Urge Congressional and Executive Support of the Uniting American Families Act--Petition 4
Out4Immigration (O4I) is an all grassroots organization. Because of DOMA (The Defense of Marriage Act), Americans in same-gender relationships with foreign partners have no right to sponsor those partners for legal residency in the US. In O4I’s ongoing efforts to end this discrimination, this is our fourth petition of the 112th Congress. We are asking Representatives and Senators, as well as President Obama and Secretary Napolitano, to support equal immigration rights for same-sex binational couples by becoming cosponsors of the Uniting American Families Act (or UAFA, House Bill 1537 and Senate Bill 821). We seek their active support of its passage.
While we badly need comprehensive immigration reform in the US, and this has historically been the vehicle through which we’ve expected UAFA to pass, the discrimination against Americans with foreign spouses must end. Our fight to achieve immigration equality is now being waged on three fronts: legislatively, with bills like UAFA, judicially, with President Obama's determination that section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional and administratively, with pressure being applied to the President, the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) to do something in their powers to stop deporting and separating loving couples.
This petition is focused on the legislative fix by targeting four members of the House who have been previous cosponsors of UAFA, as well as President Obama and Secretary Napolitano. By signing and promoting this petition, you will help us encourage these individuals to support this bill and raise awareness that there are many avenues to correct the immigration discrimination faced by same-sex binationals. We ask that our government and elected officials use their powers and influence to fix the problem - now.
We encourage you to take part in this campaign by using any of these options:
(1) The easiest one. By signing this week's petition on this Change.org page, you will send all six of the letters at once. You can also provide the link to your friends and family to take action too, as well as promote on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites you may use;
(2) Contact the 4 Representatives here 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) Look for past petitions on our page at http://www.change.org/out4immigration and sign those petitions too.
Additionally, don’t hesitate to call our recent cosponsors and thank them for their support. Let’s hit our target of 1000 signers this week. Please share this widely, and thank you for taking action!!!
You can visit Out4Immigration at its website, through its Yahoo Group Page, on Facebook and Twitter, or at its blog. You can also sign other active petitions of ours if you have not already, by visiting our Out4Immigration page here on Change. There's one to USCIS, and then there are other Congressional ones which you can find by clicking "more petitions: right under the USCIS one. If you know someone in a bi-national same-sex relationship, please encourage them to speak up and get involved. The time for justice is now!
- Secretary Janet Napolitano
- U.S. House of Representatives
I am writing to ask that you please sign on as a co-sponsor of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), HR1537 and S821, sponsored in the House by Rep. Jerrold Nadler and in the Senate by Sen. Patrick Leahy. You have been a co-sponsor of the bill in the past; we need your endorsement again.
I support Out4Immigration, an organization that works for the right of LGBT Americans in loving and committed relationships to sponsor their foreign partners for legal residency in the US. As you may be aware, same-sex binational couples are subjected to gratuitous cruelty under current US immigration laws and are often forced to make heartbreaking decisions to maintain their relationships. Some couples go “off the grid” with an undocumented partner, living in daily fear of the horrific possibility that their lives can be ripped apart at any moment when the undocumented partner is discovered and deported. Other couples are forced into exile, leaving the United States to be with the person they love. Often these American citizens are forced to abandon careers they have worked a lifetime to build. Many times these citizens leave behind aging parents and/or young adult children who rely on them and suffer immensely from their loss. Always, all leave behind communities - and in a greater sense, a country - that has benefited from their ongoing and active participation. No matter the scenario, everyone loses.
The federal government is obviously aware of this discrimination. The US Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) recently sought legal guidance as to how to proceed with deporting immigrants in same-sex binational relationships in light of the Administration’s decision to no longer support section 3 of DOMA. It is time that America’s LGBT citizens finally be granted the same immigration rights and privileges afforded their heterosexual brothers and sisters. UAFA simply seeks to provide LGBT citizens and permanent residents the right to sponsor their partners for immigration. The legislation includes the same process and penalties as applied in heterosexual sponsorship applications. Same-sex couples are forced to meet the same burden of proof validating their relationships as heterosexual couples.
By co-sponsoring UAFA again, you are reaffirming your commitment to equality for every American and confirming your belief that no American citizen should be forced to choose between the country they love and the person they love. We look forward to seeing your name back among the co-sponsors of UAFA. Many people are depending on your support and endorsement of this critically important issue.
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