Out4Immigration is an all-volunteer grassroots organization. Currently, Americans in same-gender relationships with foreign partners have no right to sponsor those partners for legal residency in the US. In this campaign we write representatives in Congress and the Senate to ask them to support equal immigration rights for same-sex binational couples, to become a cosponsor of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), and to support Comprehensive Immigration Reform which is inclusive of LGBT families. Because we are at the start of a new Congress, we begin by asking for the bill’s reintroduction.
The UAFA has been introduced in each Congress since 2000 by its author, Rep. Jerrold Nadler; and since 2003 in the Senate by Senator Patrick Leahy. In this first letter of Out4Immigration’s letter writing campaign of 2011, and of the 112th Congress, we will run this petition for several weeks, asking for the reintroduction of the UAFA.
The repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in the lame duck Congress at the end of 2010 gives us hope. Of the 23 countries in the world that allow their citizens to sponsor same-gender foreign partners for legal residency, for many of them that step was heralded by allowing citizens to serve openly in the military. Despite the shift in power in the House, the repeal of DADT was truly bipartisan. This gives us hope that, regardless of party affiliation, the UAFA is a bill that has a real chance of becoming law.
It is common for people to respond in disbelief when we share that current policy denies us any possibility to be with our life partners, shy of visas related to study or employment. This must change, and can only change with the help of our families and wider community. Please, sign the petition, and promote it however you can so that others help send the message that supporting ALL families makes not only good political sense, but is the right thing to do.
We encourage you to further take part in this campaign by using one of four options:
(1) The easiest one. By clicking through and adding your name to this page, you will send letters to all of the lawmakers being targeted in this petition. You can also provide the link for this page to your friends and family to take action too (Please do!);
(2) Contact any or all of the elected representatives identified in each week’s campaign with your own letter, your own story; or
(3) Create a booklet telling your story. See http://tinyurl.com/o4i-toolkit1 for more info on this option.
(4) Check out other actions on our action page and sign the letters and petitions we’ve created for previous weeks to urge the other members of Congress to sponsor and support the passage of Uniting American Families Act, or visit Out4immigration's website, O4I's Facebook page or the O4I blog. If you use Twitter, you can also follow us at @out4immigration.