The Quinn Law Firm
Call to schedule a consultation
336-790-4178Greensboro 877-781-8091Toll Free

Family-based immigration policy and the needs of same-sex couples

The Republican co-sponsor of a federal bill known as the Uniting American Families Act has announced that she is committed to passing the legislation next session in one of two ways. The family-based immigration measure seeks to grant equal immigration rights to bi-national same-sex couples who wish to petition for American visas.

Ideally, Sen. Susan Collins hopes that the measure will be passed on its own. However, she will attempt to insert relevant provisions into a proposed comprehensive immigration reform bill if the individual measure cannot gain traction of its own accord.

The measure has great support from certain organizations and groups. For example, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus singled out bi-national same-sex immigration reform as one of its principles for advocacy last November. However, significant obstacles stand in the way of passage, including the fact that the bill only has a single Republican co-sponsor (Sen. Collins) at the moment.

Currently, same-sex couples, even those who are legally married, cannot petition for legal recognition of status for an immigrant spouse. This is due to the broader goal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which mandates that the federal government, the ultimate authority on immigration policy, cannot recognize same-sex marriage.

The Supreme Court's pending review of two DOMA cases may significantly influence whether the Uniting American Families Act will pass or be rejected. Whatever the outcome of this bill in this session, recognition that same-sex immigration reform needs to be addressed is a step in the right direction for millions of couples.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Susan Collins: Immigration Reform Should Address Same-Sex Couples," Elise Foley, Dec. 11, 2012

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information