Press

NGLTF Urges Passage of Permanent Partners Immigration Act

Date: 
February 14, 2001

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force today commended U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler for reintroducing the Permanent Partners Immigration Act and urged Congress to move swiftly on the legislation. The bill would allow United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to sponsor their permanent partners for residence in the United States.

"Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender families need the same level of government recognition and support as any other family," said NGLTF Executive Director Elizabeth Toledo. "This bill will unite families and amend laws that have torn apart caring, committed couples across borders. We urge Congress to honor these human commitments by passing this bill as soon as possible."

U.S. immigration is largely based on the principle of family unification, which allows U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents to sponsor their spouses and other family members for immigration purposes. Current U.S. laws are based upon a restrictive definition of family, which does not include same-sex partners of U.S. citizens and permanent residents in family-based immigration. Because of this inhumane policy, thousands of lesbian and gay binational couples are kept apart, torn apart or forced to live with the foreign partner undocumented and in constant fear of deportation.

Nadler, D-NY, sponsored similar legislation last year, but the conservative-controlled Congress failed to bring it up for a vote. The bill would add "permanent partners" after references to "spouses" in the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Thirteen countries currently recognize gay and lesbian couples for immigration purposes, including such allies as Canada and Australia.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.