Exploitation of binational same-sex couples continues as Immigration Equality continues to fund raise on the back of its failure

The group raised $1,765,000 in 2011 of which $1,131,220 was used for salaries and compensation, and increased employees to 20 for what?

By Melanie Nathan, April 26, 2013.

Screen Shot 2013-04-26 at 1.20.47 PMImmigration Equality has failed binational same-sex couples and is now scrambling to stay relevant, with the audacity to create a exploitative lobby event, all leading of course to a major fund raising campaign, This is not only an excuse to fund raise but also a desperate attempt to stay relevant, in an arena where they may as well lay down and retire!

In June DOMA will die.  The American partner in a same-sex binational couple, who are married or want to marry, will be able to obtain a Fiance visa or apply for a green cards, for a foreign partner.  We will no longer have a need for The Uniting American Families Act, (UAFA), which in fact will be somewhat confusing and possibly convey special rights to some partners who chose not to get married. Once DOMA dies, UAFA will be problematic and members of Congress may have good reason to exclude it from immigration reform or any form of passage.

So why would Immigration equality have 50 people Lobbying desperately for its inclusion in Immigration reform at this time? A mere two months out from the predictable death of DOMA? Well they have a very big payroll to pay now for a start and they want to do it on the backs of binationals, whom they have failed , by continuing the pretense.

In their 2011 IRS 990, which appears on Immigration Equality’s website, you will note that the group raised $1,765,000 in 2011 of which $1,131,220 was used for salaries and compensation under its 501 (c)3  and $595,000 raised with $185,627 in salaries under its 501 (c) 4 status. During the period 2009 to 2011 they increased their staff from a handful to over 20.  It was their strategy to stop pursuing UAFA as a stand alone bill at that time and they spent so much of their resources (or so it would seem) on trying to get UAFA attached to Comprehensive Immigration Reform, a known failed strategy.  And this month the predictable failure, came to a slap in the face reality. And yet they are still trying to rope you in. Talk about chutzpah!

All the while they continue to raise money on the backs of desperate binational same-sex couples, pretending they can accomplish UAFA with their failed strategy.

During these 4 years Immigration Equality has taken the UAFA, that would have helped same-sex couple to sponsor the foreign partners, and tacked it onto immigration reform as a failed and useless strategy. They  knew the huge risk – that gay couples would be thrown under the bus and used as political pawns. And now that this has indeed happened, as the “Gang of 8” excluded binational same-sex couples,  IE scrambled a group of binational couples together to lobby Congressman for inclusion this week, knowing we are not going to need UAFA in two months time when SCOTUS ruled DOMA unconstitutional.

Somehow Immigration Equality must justify their staff increase to over 20 in the past 4 years.

Or will we see some firings? According to their website only few members of their staff seem to be working on asylum cases.  Too many seem attached to UAFA and Comprehensive Immigration reform, in their web descriptions.  Hopefully they are doing more.

So while they ask for money to keep a failed policy going are they masking its use for issues which binationals may not want to support?   YOU the Binational are being expolited or anyone who gives money based on this UAFA plea.  When it come to binationals, they are asking for money from YOUR cause but have nothing to show for it, except a higher payroll!

Now they want to keep their staff and hence must perpetuate the lie that they are helping binationals at all.  Most grassroot work and other work relating to Stop the Deportations, did not come from Immigration equality, although they would like you to think it did.  Most binational partners who have been released from detention – were not those who were helped by Immigration Equality.  Scores of LGBT people seeking help from Immigration Equality have a either not got past reception, not had calls returned for months or at all amd many emails via the internet help system have gone unanswered. That does not mean they have not helped some people with referrals to $14 million dollars a year worth of pro bono work by outside attorneys. It also does not mean they have not themselves  (perhaps) done a few asylum cases.  I would like to see how many were actually worked on inside their office without free outside attorney help.

I hope they can keep doing the good work they tout in asylum and that would be fine – but to continue to raise money on a phoney strategy, trying to  stay relevant on a dead issue, is nothing but a disingenuous ploy and a failure to admit their horrendous and costly mistake.

They want to stay relevant. But as soon as DOMA ‘s demise dawns, they will not need UAFA’s inclusion in Comprehensive Immigration reform anyway. That will be in June, a mere two months ahead and so now is a critical time to raise money on the pretense that there is still a chance for UAFA to be included in immigration reform and on the pretense that it will even be necessary.

So here is their latest  PLEA based on their latest PLOY:- Oh and don’t forget donate and win a prize!

Immigration Equality Action Fund
Named Supporter,
This week, our families took over Washington. Jay Mercado, who flew out from California with her partner of 27 years, Shirley, and their two children saw Senator Schumer in an elevator and stopped the elevator door to remind him to support our families. Schumer’s answer? “I’m working on it.”
Please donate today so that Immigration Equality Action Fund can keep the pressure on all our Senators to keep working … until LGBT families are included.
More than 50 families from 27 states and abroad descended on Capitol Hill for our biggest and most successful Lobby Days ever. They had one mission: to make your voices heard. As they raced from meeting to meeting, you joined in on the phones, making more than 670 calls to Senators for LGBT inclusion in immigration reform.
Our families did an incredible job, and you can carry on their momentum by donating today.

There’s too much riding on it to slow down. We’re going all out to get our families included in the immigration bill so that no one is left behind. This is the year we’re going to win. Our families are not afraid. On Wednesday, they told their personal stories fearlessly, and they fought for you. It’s time for the courage of lawmakers to catch up to the courage of the people.You can help make that happen. Please stand with us today.Thank you,

Rachel B. Tiven, Esq.
Executive DirectorP.S. Each donation you make and report enters you into our Safe Haven Giveaway to win a free trip to New York for the Safe Haven Awards gala on May 29. Restrictions apply. See official rules for details.

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A disgruntled support wrote to Rachel Tiven after receiving an e-mail fundraising on the back of this push for Immigration Reform to include UAFA:

“Subject: Big day was in 2009 and you messed it up with UAFA

Come on Rachel please cut the crap, and I am Honestly sorry for using this language.

 You did not do squat for us bi-national couples, I used to support you and donate and raise money with friends but I honestly regret that.

 I personally know 4 couples that called you for help and only thing you did for them is referred them to a immigration lawyer that they could not afford.

 Your pro bono cases are those that you could use for your PR and to get media attention.

 You and your gang of losers messed thousand of us up and missed your chance to pass Uafa as stand alone bill, and many of us suffer and continue to suffer because your failed strategy.

 I lost everything and moved out to live with my bf when I realized we have losers in IE and HRC representing us.

 It is obvious that your agenda maybe was not to help us but to promote you and your colleges for your personal benefit.

 Passing Uafa years ago would make your organization obsolete so it was your interest to keep this going on for years.

 I am a nurse and what you were doing is making us chronic disease patients instead curing it right on the spot.

But healthy patient does not come back and I see no difference between you or Crooked doctors and big pharma.

 Please do not email me anymore or attempt to contact me.

As a man I feel bad for being rude to a woman but I hope you get the message. Maybe you were genuine in trying to help in our plight, but I did not see it and this is how I feel toward you.

Your failed us. And I just hope Doma fails in June and we do not have to deal with this any longer.


Tiven’s response is the subject of another post to come.


Immigration equality forms:

Forms 990

2011 Form 990 Immigration Equality
2011 Form 990 Action Fund

2010 Form 990 Immigration Equality
2010 Form 990 Action Fund

2009 Form 990
2008 Form 990
2007 Form 990

For some reason their 990 From 2009 is listed but has not been uploaded to their site as required.

CONTACT Melanie Nathan, [email protected]   – I receive scores of emails every month about Immigration Equality.  It is helpful to hear your experience. You will remain anonymous and I will never publish anything you tell me without your permission.

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3 Comments on “Exploitation of binational same-sex couples continues as Immigration Equality continues to fund raise on the back of its failure”

  1. Rod Wright May 13, 2013 at 9:34 AM #

    Thanks for waking me up! Sometimes, we are down to rice and beans. My fiance even less. Still, I have made many many $10-$20 donantions to Immagration Equality. No More! Melanie, please post your list of legitimate organizations again?


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