Final Round for Same-Sex Couples & Green Cards:
DUMP Immigration Equality,
By Melanie Nathan First Published – March 31, 2011
So Guess who is asking for more support for the same thing they screwed bi-nationals over and over again previously? Yes, It is Immigration Equality. They need your grassroots effort and/or money so you can get screwed yet again – so they can mess with our UAFA again and again and again – The question is this time do they plan on advocating for it or advocating for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, the past modus operandi; the latter previously touted as the only way to achieve these rights. But it did not work and now what crazy path will they explore with your hearts risking your soul mates? Do they plan on placing UAFA and Binationals, same-sex green cards ahead of the DREAM ACT this time – because the latter may happen to include some gays and lesbians?
Julie Kruse, Policy Director has put out a call for you to tell your stories and to support UAFA! Time warp 2009! Julie what have we been doing for ten years?
Buyer beware- what is wrong with this picture?
Kruse”s letter states “In just a few weeks, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) will reintroduce the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) — a critically important bill that would provide much-needed relief to LGBT families facing separation and exile under our discriminatory immigration laws. Will you help us build the support we need to ensure UAFA’s reintroduction is a success?”
AND WHY I ASK?
She continues ” As you know, UAFA would allow lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans to sponsor our foreign-born partners and children for residency in the United States. UAFA’s passage would immediately help all families with foreign-born partners. For families whose relationships aren’t recognized by state or local law – and for families currently living in exile — UAFA offers the only permanent solution for remaining together. ”
I have a feeling this jargon was copied from an email back in 2009 – c heck it OUT! That said – when I was in DC with Shirley Tan, the lesbian mom saved from deportation under Private Bill #867, by Senator Feinstein two things did not occurr:-
1. Julie Kruse told us not to waste our time telling Republicans in Congress Shirley’s story – BUT now the Republicans have a majority and so should we still keep our stories from them Julie Kruse?
2. I informed Rachel Tiven and Julie Kruse in June 2009, after speaking with the Senator’s senior legislative staffer, that the only way to get Senator Feinstein to sponsor and push UAFA would have been for IE to acknowledge that the UAFA does not provide enough defining language demanding a CONTRACTUAL NEXUS between partners; and that mere evidence would not be enough to satisfy the Senator. Understanding law the way I do the Senator’s requirement made complete sense to me. But Immigration equality representatives fobbed me off.
a. UAFA Language must change to define Permanent Partner as someone who can prove a contractual nexus, via a DP or marriage document from a Jurisdiction or a written contract defining the relationship – beyond mere evidence of joint check accounts and rental agreements. The impediment to UAFA has always been – not fear of fraud- per se- but rather the lack of provable contractual relationship or connection. Roomates can share a bill but cannot a contract defining their relationship.
The language can and must work around this. Immigration Equality basically told me I was wasting my time because and I quote “Senator Feinstein does not care about the LGBT community.” That was a horrible myth perpetuated by another organization which I care not to name as well as by Immigration equality.
b. Senator Feinstein absolutely cares about gays (LGBTI) and when I repeated that comment to a staffer in the Senators office two years ago, I was told it would break the Senator’s heart because she did care so much. I believed that Senator Feinstein does care and did then and I deplore the fact that Immigration Equality failed to truly engage her office to provide the legislative solution for her sponsorship.
So much energy spent on fighting for so called immigration reform when all we wanted is equality.
c. Senator Feinstein is correct to go full out for the Repeal of DOMA at this point. To split our advocacy once a repeal is on the table for DOMA is pure waste of of unity and advocacy time. At this point IE should be asking for special visas and Private Bills to prevent deportations of a class to be named – pending the repeal of DOMA. Instead they are trying to roll back the clock and hedge UAFA’s enactment against DOMA’s repeal.
Yes Tell your stories and tell your representatives why you want your Federal benefits such as immigration. Tell them your stories. But how can we do it in the name of UAFA which Immigration Equality may again hi-jack for their own invisible purposes. Do it in the name of DOMA repeal.
Kruse states then in her e-mail blast Help us honor those families by ensuring we have a strong coalition of lawmakers supporting UAFA in the new Congress.” Yes, Julie Kruse, Rachel Tiven and Steve Ralls – et al – how are you going to regenerate support for UAFA in a Republican Congress when you failed in a Democratic one and took all binationals for the biggest ride of their life…. down CIR road to nowhere. Do you plan on touting UAFA and switching to Comprehensive immigration Reform YET AGAIN?
How many times you take our community for suckers.
The Letter goes on to say: – “Ask your lawmaker to cosponsor UAFA, and add your personal story to your letter. Your story is the best, and most powerful, way to let Congress know how critical passage of UAFA is for our families.”
In case you were unaware OUT4IMMIGRATION has been doing just that since long before you let go of your grassroots respect and telling actual stories for UAFA. But now its time to tell them our stories for the repeal of DOMA which will give same-sex spouses the same rights as gay spouses.
“We finished the last Congress with record support for UAFA.” say Kruse with ultimate chutzpah – then why did you bandwagon and scurry after Immigration Reform and failed alliances?
“Help us begin this Congress by setting a new record again. With your help, we can take action to ensure LGBT families won’t be torn apart by unfair immigration laws.” Does that sound familiar – like a pre immigration reform rewind? A most disingenuous statement – do not expect support – we the grassroots are better off without your strategy mess ups and your inability to take responsibility – what you need to do is to be transparent. This letter is another example of such lack of transparency , ignorance and the presumption that we are all a bunch of idiots.
UNLESS Immigration Equality shows the truth – and tells same-sex couples what their FULL strategy and plan is – they have no place asking for Bi-national f support because same-sex couples who have been waiting for years and who you turn away when in need, do not trust Immigration Equality any longer.
What is Immigration Equality’s plan in the broad scheme of things? How is it addressing the repeal of the Defense of marriage Act DOMA now that has strong support and has been introduced already – is UAFA a bey hedged against the repeal of DOMA and if it is what guarantee do we have that Immigration equality will not hijack the legislation yet again?
Will Immigration equality chase the DREAM again or work for UAFA fully – or CHASE comprehensive immigration reform with our UAFA stories and pleas for help.
Julie Kruse , If we want UAFA will you offer CIR – again? No one should follow this group without a fully transparent plan of intent and one that they honor. No one should follow this group until they provide a financial disclosure of how money was spent over the past few years and how they plan to budget and allocate resources at this time.
Immigration equality- the big glaring lie – is the offer that UAFA will provide a quick remedy. No it will not. It is simply not possible. The only quick remedy will be a executive order by the President or some creative form of Sunset Special Binat -VISA or Protocol to provide for the immediate relief suffered by our binational / same-sex couples – limited to those who are married – because marriage is now a relatively easy option, according to State and Foreign Laws.
Grassroots I ask you – are you going to allow your selves to be used again – like lambs to the slaughter ?
NOTE:- An Aside: Who can depend on IE: If you have stories to tell please e-mail me – at [email protected]:
I recently sent an asylum seeker to Immigration Equality who is within the small window of opportunity with a winning asylum case. They were excited to receive the case, my source informs me. I then went to South Africa for a month and just arrived back – only to hear that the young person who is in great physical danger if returned home, is still waiting for a post interview call back. She is panic stricken and under time constraints for filing. It is a simple case to file and all they need is to find her an attorney to fill out the forms.
By Melanie Nathan
twitter @melanie nathan1
For quite some time I have been writing about creative alternatives – I would like to see the organizations getting your money doing some of the creative out of the box work!!!!
Here is the Body of my Past work on this subject
REPEAT – I WROTE THIS BACK IN DECEMBER,…… WRITTEN BEFORE INTRODUCTION OF REPEAL OF DOMA
Melanie Nathan, Dec 30, 2010. At the federal level of government in the United States, laws are made almost exclusively by legislation. Legislation originates as an Act of Congress passed by the Congress of the United States; such acts were either signed into law by the President or passed by Congress after a presidential veto.
Legislation is not the only source of regulations which have the force of law. There is also judge-made common law and constitutional law. The President can issue executive orders pursuant to a grant of discretion from Congress, or under the inherent powers that office holds to deal with certain matters of foreign policy.
When it comes to immigration matters, the standing law is that covered by the Immigration and Naturalization Act of the USA. This law cannot be changed, without the involvement of Congress through an amendment process. However I believe that when it comes to the regulations to effect the intent behind the law or something that unexpectedly and detrimentally impacts the law, the President of the USA can provide an executive order to adjust the circumstances, so impacted.
I do not believe that it was ever the intention of the Defense of Marriage Act to deny the de facto relationships of same-sex couples. I believe President Clinton who signed it into law would attest that it was never his intention to cause American citizens and Residents in same-sex relationships to have to exile the USA to pursue their Constitutional right to happiness. However Americans in the USA, in same sex relationships are denied the possibility to sponsor a partner for a green card.
Accordingly I believe that President Obama has the power to effect an Executive Order on behalf of same-sex couples who are specifically excluded by DOMA, from participating in the US Immigration laws. This quest would specifically denote a right by way of process to an American (citizen or resident) and not a right to an immigrant; the right of the American to Petition for a same-sex partner to reside in the USA, that is currently excluded via laws that simply fail to include the de facto situation, thereby causing extreme hardship to American Families.
I do not believe the Immigration law needs to change for this to happen in the short term; I do not believe that this reflects in any way shape or form on the marriage equality debate. It does not seek to change DOMA and nor does it impact the Immigration Act as we know it, at all.
There have been many early executive orders during all Presidencies; the State Department began numbering executive orders in the early 20th century, starting retroactively from President Abraham Lincoln’s Executive Order Establishing a Provisional Court in Louisiana issued in 1862. An executive order is an order issued by the President, the head of the executive branch of the federal government, generally to staff of the executive branch and not to the citizens of the country. Article I, Section 1 of the US Constitution specifically reserves all federal legislative authority to Congress, not the president.
However here what would occur would be the President ordering the inclusion of same-sex partners under existing law, based on the de facto existence of relationships, the anomaly caused by State law that endorse such relationships, while the Federal government fails to secure the right of the American to remain at home in a relationship of their choice.
Examples of prior Immigration related executive orders –
- Employment of aliens under Federal contracts: EO 12989
- Grenada; revocation of naturalization exemptions: EO 12913
- Persian Gulf conflict participants; expedited naturalization: EO 12939
The Case for an executive order is easily made:
Urgent Need; Immediate Harm;
Without the passage of a repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act the exclusionary legislation that caused the harm, or the passage of the Uniting American Families Act, (UAFA) the pending Legislation – which would fix the problem, there is little else that can happen to right this immeasurable harm in the near future.
Same-sex couples have been watching the introduction of legislation come and go for the best part of 15 years to no avail
Americans are living in exile to be with partners – separated from extended families, children etc. Some are getting ready to leave the USA as I write this; some partners have not seen each other in years- partners are deported, living jobless in hiding; the expense to maintain an international relationship is prohibitive and I can go on….
The Dream Act failed – Do you think Republicans will give a damn about gay and lesbian couples?
Now that DADT is repealed Military also need to a mechanism to bring home foreign born partners after serving abroad.
Now I have never written an Executive Order or anything similar before and so please do not take this as my expectation of what one would really look like or entail. In fact I may even be coming at it from the wrong angle – there may be a more direct way to do it than to Order a Special Board charged with a duty as I have done below. I thought of doig it that way so that the ORDER would not be a blanket order, but would have built in measure for responsible actions, where evidence and contractual nexus helm the process.
PREAMBLE:- Same Sex couples are a de facto part of American Society. The Defense of Marriage Act. specifically excludes Same-Sex partners from being included under the Immigration & Naturalization Act of 1952.
Some de facto same-sex relationships impacted by the Law include children who suffer hardship if parents are forced to separate or leave the United States;
No US citizen should be forced into exile or to leave their homes, careers and countries to be able to pursue a relationship with a same-sex partner;
The intention of the Defense of Marriage Act was define marriage as between a man and a woman only. In No way does this order derogate from that concept nor does it attempt to re-define marriage;
Predicated on the fact that DOMA was never intended to divide unmarried couples (who did not have the legal option to marry in accordance with the Federal definition established by DOMA) and families or prevent them from living together.
It remains the policy of this Administration to enforce the immigration laws to the fullest extent, for all cases that do not conform to this Order; including the detection and deportation of undocumented aliens.
IT IS ORDERED:-
I. Establishment of Emergency Board, to be led by personnel appointed by the President of the USA and office of the Department of Homeland Security for the purposes outlined as follows:-
I. Investigating the separation of same-sex partners whose relationships are excluded from immigration rights and privileges under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 as amended ; with the specific purpose of providing remedies and urgent relief to specific couples and through general regulations and remedies for couples at large:-
a. To establish a Special Visa Program (similar to Fiancé Visa/ R1 Visa) to facilitate the reunification of same-sex partners in relationships where a contractual nexus can be proved within six months of entry by foreign partner into USA; and to to provide a path to citizenship upon conditions to be determined.
b. To provide a mechanism for the adjustment of Status for same-sex foreign partners who are currently in the USA undocumented, whose Visa has expired, who enter into same-sex relationships while in the USA, including those in Asylum or deportation proceedings, or under ten year re-entry ban, where other is a US Citizen or Legal US Resident, who can prove a contractual nexus;
c. To define contractual nexus (I have prepared my own)
d. To define and detail evidence required to prove contractual nexus:- (I have prepared a list)
II. Circumstances to Investigate:
- circumstances of American citizens forced leave the USA to be in relationship
- and live with a foreign born partner, where there is proof of contractual nexus;
- to review immigration cases of foreign same-sex partner, where other is a US
Citizen or legal US Resident, who can prove a contractual nexus;
- to review deportation cases involving foreign same-sex partner, where other is a
US Citizen or Legal US Resident, who can prove a contractual nexus;
- to review asylum cases foreign same-sex partner, where other is a US Citizen and
Resident, who can prove a contractual nexus;
- to review Visa Applications
Immediate moratorium on all deportations involving foreign same-sex partner, where other is a US Citizen or Legal US Resident, who can prove a contractual nexus; to include a retroactive waiver of 10 year ban on re-entry to USA.
The Power shall be vested in the Board and All Regulations stemming therefrom shall be subject to the oversight of a duly appointed Staffer and ratification by the President of the USA.
Maybe this is a pipe dream and I have written about this over a year ago – I hope to join with other advocates in the New Year to push for a creative remedy for the unconscionable and reprehensible inequity to same-sex couples and their families, immediate and extended. This international community cannot wait any longer – not even for what it will take to repeal DOMA, Enact UAFA. This is not an immigration reform issue – it is an immigration equality – as in parity- issue. Hence the bi-national same sex community which advocates, waits and prays for remedies should not be expected to wait any longer while an anti-immigrant weighted Congress plodders along with Comprehensive Immigration Reform.
A note from J. Bachelor 3/31/2011 : I had passed this on to others in the past, but the person to target is Obama and here is why:
A new strategy for helping out immigrants is outlined in a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) memo from last year. In that memo, staff members for USCIS catalogued the various options that are open to the President.
“USCIS can extend benefits and/or protections to many individuals and groups by issuing new guidance and regulations, exercising discretion with regard to parole-in-place, deferred action and the issuance of Notices to Appear (NTA), and adopting significant process improvements,” the memo reads.
The text of the memo asserts that USCIS’s discretionary power to use deferred action is unlimited. In order to suppress opposition to the flexing of this muscle, the USCIS staffers who wrote the memo suggest that deferred action be used to exempt “particular groups” from being subject to removal proceedings. In this memo, they explicitly admit that “deferred action” — or using prosecutorial discretion not to deport someone — would be “a non-legislative version of ‘amnesty.’”
Fox News notes that deferred action is a “suspension of deportation hearings for illegal aliens. With “deferred action,” illegals are allowed to apply for employment authorization cards,” (http://nation.foxnews.com/amnesty/2010/06/23/obama-granting-amnesty-executive-order).
The President has the power to sign an executive order to exempt “particular groups”, such as gay binational couples who are married, from being deported. This would not make them legal, but would allow them to remain in the country with their significant others.
UAFA vs DOMA – Have You Ever thought of Asking your Senator WHY WHY and WHY?
Brian Brown Upset That Dems May Put DOMA Repeal In Defense BudgetIt starts with the line “Senate liberals have sunk to a new low.” It should probably have an ‘!’ on there. Apparently Brian Brown …
Melanie Nathan- April 19-2011
Have you ever thought to ask your Senators: AND especially do if they are one of these…..
Al Franken, Patrick Leahy, Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Robert Casey (D-Pa.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.);
all sponsor the newly introduced UAFA into the current :
- Why are you bothering to co-sponsor UAFA?
- Do you Co-Sponsor the repeal of DOMA?
- Why Both?WHY not Just DOMA?
Yes, READ all About It – The REINTRODUCTION of the 16 year old UAFA (Former incarnation “Permanent partners Immigration Act”):- Sen. Al Franken is the newest co-sponsor of legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate late last week that would give binational same-sex couples the same rights as married couples for immigration purposes. The Uniting American Families Act is authored by Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont and is sponsored by 18 other Democrats. Even though same-sex marriage is legal in seven jurisdictions in the United States, couples in which one partner is not a citizen do not have any right under current federal law.
The bill would make immigration laws equal for same-sex couples, including allowing same-sex partners of refugees and asylum seekers to immigrate to the United States. It also provides for the same penalties for same-sex couples who misrepresent their relationships for immigration purposes as current law does for married couples. The bill makes provisions for same-sex couples to provide documentation of their partnership.
“A core tenet of our immigration policy is preserving family unity. Yet gay and lesbian Americans are still forced to choose between their country and being with those they love,” said Leahy in a statement. “I hear from Vermont couples who face this difficult decision every year. No American should face such a choice. I hope that my colleagues who supported this important civil rights reform will join me in calling for fairness and equality in our immigration laws.”
LOOKING FOR REASONS:-
1. The Repeal of the Defense of Marriage ACT (DOMA) is currently in both the House and Senate.
2. DOES UAFA stand a better chance of passing than DOMA in this republican majority House of representatives?
3. DOMA’s repeal will enable gays and lesbians – same-sex spouses – to sponsor foreign spouses for green cards so why do we need both bills before an unfriendly house at the same time?
4. Does UAFA derogate from the force and attention of the repeal of DOMA
5. Does UAFA introduction make DOMA more attractive?
6. Are we dividing resources and donor monies?
THE ANSWERS: (fill in the blanks) Senators-
Al Franken, (D-MN)_____________________________________
Patrick Leahy, (D-VT)_____________________________________
Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii)_________________________________
Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)______________________________
Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)___________________________________
Ben Cardin (D-Md.)_____________________________________
Robert Casey (D-Pa.)_____________________________________
Christopher Coons (D-Del.)________________________________
Richard Durbin (D-Ill._______________________________________
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)___________________________________
Tom Harkin (D-Iowa),_______________________________________
John Kerry (D-Mass.)_______________________________________
Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.)______________________________________
Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)__________________________________________
Patty Murray (D-Wash.)_______________________________________
Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)______________________________________
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)____________________________________
Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) _________________________________________
While I am grateful for the support of any and all LGBT legislation – do not get me wrong – I still want to know why!
THE REAL QUESTION ?
1. is this ultimately about the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill and the attachment of UAFA thereto?
2.Who is playing who?
By Melanie Nathan
Congressman Nadler – UAFA ‘Will Not Stand Alone’ – Must Fight for Immigration Equality Via Reform
Congressman Nadler Outlines UAFA Strategy Bi-nationals Brace For a Crash Landing – Senator Schumer Squarely on the Hook with LGBT Activists
Melanie Nathan, 3-23-10 . 11.30 PM: The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community have long sought parity in US immigration laws. One of the most reprehensible aspects of inequality is one that physically separates spouses and families, especially where a portion of the population is singled out for this prejudicial existence.
Having now accomplished Health Care Reform, it is apparent that President Obama has acquired the momentum and political capital to fuel the leadership necessary to fulfill the next campaign promise, that of immigration reform. Why then are our congressional leaders still asserting impossible?
Late last year, Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Solomon Ortiz (D-TX) introduced HR 4321: the (so called) Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act of 2009—or “CIR . “ Now we wait, with bated breath, for the Senate version of the Bill to be introduced, at any moment, by Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer and Republican Lindsey Graham, being touted a bi-partisan Bill.
Rep Gutierrez’s Bill, however, snubbed gay and lesbian couples, much to the upset of the LGBT community and bi-national same-sex couples, by failing to attach UAFA, the Uniting American Families Act, H.R. 1024, S. 424) a U.S. bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate discrimination in the immigration laws against gay couples seeking spousal/ partner sponsorship for green cards, as a critical component to his version of comprehensive immigration reform. Is he thinking that we should not have immigration equality? Is he going to attach UAFA later in the process? Does he think UAFA should be a stand-alone Bill. As to the latter Congressman Nadler, says UAFA will not be a stand alone bill.
Tonight, Congressman Nadler, headlined a special “strategy call,” to discuss the future of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) and added to the quandary of the Gutierrez snub; with approximately 100 gay activists and bi-national partners listening in on the call, Congressman Nadler stated emphatically, “The leadership has made it clear that UAFA will only be passed if it is in the form of an attachment to comprehensive immigration reform and that it will not be pursued as stand- alone by the congressional leadership.” (Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Reps Zoe Lofgren and John Conyers.) While this leadership is refusing to pursue UAFA as a separate Bill, they have subscribed to including us in comprehensive immigration reform as the only possible way bi-nationals same-sex partners would obtain immigration equality, at this time.
So what in heaven’s name was Luis Gutierrez thinking when he excluded UAFA? Did he know leadership would be refusing to pursue UAFA as a stand alone bill? Has there been dialogue between House leadership and Gutierrez; how are they going to reconcile this snub? If you have leadership saying we MUST be included in CIR and the author and sponsor of the Bill failing to do so, what are they thinking? No equality for the queer couples? ANSWER – Call Gutierrez again – write him and say:
“Dear Rep, Gutierrez , Tonight Congressman Nadler told us that House leadership will not pursue UAFA as a stand alone Bill, yet you excluded our b i-national same-sex permanent partners from your Immigration Reform Bill? We demand Answers: 1. Did you know that the leadership refuse to pursue UAFA as a stand alone? 2. Do you intend to leave us out of Immigration reform for the duration of the Process? Unless we receive satisfactory explanation from you, we can only assume prejudice on your part and a desire to keep LGBT immigration law, broken as you fix it for the rest of America.”
Bi-nationals same sex couples now await Senator Schumer’s version of CIR and for him to include UAFA, attached to his Senate reform Bill. Senator Schumer has indicated his support for UAFA, more than once, in a video of his comments at the Hearing for UAFA and in a recent letter to constituents, which we previously reported.
Nadler also mentioned the Schumer letter on tonight’s telephone call, asserting that Senator Schumer’s letter clearly indicates his support of UAFA’s inclusion in CIR. However, Schumer has yet to come out and say that he is including UAFA in his reform bill. What if he does not? Do we ask the same questions of Schumer as we now do of Gutierrez?
An earlier article which I posted on this site, reveals a source close to Senator Schumer informed LGR that the Senator was planning to exclude UAFA; however much pressure has been brought to bear on the Senator, since the article posted, and his letter in fact followed the article, seeming to dispel my revelation and the information which I had received. If the pressure already brought to bear will be of any influence, great! But what if Schumer does not include UAFA? What next? Rep. Nadler said we would have to go through the Judiciary Committee or the Immigration Committee. A little risky strategy – no real plan B and Plan A is not yet more than a vague nod.
When asked about the Catholic Bishops, Nadler confirmed what I reported in my earlier article on LGR, that the Catholic Bishops had in fact given an ultimatum (to Schumer) – they actually came out and said they would NOT support immigration Reform that included UAFA. Nadler said what the Bishops say should not hinder the legislation; albeit they were one of the most powerful groups in the mix and that we must push forward regardless.
This is a supportive Senator – do not allow him to ignore our plight, or to postpone his intent.
“Dear Senator Schumer, you cannot leave us out of CIR; you cannot buckle under the glare of religious groups. You swore an oath of allegiance to the Constitution and now we expect you to abide – the Church has no place in influencing legislation, it flies in the face of everything America Stands for, Please find the courage to do the right thing.”
Nadler asserted that this would be the only way – for UAFA to pass- and that would be via passage with a larger immigration reform bill. The votes would need to be 217 in the House and at least 51 in the Senate. Congressman Nadler has led the fight for UAFA and is highly respected by activists and the LGBT community, reputed to be one of the most dedicated in the fight for immigration equality. His ideas are to be trusted and his leadership followed.
However what if UAFA is NOT included in the immigration reform bill by Schumer? When asked the question, Nadler said that we needed to push very hard, to keep pushing speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Reps Lofgren and Conyers and to really apply the pressure to Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Patrick Leahy,
So with UAFA as a stand- alone now completely out of the purview of our congressional leadership, we must fight for UAFA to be included in reform legislation.
ACTION: According to Rep. Nadler, we must apply the pressure in a BIG way and push very hard now for inclusion– and I although I find this sense of desperation a contradiction to Nadler’s assertion that Schumer’s letter was clear that we will be included in his legislation, I too have to ask you all to continue the aggressive and constant barrage of stories, letters, begging, and what ever it takes – chain yourself to Schumer’s conscience with your heart wrenching stories.
Even if you have sent your story to your own Congressional representative and Senator/s, resend via fax or email; include pictures, and be sure to get copies to Nancy Pelosi, Zoe Lofgren, John Conyers and other leaders in Congress. Send it to President Obama as well, Lindsey Graham, incumbents who need to be re-elected, Senators Leahy, Arlen Specter, Dianne Feinstein, of course Schumer.
Ask your member of congress to take a leadership role and talk to other members to speak up of equality and human rights. Get your relatives to write, make calls. We MUST overwhelm them and it must be now!
If we are not included then there is the possibility that we can be later on in the process and so the pressure must be applied even after an exclusionary Bill is introduced.
Amos Lim from Out4Imigration, who was on the call last night, said that Rep Nadler reiterated that “it is important important to make sure that the Speaker, the Judiciary Committee Chairs and the Immigration Sub-committee Chairs of both the House and the Senate hears from us that LGBT Families needs to be included in the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill.”
Also ask your reps to call Schumer to request him to include UAFA in Immigration reform – this could be done in a phone call. Get on face book, on your blogs, to your families, and twitter and get your friends busy. Demand t leadership by your own representatives. Ask them to approach leadership to bring this the emergency status it deserves.
By: Melanie Nathan
Conflict Resolution, Human Rights & Equality Advocacy
Picture, by Melanie Nathan, Pride 2009 A week of DADT and UAFA.... and its Advocates. Dan Choi pictred with Shirley Tan & Jay Mercado /Family.
Related articles by Melanie Nathan
- White House Calls for Immigration Reform Dsicussion with Senators Schumer & Graham (lezgetreal.com)
- Immigration Reform, Binational Anger Builds – Plea by Reps to include UAFA- (lezgetreal.com)
- lezgetreal.com: Senators Chuck Schumer & Lindsey Graham write an Article – But where is the Bill? (oblogdeeoblogda.wordpress.com)
- House Members Call on President, House, and Senate Leadership: Melanie Nathan – “this makes the Case for UAFA as an Urgent Stand Alone!” (lezgetreal.com)
- Senator Chuck Schumer Is Planning To Exclude Gay And Lesbians From Immigration Reform Bill (topix.net)
- Immigration Reform – Get the LGBT Bi-national Voice heard NOW and LIVE at (lezgetreal.com)
- BREAKING: SHOCKING REALITY- Senator Chuck Schumer Is Planning To Exclude Gay And Lesbians From Immigration Reform Bill. (lezgetreal.com)
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March 25, 2010 at 10:49 am
Thank you for this very informative article Melanie. I just posted it to my Facebook community.
The arrogance of the members of Congress is breathtaking! I’m going in my 7th year of living apart from my beloved, who lives in nation that is so isolated from the rest of the world that he can’t text me, and due to repressive Internet control measures in his country, most of our emails to each other aren’t even received anymore. Phone calls are extremely difficult to make to him. I’m more than outraged by the way the government of the United States is treating me! These are not just laws that are depriving LGBT Americans of their equality and happiness! I’m ready for civil disobedience. Disobeying laws that are patently unjust is the very core of what it means to be an American.
Please reflect on some of the wisdom communicated to us by Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd President of the United States:
“The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first. ”
“In every country and every age, the priest has been hostile to Liberty. ”
“No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him. ”
The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society. ”
“Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.”
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March 24, 2010 at 8:44 pm
Me and my partner are really relying on UAFA passing this year, if it doesn’t we will have to look into moving to another country I just wish they would think about us and what it’s doing to us and our families.