community, but particularly for gay and lesbian couples in binational
relationships. With President Obama’s declaration and decision earlier this
year that the Federal Court stop defending DOMA, tens of thousands of
same-sex binational couples believed relief was finally in sight after many
years of discriminatory immigration laws. Additionally, a number of recent
court decisions have stayed the deportation of many gays and lesbians
for whom time had “run out.” The same-sex binational community was
further encouraged when ICE issued a statement in June 2011, granting
agents guidelines for prioritizing deportations, making partners in binational
relationships a low priority.

That same community is now disappointed that the most recently released
ICE guidelines fail to specifically mention gay and lesbian binational couples,
instead opting for this vague language,

“Cases that are not considered high priority include those who have
an “immediate family member” who is a U.S. citizen, …and government
attorneys can interpret that term to include a same-sex spouse or partner.”

Without concrete definition in the new guidelines, gay and lesbian binational
couples will be at the mercy of individual ICE agents who may or may
not use their discretion when prioritizing these cases. No one can be
sure that each and every ICE agent will recognize a same sex partner as
an “immediate family member.” Clear, definitive language is necessary. We
urge that “permanent partners of LGBT Americans” or similar language as
outlined in the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA; H.R. 1537; S. 821) be
integrated into these guidelines immediately.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 1,500 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Nancy Komlanc URBANA, IL
      • about 2 years ago

      Equality for all! Hate is not a family value!!

    • Bruce Carroll BROWNS MILLS, NJ
      • about 2 years ago

      this is a very serious issue that shoule be reviewed and that request of the petition be granted.

    • Izzy Greene PASADENA, CA
      • about 2 years ago

      equality for everyone is important to me

    • Grace Hamilton ALTADENA, CA
      • about 2 years ago

      As advisor to the gay-straight alliance at my high school, as a teacher and friend to several same-sex couples, as a believer in equal human rights for all, I am appalled at the targeting of same-sex couples by not mentioning them specifically in the ICE guidelines.

    • Damon Wilson PORTLAND, OR
      • about 2 years ago

      I am in a relationship with a Mexican National and want the same protections for him as they give to straight couples! Thank you!


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