When the Hispanic Congressional Caucus announced on November 28 the principles that will guide it as it seeks a major reform of immigration law next year, Immigration Equality, which works to ensure equality for LGBT couples in which one partner is not an American citizen, was quick to offer praise.
The Caucus called for legislation that “protects the unity and sanctity of the family, including the families of bi-national, same-sex couples, by reducing the family backlogs and keeping spouses, parents, and children together.”
“The Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ commitment to lesbian and gay families sets the baseline for what comprehensive immigration reform must include,” said Rachel B. Tiven, Immigration Equality’s executive director. The group estimates that 36,000 couples are impacted by the inability to sponsor a same-sex partner or spouse for US residency.
New York Democratic Congressman Jerrold Nadler is the longtime sponsor of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), which would achieve on a stand-alone basis what the Hispanic Caucus has now committed itself to in its comprehensive push. The Democrats’ immigration reform efforts will be led by New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez and Illinois Representative Luis Gutierrez. In recent comments to Gay City News, Nadler expressed confidence that the “commitment” from other immigration reform advocates to include UAFA in any final legislation adopted will stand.