By Melanie Nathan – Breaking – Today, 1.30 PM. Senator Leahy , (D-VT) extended an invitation to Shirley Tan to testify at the UAFA hearing on June 3rd before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Shirley Tan, her wife Jay and their twelve year old twinsons, together with ‘yours truly’ will be traveling next week to DC for the hearings and congressional briefings. Earlier this month Shirley’s deportation was stayed at the last minute ( for the duration of this Congress 111) by the introduction of a rare Private Bill on her behalf by Senator Feinstein. (D-CA)
Now with thanks to the efforts of Immigration Equality, this hearing ought to shed more light on the inequities in the law and the flagrant exclusion of the LGBT community under the Immigration Act. It will also highlight the suffering of families under the current immigration law, regardless of sexual orientation, as Shirley’s poignant story reflects on the suffering of many who have been detained.
I have no doubt that the Republicans will set up opposing testimony and unfortunately one member of the committee, Senator Jeff Sessions, (R- is known for having compared homosexuals to pedophiles. I am unsure what stand Senator Feinstein will take on UAFA at this juncture. Perhaps the Senator’s experience in the Tan case, her sensitivity echoed in the verbiage of Private Bill #867, may alter her course on UAFA.
When I spoke to Jay today, she said that the family is very honored and extremely excited to go to D.C. for this historic hearing. They are looking forward to a visit to their representatives offices, Rep Jackie Speier and Senator Feinstein, especially to thank all the staffers who worked so hard to help them.
Shirley ‘s ultimate ability to stay in the USA will depend on passage of the Uniting of American Families Act. Shirley and the family have stated that they will do everything they can to assist in getting UAFA passed. AS great big thanks also to Martha McDevitt -Pugh of loveexiles for joining us from Netherlands, to Chris Waddling of Marriage Equality for his ever watchful eye, to Amos Lin and Kathy Drasky from Out4 Immigration for keeping the alliances steady and putting out the word for testimony. Any questions please contact me at [email protected]
Keep an eye on my Blog because I will be reporting from my front row seat at the hearing and on the trip to DC.
I would like to give a special thank you to all of the well wishes and the hundreds of emails oferring assistance. At this time if you are interested in sbmitting testimony – within the nest two week period, alloted, kindly contact me directly andI will put you in touch with the resources to help. Thank you to all my loyal readers for your support, encouragement and here we go………………… melanie nathan