The LGBT community has been working for immigration reform for years. Our families are regularly split apart because we can not sponsor our foreign born loved ones for citizenship like married heterosexual couples can.
Americans are forced to split up their families or leave this country for more fair minded countries like the UK or Canada when their same gender spouse's green card or visa expires. The policy is inhumane but persists because our Congress enjoys the status quo.
We hoped this issue would be corrected in the forthcoming immigration reform bill in the pipeline for next year. However, because some members of Congress are squeamish about our families, splitting up families will likely continue. Our only hope for an inclusive immigration reform bill is via an amendment, but there is doubt that is very likely either.
ACT on Principles reported:
Here is the problem: The bill is now out of the hands of Equality Caucus and Hispanic Caucus Member Rep. Gutierrez (D-IL-4) and has been passed to its new sponsor, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Founder Rep. Solomon Ortiz (D-TX-27)--who is not even a cosponsor of ENDA or DADT repeal.
Representative Ortiz says that "some Hispanic lawmakers may be uneasy with the same-sex provision for cultural reasons, and they may need more time to weigh it. 'They feel a little uncomfortable. I think that's what it is, to be honest with you,' he said."
Why has this bill been turned over to Representative Ortiz, and taken from the more openly LGBT friendly Representative Gutierrez?
And if that has you worried, there is more that has been uncovered:
The majority of Congressional Hispanic Caucus Members are cosponsors of DOMA repeal, 11 out of 21 members to be exact.
In fact it seems Rep. Ortiz is the one who feels "uncomfortable." His HRC scorecard
is pathetic. He received a 50% score in 110th Congress, 25% in 109th, and 22% in 108th. Oritz is not even a co-sponsor of the Uniting American Families Act, a separate bill which would allow same gender domestic partners or married couples to sponsor their loved ones for citizenship.
The Uniting American Families Act still has a long way to go if it is going to pass. The whip count does not look good:
PUBLIC WHIP COUNT
Sponsors & Cosponsors 117
Leaning Yes 81
Leaning No 207
We sure could use a "fierce advocate" in the immigration debate.