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The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) today released their framework for immigration reform. One Nation: Principles on Immigration Reform and Our Commitment to the American Dream addresses a number of key principles and constituencies. Section 2 explicitly covers bi-national, same-sex couples, stating that the CHC will:
UPDATE: Frances and Takako and Tim and Edwin are among five plaintiff couples suing the federal government in a new challenge to the federal-recognition component of the Defense of Marriage Act, filed by Immigration Equality and the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Executive Director Rachel Tiven:
The families in today’s lawsuit meet every qualification for immigration benefits, with the sole exception that they happen to be lesbian or gay. Solely because of their sexual orientation, they have been singled out, under federal law, for discrimination and separation. That’s not only unconscionable; it is unconstitutional. We know DOMA cannot withstand careful review, and we know we will prevail on their behalf.
In other immigration news, US Customs and Border Protection is working to eliminate the discrimination faced by LGBT couples and families who currently aren’t recognized when they go through the customs line.
When you get a customs form, it clearly states, “only ONE written declaration per family is required.” An opposite-sex couple or a family led by an opposite-sex couple only has to fill out that single form. But if a same-sex couple or LGBT-led family goes through the line, they’re stopped, separated, and forced to fill out two forms.
Senator Menendez has sent a strong message that same-sex couples and their families deserve equal rights under immigration law.
Advocates and members of Congress gather to support LGBT equality and comprehensive immigration reform
Senate Democrats made news this week with the release of their framework for moving forward on immigration reform. It is by no means perfect, and there is much work left to be done. However, these Senators should be commended for the framework's attention to family unity and its inclusion of LGBT families.