The Good News and the Bad News

The Good News: Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey will reportedly introduce LGBTQI-inclusive immigration legislation today or tomorrow, at long last providing US citizens and permanent residents to sponsor same-sex partners for residency in the same way opposite-sex partners can. (For evident reasons, this is a particular legislative interest of Iain's and mine.) The legislation "would also provide a path to citizenship for the undocumented and would include the DREAM Act, which would give adolescents who came to the U.S. as children a chance to achieve citizenship through completing two years of college or spending two years in the military."

The Bad News: The Senate adjourns this week for the midterm recess. Senator Menendez's spokesperson "would not confirm the report but said details of the bill." And "the complicated legislation is not expected to move before the end of the year, but may just be laying the groundwork for next session.

Or, worse, may be a promise to mixed-nationality gay families and immigrant families before the midterm elections that the Democrats actually have no promise of keeping.

I don't like feeling that cynical, though, so I'm going to quote the optimistic Steve Ralls, director of communications for the pro-LGBT Immigration Equality: "Senator Menendez's bill will set the stage, in this Congress and the next, for a serious debate on fixing our broken immigration system."

Today might be a good day to contact your senators and ask them to support LGBTQI-inclusive immigration reform, which also includes the DREAM Act and offers undocumented workers a path to citizenship. Let them know there is a constituency who's eager to see such legislation passed, so when the legislation comes across their desks, they see it as an issue with broad support, not "special interest" legislation they can ignore as long as it got a press release.

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