Senate hearing on immigration highlights need for comprehensive reform

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing today on comprehensive immigration reform at which Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and a panel of witnesses testified.

In his opening remarks, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said there is a clear need for reform with a pathway to citizenship for all families, including LGBT  families. He expressed specific support for the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), introduced today by the chairman and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME). The measure would enable Americans with a same-sex foreign partner to sponsor that partner for residency in the United States. Leahy said the committee will soon mark up a specific bill.

In her testimony, Napolitano called for common-sense immigration reform, stating that deporting 11 million people is both impractical and runs counter to our values. You can read the full transcript of Napolitano’s testimony here.

Jose Antonio Vargas, who was honored just last month at the Task Force’s National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, gave impassioned testimony. He introduced himself as one of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country and stated, “We dream of not being separated from our families and our loved ones, regardless of sexual orientation, no matter our skill set.” Watch his testimony in the video below:


The Task Force has joined with other LGBT rights and immigrant rights groups to call for comprehensive reform that includes a clear path to citizenship.