Have you ever heard of an editor closing the comments down on a Blogger’s post? Serena Editor of QueerCents did just that, and I quote:
“Serena Says: May 7th, 2009 at 12:47 pm Editor’s Note: Due to the nature of many of the comments on this thread, comments have been disabled for this post. For a clarification of our commenting policy, please read our disclaimer and commenting policy. “
The context: Under current immigration law, committed same-sex foreign partners of US citizens are unable to use the family immigration system – a system that accounts for a majority of the green cards and immigrant visas granted annually by the US. According to the most recent census, approximately 36,000 bi-national, same-sex couples are living in the US. The Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) would ensure that the family connections valued under immigration law are extended to lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals.
UAFA would allow lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans and permanent residents to sponsor their foreign-born partners for legal residency in the US. The bill (H.R. 1024), introduced on February 16th, 2009 by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) in the Senate and by Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) in the House, would add “permanent partner” and “permanent partnership” after the words “spouse” and “marriage” in relevant sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Yasmin Nair describes herself as an academic, activist, and writer.” Which, she states, ” simply put, means that she struggles to pay rent while living the glamorous life of a freelance writer. Her work appears in Windy City Times, where she is a book reviewer, columnist, reporter, and photographer.” Uhuh supposedly she “speaks explicitly about and for sex, and identifies herself as a queer lesbian who loves cock. ” (Expression of Gay man or straight woman? I dont know I AM a lesbian – how would I know.)
She gets her first ever post on QUEERCENTS blown up…… did she think she could hide from the real activists? Her post can be viewed at QUEERCENTS : http://www.queercents.com/2009/05/04/uniting-american-families-act-facts-fiction-and-emotions/ Actually not easy to to find on the Blog site.
She titles the BLOG: Uniting American Families Act: Facts, Fiction, Money and Emotions -Posted by: Yasmin @ 4:23 pm and then slaps off sme crap that bears no thesis and no conclusion that remotely relates to the Title, which in my assumption was crafted in the hope that her quest to denounce UAFA, would fit into this unrelated forum .
So anyway this Nair, the activist then expounds the ‘dis-virtues’ of Uniting America Families Act, purports compassion in responses, but fails, even when others beg for answers, to provide alternatives. The narcissistic attempt to thwart this legislation is tainted beyond measure with flaws and contradictory messages. Our Chicago academic cannot make a case for her unfounded notion that UAFA would be bad for us.
She prefaces her blog – “NOTE: The information presented here is based on research, community discussions, and conversations with lawyers. It does not constitute legal advice. If you or someone you know has legal issues like the kind discussed here, please seek the expertise of a qualified attorney. This is the first of a series on immigration reform and its effects on the LGBTQ community. ”
Sheez I cant wait for the rest of the series or is it dead in the water Serena what do you think? The only quote I recall in Ms Nair’s post is a one and a half page article in People Magazine – none of the updated quotes or articles are referenced and Ms. Nair attacks Ms. Tan based on this flimsy notation. What about the research she alludes to in her preface? and so she posts:- http://www.queercents.com/2009/05/04/uniting-american-families-act-facts-fiction-and-emotions/
YASMIN NAIR SAYS ON QUEER CENTS BLOG (QUOTE)
“Shirley Tan came here in 1986 as a tourist. Then, she overstayed her visa, supposedly after meeting her female partner Jay Mercado who was, like her, originally from the Phillipines. Mercado is currently a citizen, but Tan is still undocumented. They have been domestic partners for a while, according to a People article, and even wed in 2004. Tan gave birth to their twin sons who are both citizens. In 1995, Tan applied for asylum because, in 1979, according to her, a cousin shot her in the head and killed her mother and sister. In 2002, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) served Tan with an order of deportation, but the couple claim to never have received it. Finally, this year, on January 28, ICE agents showed up at the couple’s Pacifica California home and arrested her. Today, after a flurry of press coverage, comes the news that her order of deportation has been stayed through 2010 and a private bill on her behalf has been issued in Congress.
Immigration Equality and other supporters of Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) have made Shirley Tan and her family members the poster children for a piece of legislation that, they claim, would guarantee that binational couples like the Tan-Mercados are able to stay together. Why is this important? Under existing law, in many circumstances, heterosexual married citizens or permanent residents are able to sponsor their partners for immigration….. : AND SHE GOES ON…..
Then she she says she is against UAFA for a number of reasons, QUOTING AGAIN, “not the least of which is this: even if immigration through marriage/permanent partnership is a solution, who says it’s the ideal solution anyway? And why push for a law that guarantees rights to a privileged few while leaving the plight of others unquestioned? ” Is this , Ms. Nair a GOOD REASON FOR DISCRIMINATION?
Nair goes on to say, “As an immigration rights activist,( LOL) my concern is with comprehensive immigration reform (CIR). The current immigration crisis has come about because the United States feeds on cheap labor and the exploitation of millions, the very people it chooses to dispose of quickly and crudely via the mechanisms of raids and deportations. It does this because it knows that there is more cheap labor to be had because of the conditions of “free trade” it has created, conditions that guarantee a breakdown in the economies of countries like Mexico. These conditions, in turn, guarantee the flow of people desperate to find a living here.” Ok so I ask Nair, is another reason to deny equality to LGBT through UAFA? AND FURTHER states :- “you know the ones we mean – the day laborers who move from job to job, underpaid and overexploited; the low-paid workers who build suburban houses for us on the cheap as opposed to living in them, and so on.” (What a ridiculous assertion- of course Rachel Tiven is concerned about all immigrants, however it happens that her organization advocates for Lesbians and Gay couples who do not have rights equal to straight couples.)
Ok enough: So I wrote a response:-
Melanie Nathan Says: On the Queer Cents Blog:
May 6th, 2009 at 10:49 pm QUOTING Myself ON HER BLOG:
“Share and Enjoy” you say – how can I when you insult my client, and my own right to equality..
“…..and not all straight marriages are automatic routes to citizenship…..” and therefore I presume Jasmin , that you intend that to mean that lesbian and gay couples ought not have an equal opportunity to not have this route marriage…..okay maybe I am stretching what may be unintended interpretation of your statement, but as a blogger and the person who played a pivotal role in obtaining the introduction of Private Bill # 867 for Shirley Tan and her family, kindly allow me to make some corrections to the mistakes and inaccuracies in your reporting:
1. “Phillipines” is spelt ‘Philippines’;
2. “Mercado is currently a citizen, but Tan is still undocumented” –Inaccurate – Tan has always had a valid work permit;
3. Jasmin’s misrepresentation: “1995, Tan applied for asylum because, in 1979, according to her, a cousin shot her in the head and killed her mother and sister.” Shirley Tan came to the USA when the person who shot and beat her to near death and murdered her mother was released from prison due to political connections. She was not safe. We brought the case files, prison record and hospital files from Philippines to prove her story to Senator Feinstein- there is no doubt as to the validity of these facts – you may effectively delete the “according to her.”
4. You say: “ In 2002, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) served Tan with an order of deportation, but the couple claim to never have received it.” I am informing you that in April, prior to receiving the Private Bill, ICE withdrew the deportation order on the basis that Shirley had never been served with the deportation order. That is tantamount to an admission. So her status is legal and not illegal. She was then given a few weeks to voluntarily leave the USA, by May 10th; Dianne Feinstein introduced the PB on 4/22.
5. Then you say: “Today, after a flurry of press coverage, comes the news that her order of deportation has been stayed through 2010” ; There was a great deal more work than mere press coverage; this is from the horses mouth. Personally I worked non-stop for five weeks, ten hours a day exclusively and pro bono on this case. Then almost every LGBT organization with Immigration Equality concerns chipped in their talent and efforts. You have to be quite naïve to think that it was merely press and “abra cadabra shim shalabim” a private bill; pow! You say you research and speak to attorneys etc. You sure did not speak to me; nor did you speak to Shirley – nor did you speak to anyone. You read a one page article in People magazine; well at least that is all you quote.
6. Jasmin, Jasmin, Jasmin – this takes the cake. …. “upstanding suburbanites. Why, she’s even a stay-at-home soccer mom! Rachel Tiven of Immigration Equality drives the nail home in a quote: “They are exactly the kind of people you want living in this country.” Right. The others can just rot in hell” Well that is an inflammatory and insulting statement – Rachel Tiven and others at IE work very hard for equality, whether you agree with the legislative format or not. There are many organizations that work for immigrant rights, it so happens that Immigration Equality, has LGBT immigration equality as their mission statement. The donors and funding for this non-profit expect their money to be used in terms of their mission statement. To think that advocating for one person or a group precludes help or concern for the others is simply a ridiculous notion and in no way helps to support your argument.
7. He rest of what you posit , staring with “This is only my first problem with UAFA – it doesn’t really change the paradigms of immigration. It fixates……” is simply a load of nonsensical hogwash and your entire posting begs the question…. EQUALITY.
8. UAFA simply provides language to correct DOMA, which akin to apartheid serves to institutionalize discrimination. Whether you agree with the legislation or not, you miss the entire point. Equality Under the law. The language of UAFA equates same-sex couples to different-sex couples and that is it. The opportunities for fraud are there whether gay or straight. Fraud comes with huge consequences and many straight people have been deported or fined as a result. To deny legitimate couples their rights simply because others break the law is a disingenuous argument and discriminatory in itself.
9. As far as CIR- Reunification of Families and the Honda initiatives, hopefully this too will include Lesbian and Gay families after all why should we be discriminated against.
10. I too am a binational couple. The consequences of my not being able to sponsor my wife resulted in me having to choose to leave my country with the love of my life (for past eight years) and our 4 year old daughter whom we had together or to stay in the US with my 11 year old child who I share custody of with an ex. What would you have done? . Had I been straight, the passage of the law you deny as relevant would have been MY BEST PATH to her immigration and keeping our family in tact. Fortunately we managed with 12 hours left to illegality, $15,000 in legal fees later, and stress beyond belief to complete our process that kept her here.
PLEASE DO NOT TELL ME or my friend Martha who is living in exile ( loveexiles.org) that you think UAFA is a bad idea. It is irresponsible, unproductive to equality as well as to the fight on behalf of all immigrants, not to mention he lack of merit both de facto and de jure in your argument.
That said I invite you and your readers to my blog (www.oblogdeoblogda.wordpress.com) Read the post on Bill #867, Shirley’s Bill and note that this gay issue provided a forum for Senator Dianne Feinstein’s first ever public mention of the PLIGHT OFF ALL IMMIGRANT CHILDREN AND FAMILIES; she acknowledges in essence the support of Reunification and CIR and it was Shirley Tan and her courage that for the first time shows a marriage, if you will, between the unfairness of all Immigration Law as it pertains to gays and straights.
Because you are ‘ an immigration activist’ I encourage you to seek harmony and unity in your efforts, rather than looking for divisive means to make your point– even if you disagree with the form of legislation please do not put down the courageous fighters amongst us and please do not stand in the way of my right to equality. Melanie Nathan
Yasmin NAIR responds to Melanie – there are many responses by the way which can be read on the QueerCents Blog.
May 7th, 2009 at 5:26 am John and Mattilda,
Thanks for your comments, and for the tenor of your posts! Let me take this opportunity to thank everyone who has written, even in disagreement, in a tone that’s fitting for public discussion. Many of you who’ve disagreed have still managed to do so in a productive way, and I hope that will continue.
With all due respect, I suggest you write your own blog and not use the comments section to do so.
I think it’s hilarious that you correct my spelling of Philippines, but keep referring to me as Jasmin. Multiple times.
I’m really, really glad I’ll never have to call on your services (although I’m not sure you’re her lawyer – a blogger and a person involved in introducing the bill – what does that make you, exactly?) Your inflammatory language and vituperative tone are not helping anyone, and it really doesn’t help your reputation. DOMA is akin to apartheid? I know an entire country, South Africa, that might beg to differ.
As for the facts of the case, um, if you have any issue with what I presented, go talk to the People Magazine reporters.
I cited the article quite emphatically. I’m not sure how to break the news to you but this is …
a BLOG! Part of the blog’s point is to use a case that’s emblematic of the issue at hand and then to discuss the issue.
It’s interesting that you criticize me for not having contacted you — after having just shown that your temperament here shows why that would never be a good idea (and you still haven’t indicated who you are, exactly, ahem) — and then you go on to happily and unethically combine my critique of UAFA with some imagined personal criticism of Shirley Tan.
My point here was to look at the representation of an “ideal/good” family and then ask us to look UAFA more closely. This was not meant to be an airing of your client’s perspectives (and again, in what capacity are you acting on her behalf, exactly?). You need to do that job, not me. And, by the way, you need to do it elsewhere, not here.
Have I already mentioned that your tone is vituperative and quite unlike what someone’s public advocate should adopt? I know dozens of lawyers, and none of them would do what you just did, in the tone you just used. I also know a lot of advocates and publicists, and none of them would do what you just did, in the tone you just adopted. You’re just screaming at me.”
Then when I go back to respond CUT CUT CUT…. no more.
Now I was not the only one who did not agree with her. I think out of 44 responses (excluding her own defensive responses) no one agreed or understood what the heck she was saying.
Anyway Madison, Great Blog too – you did it justice on this one
In response to Yamin’s Blog on QUEER CENTS Well seeing as Serena has shut down all further responses to Yasmin’s blog (and I apologize for my prior mispelling of your name) I am game to continuing the discussion on mine and invite Yasmin for her input.
Yasmin, if you start a discussion that is oppositional to the advocated remedy and have the gaul to call yourself an adctivist, then you are obliged by definition to provide your own solution to the very problem you pruport to want to solve; otherwise you loose the right to the title ‘Activist,’ and earn the title “Antagonist.” Activism cannot prevail if purely oppositional to the solution itself. Your paradigm is a great fit for a Zeno-like Paradox.
Now your critique of my response is indeed unusual as the major portion questions my significance in all of this. Well I am just another person, simply put and titles and definitions do not empower my position. In fact I invite you to google me, look at me on LINKEDIN, Twitter, Facebook, Associated Press search, Shirley Tan search and then of course my various business websites, such as Private Courts Inc.
That should give you a picture.
Yasmin, your denial of my apatheid reference is uninformed. . Actually I lived apartheid for the first 29 years of my life. I studied and practised law in the apartheid system. Apartheid simply put denotes intitutionalized discrimination. Any legislation that excludes or separates a definable group from a specific law (marriage) or redifines a law, or alters a constitution to exclude such group is apartheid. I am fully qalifiedto make that analogy.
I don’t criticize you, per se, for not contacting me. I crtiticize you as not having done your basic homework and use myself as an example of what you could have done. You admit you relied fully on a PEOPLE article, but that article was done before the BIA rectified Ms. Tan’s situation and had you done your homework your interpretation, evidenced by your negative tone, may have been different. Instead you reported relying on an outdated article. So your own ill conceived exploitation of Ms. Tan to further your purpose to oppose UAFA- is quite insidious.
As for my violently critical abusive outburst (encapsulted by your reference to my “vituperative tone”) Let me say – it was intended. In my profession be it neutrality or advocacy, I am more than adept at the role required of the goal, as long as my client’s interests are best served.
I would add that your tone and the undertones of the blog post (which you started and fail to take responsibility for, fail to explain) is no different to mine and to think that you can attack Tan et al and the reliance of all Gay and Lesbian Binational couples and their children by your self serving exploits, without any impact, repercussion or tone- beget tone- is simply laughable.
If you order an egg – you get an egg.
Now lastly I will say this when I read yur blog I thought you were duping the editors of queercents, because the heading /title is a complete failure in thesis or conclusion for what the blog posits. In fact I think it is out of mission for the Queercents site. Immediately I thought that this BLOG and the BIO of Yasmin simply does not fit the scene. I believe that it must be an embarrasement to the editors and hence they pulled all further comments.
Next, you should be taken off that BLOG unless you have something more to offer the financial angle of its mission. There are many other forums for free ranting and free speech and recommend you get your own blog, like Madison….. goodluck with bringign traffic!
Good morning Melanie,
Thank you for expanding on Yasmin Nair’s nefarious activity against Gay and Lesbian bi-national couples in committed, loving relationships.
Lee Danner told me that you’d written an article on your blog, and I’ve not until now had a chance to see it.
I’m happy to see activists for LGBT equality like you, Lee Danner, Patrick Brent, Amos Lim, Chris Waddling, Charles Merrill, and Pam Spaulding. About Pam – If I’m feeling a little lonely and depressed, all I have to do is visit Pam’s page, and she zaps me with her gorgeous smile and energy, and comforts me because I know her work is giving me and Dzmitry hope. The last five years of my life separated from Dzmitry has been the most difficult period I’ve ever experienced, but the miracle has been to reveal people like all of you!! As I see it, all of you are the finest examples of what human love and marriage means. Wow! What a journey of learning!
Moments ago, I added a cross-link to your article about Yasmin Nair on my blog, to make sure people get a full report about her harmful work from as many angles as possible.
Thanks for your input. Please visit again and be sure to keep an eye on this post – you never know who will visit. I wish your all the best. Melanie.
Wow Melanie! Such anger! Too much BS to refute in not enough time – so I’ll stick to this: you say that Immigration Equality doesn’t have to worry about non-LGBT immigrants because its funding, mission, blah, blah. That is the type of narrow-minded, single-issue thinking that alienates LGBT communities and allows for the passage of anti-gay legislation. We should all be fighting for social justice on the highest level – not for the assimilation of one group or for the privilege of one class. Instead of focusing narrowly on equality for LGBT people, you should think about how to create a just world for all of us…
I’ll leave it at that because your endless, pointless, and irrational anger towards Yasmin illustrates that you only listen to those with whom you agree…
Actually, I happen to know that out of all the organizations IE they have and continue to work on CIR – that was not my point. You have taken it out of context. What I amsaying is that when an org.has funding for a particular mission statement, that org has a duty under its articles to perform accordingly; tey are accountable to their Board and have certain financial restraints that impact what they can and cannot do to effectuate their mission statement. The context is – allow people to do the job for what the have been set up to perform; hat in no way derogates from the compassion and work in the mission of CIR. However JAsmin on the otherhand thinks there should be no UAFA at all. Now there is a big difference – the LGBT community has one impertaive right less than other immigants and that one is he one that denotes inequality. So the LGBT community does not have a level playing field with other heterosexual immigrants. This is the mission of this one measly organization amongst the thousands that deal with immigration rights generally.
I am angry at Jasmin because I see right through her argument and her desire in all her writing to be oppostional. I have been in the position of losing my family and children to this anomaly in thelaw where I am married in my State but have no federal rights. I do not need to be told I am single minded- right now I am! That is why I am offended by those who have no regard for the inequality aspect. Until such time as lesbians and gays have an equal playing field, I will continue to focus, single mindedly on their issues – that does not mean I do not support CIR.
Keep your eye on the press and you will see the truth in what I say…….