THE BI-NAT-VISA SEE NEW ARTICLE UPDATED 3/28/10 http://gayusathemovie.com and http://oblogdeeoblogda.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/lgbt-foreign-policy-applauded-and-human-rights-should-start-at-home-with-fiance-visas-and-greencards-for-same-sex-couples/
While we wait for immigration equality under the US Immigration and Naturalization Act -to sponsor our foreign-born spouses, we endure unconscionable and inhumane situations on a day to day, hour by hour basis.
Our partners are persecuted at our airports by the profiling of ICE officials and arbitrarily turned away, despite having visas; our relationships are denied through our inability to live together in the US, or we live in fear, hiding or exile. We lose jobs, we lose homes, we lose our time with extended family, we give up our pensions. We are detained and deported.
Gay and lesbian (same-sex) foreign fiances and spouses cannot enter the USA and stay here under the family petition for a green card, in the same way as heterosexual couples can.
This has resulted in detention of spouses, exile of Americans, having to choose between their beloved and their country, and also unimaginable separations and expense.
Our exiles and exiles-to-be cannot wait for the impending immigration reform battle, for UAFA to garnish more co-sponsors before accomplishing some rights under the immigration law.
There is every reason for interim measures to serve the same-sex spouse community as DOMA is heading toward a repeal in the Congress, which in essence could be years long.
Recently Immigration Equality posted this statement on their BLOG when referring to Immigration reform: "The Senate immigration reform bill will be followed by a House bill, too. In-between, there will be countless steps, challenges and opportunities that must be addressed. As we have seen in the current healthcare debate, legislation does not move easily, or without hard work. Immigration reform will be similar: It is imperative that we build grassroots support for our families, Congressional support for UAFA and broad public support for fair immigration policies."
So just in case UAFA becomes the public option of immigration reform, in case DOMA's repeal takes another 8 years...
I believe that this makes the argument for a stop gap measure to help keep our families together in the USA. We want a SPECIAL VISA.
If you would like to read about the hardship suffered that necessitates such a VISA, please visit, http://lezgetreal.com/?p=24121
While we wait for immigration equality under the US Immigration and Naturalization Act -to sponsor our foreign-born partners, we endure unconscionable and inhumane situations on a day to day, hour by hour basis. Our partners are persecuted at our airports by the profiling of ICE officials and arbitrarily turned away, despite having visas; our relationships are denied through our inability to live together in the US, or we live in fear, hiding or exile. We lose jobs, we lose homes, we lose our time with extended family, we give up our pensions. We are detained and deported.
So at this holiday time, when families are gathering together in happiness and joy, please find a way to remember those Americans. their beloved and children who, because of DOMA, cannot share these days- and all our community can do at this time is beg and pray for something extraordinary, perhaps a miracle. Our exiles and exiles-to-be cannot wait for the impending Immigration Reform battle or for UAFA to garnish more co-sponsors. Our binationals do not want to be the “Public Option” of Comprehensive Immigration Reform.
Asking President Obama for a special visa as a stop-gap pending legislation to remedy a grave injustice to its American citizens and an inequitous anomaly in the conflict between State and Federal Law :-
1. Ask Congress to formulate a special interim Visa Program for Same-sex Spouses, Domestic Partners, Civil Union Partners, for entry into the USA, and for the ability to remain and work in the USA – possibly subject to renewal and/or- with a path to immigration.
This can be done in a similar manner to the R1 Visa Process. It should however be less complicated and could be set for termination when UAFA or similar legislation is passed, or until DOMA is repealed, that will grant the rights LGBT Americans are now denied.
2. The burden of proof would be similar to that required of a marriage – where, inter alia, the following is required:
a. Proof of certification of marriage, Domestic Partnership, Civil Union contract – from any jurisdiction, anywhere in the world, proving a contractual nexus between the spouses;
Intent to enter such certified relationship with proof required wuthin 6 months ( this alternate application is similar to Fiance Visa)
b. Affidavit of suport from American Spouse;
c. The same two year conditional residency as spouses have – where the parties attend an interview tot prove that they have been living together in relationship, to back up the contract in the exact same way as straight Americans are required to do;
d. A Partner with a ten year ban – who was in a same-sex relationship at the time of deportation or voluntary departure– ought to have the right for a case review, to negate the ban and specific criteria for this should be established;
e. Same sex couples ought to have a process to convert Visas to this Visa status, regardless of waivers they may have signed.
f. Visa Program can be subject to a Sunset provision and renewal - to circumvent fear of fraud.
(More detailed draft of legislation for such a VISA is available to anyone interested )
If this was done in the form of a special visa category and did not alter the Immigration and Naturalization Act in any way; it could perhaps work its way through the system quickly and effectively provide rights now denied Americans in same sex contractual and legal relationships. The way such Visa Program would be written will not conflict in any way with DOMA and its furtive restrictions on the Immigration and Naturalization Act.
The Story that prompted this petition can be found at http://lezgetreal.com/?p=24121
With Gratitude..... Melanie Nathan and an estimated 90,000 binational LGBT Americans.