Task Force expresses disappointment in Senate Judiciary Committee’s failure to consider protections for same-sex binational couples in immigration reform bill
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force expressed deep disappointment in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s failure to consider protections for same-sex binational couples as part of the comprehensive immigration reform bill. The bill S. 744 was passed out of committee today by a 13-5 vote.
Statement by Rea Carey, executive director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force:
We remain steadfast in our commitment to passing immigration reform that provides a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented men, women and children living in our country, including at least 267,000 LGBT undocumented immigrants.
We are deeply disappointed that the Senate Judiciary Committee has chosen not to consider protections for same-sex binational couples as part of the comprehensive immigration reform bill. In a nation where the majority of Americans supports the freedom to marry, we are outraged by statements made by certain senators who voiced their concerns about including same-sex binational couples as part of the overall reform effort. Their disdain for a provision that would include more American families in immigration reform is out of step with the values held by people across this country.
The bill does currently address issues that will particularly benefit LGBT people, such as providing protections for undocumented youth including DREAMers, eliminating the one-year bar on applying for asylum, improving conditions for people held in detention facilities, protections limiting the use of solitary confinement and explicitly prohibiting the use of this practice based solely on detainees’ sexual orientation or gender identity.
As the legislative process moves forward, we must collectively strengthen our resolve to push for the best bill possible for LGBT undocumented immigrants and their families. Comprehensive, compassionate immigration reform is an urgent priority for our nation and the LGBT community, and our immigration policies should reflect our nation’s commitment to keeping families together — all families.