Good News! (And An Action Item)

Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy and Democratic Representative Jerrold Nadler have respectively introduced legislation to the Senate and House which would afford same-sex mixed-citizenry couples equivalent immigration sponsorship rights:
THE UNITING American Families Act would allow gay and lesbian Americans and permanent residents to sponsor their foreign-born partners for legal residency in the United States.

..."Under current law, committed same-sex foreign partners of American citizens are unable to use the family immigration system, which accounts for a majority of the green cards and immigrant visas granted annually by the United States," Mr. Leahy said upon introducing the bill. "The promotion of family unity has long been part of federal immigration policy, and we should honor that principle by providing all Americans the opportunity to be with their loved ones." According to the most recent census, he added, about 35,000 binational, same-sex couples are living in the United States. The new legislation would ensure that the family connections valued under immigration law are extended to gays and lesbians.
Blub. This legislation has particular importance to me, for evident reasons.

What I love most is the way its summary [pdf] is worded: "To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate discrimination in the immigration laws by permitting permanent partners of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to obtain lawful permanent resident status in the same manner as spouses of citizens and lawful permanent residents and to penalize immigration fraud in connection with permanent partnerships."

That the purpose of the bill is written "to eliminate permitting permanent partners" rather than "to permit permanent partners..." is just amazing. For so long, any proposed legislation trying to rectify inequalities has tried to hide its pursuit of social justice behind the action being proposed, and now social justice is the action, and the rest are just the steps by which it is achieved. Beautiful, that. Progress, right there.

Contact your Senators here. Contact your representative here and ask them to support the Uniting American Families Act.

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