No one should have to choose between the person they love and their country. But discriminatory immigration policies do just that by denying LGBT couples the right to sponsor their same-sex partners for immigration.
Make sure Congress gets the message loud and clear. Help build critical support for the Uniting American Families Act by sending a message to your senators and representative now.
As your constituent, I'm writing to urge you to cosponsor the Uniting American Families Act -- legislation that will finally grant qualified same-sex couples equal access to our country's most basic immigration rights. This bill is being introduced by Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT).
One of the fundamental principles of U.S. immigration law and policy is the notion of family unification, which allows citizens and legal permanent residents to sponsor their spouses (and other family members) for immigration purposes. Unfortunately, under current federal law, same-sex couples committed to spending their lives together are not recognized as "families."
Every year, thousands of same-sex couples are separated or live in constant fear of being stopped by officials who demand to see documentation and threaten detention. In some cases, same-sex partners face prosecution by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement -- including hefty fines and deportations. U.S. citizens are sometimes left with no other choice but to immigrate with their partners to a country with more fair-minded immigration laws.
The Uniting American Families Act would apply the same standards to same-sex couples that the United States applies to opposite-sex couples where one member is seeking to bring a foreign partner into the country. As with current immigration laws for married couples, the UAFA would impose harsh penalties for fraud, including up to five years in prison and as much as $250,000 in fines. In addition, if the partnership is dissolved in less than two years, the legal immigrant status of the partner would be revoked.
The Uniting American Families Act is not special treatment. It's fair treatment.
Your support of this legislation is vital if America's immigration policies are going to reflect our fundamental commitment to family values and equality for all.
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