Can Permanent Partners Immigrate?

It has long been a problem for gay and lesbian couples.  If one is not a U.S. citizen and resides in another country, it takes hurdles to bring in a permanent partner.  This is just one more area of discrimination for gay men and lesbians in this country.  Immigration groups have been lobbying hard to include gay and lesbian couples in any immigration reform bills that would be offered in the Congress.   Friday Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York signaled this might be possible.

Read the article below posted on the Advocate.com

Good news indeed!  But the pressure must be kept on. Civil rights for gay men and lesbians and full equality includes the right to bring one’s permanent partner to these shores.

Schumer Signals UAFA Inclusion

 By Kerry Eleveld 

Posted on Advocate.com March 18, 2010

Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer sent a letter to some of his LGBT constituents in New York signaling that comprehensive immigration reform would include a provision for LGBT families. “The failure to recognize permanent partners in the application for legal permanent residency is a major concern for many Americans,” reads the letter, which was obtained by Immigration Equality. Schumer then reiterates his support for the Uniting American Families Act, which would allow U.S. citizens and green card holders to sponsor their same-sex partners for permanent residency. “I support this principle of immigration reform,” he writes, “and I am working on introducing a comprehensive package that would address this issue along with a host of immigration issues…” The full text of the letter is below: Thank you for contacting me to express your support for the Uniting American Families Act of 2009. I agree that our immigration system is in serious need of reform and I am currently working with my colleagues in both parties to devise a Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill that would effectively address the many flaws that exist today. The failure to recognize permanent partners in the application for legal permanent residency is a major concern for many Americans. I share this concern and am a cosponsor of the Uniting American Families Act of 2009, which would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to permit permanent partners of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to obtain lawful permanent resident status in the same manner as spouses of citizens and lawful permanent residents. I support this principle of immigration reform and I am working on introducing a comprehensive package that would address this issue along with a host of immigration issues, including a pathway to legalization, the future flow of immigrants and border enforcement measures. At this time, I believe that the only way to pass meaningful and effective immigration reform is through a comprehensive bill, not through piecemeal legislation. The successful design and passage of this bill would be a watershed in how we deal with all aspects of immigration in this country and I am committed to fair and comprehensive reform which is necessary to rectify the many deficiencies and weaknesses of our immigration system. Again, thank you for taking the time to share your views about this important issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me If I can be of further assistance on this, or any other matter. Sincerely, Charles E. Schumer United States Senator

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