Comprehensive immigration reform legislation introduced in U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) today introduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2010, a bill that includes the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), which allows citizens to sponsor their same-sex partners; and the DREAM Act, which would give young people who came to the U.S. as children a chance to achieve citizenship through completing two years of college or spending two years in the military.

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey says:

Now is the time to reform our nation’s cruel and broken immigration system. Today, there are 12 million undocumented immigrants, including at least half a million LGBT people who are forced to live in the shadows of our society.

The Uniting American Families Act is consistent with U.S. immigration law’s existing policy of keeping families intact. These couples and their families have been kept separated or forced to live abroad. It’s unconscionable to ask any American to choose between family and country.

The DREAM Act will help ensure brighter and more secure futures for our young people, including countless LGBT youth, by providing them a path to citizenship. The United States is built on the belief that everyone should get a fair shake to fully participate in civic life, and to be able to build a future in the country they love and call home.

Our nation’s immigration policies must move away from hateful racial profiling laws such as Arizona’s SB 1070 and toward the direction of fairness and social justice. Today’s introduction marks a first step toward fixing this broken immigration system, but much remains to be done. We thank Sen. Robert Menendez for introducing this legislation, and urge our federal lawmakers and the president to move forward in fairly and humanely reforming this failed system.