LGBT advocacy groups on Tuesday applauded President Barack Obama’s plan for immigration reform, which included provisions that would allow U.S. citizens and permanent residents to sponsor a visa for a same-sex partner.
Human Rights Campaign
“Every day, thousands of bi-national same-sex couples are confronted with the uncertainty of immigration laws that treat them as strangers. They face the impossible dilemma of having to choose between love and country,” said Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign.
“President Obama continues to demonstrate his tremendous leadership on behalf of our community by recognizing that fixing our nation’s flawed immigration system must include relief for these loving, committed couples and their families. In addition, by establishing a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, including children brought into this country by their parents, the President’s plan will help millions of individuals at our nation’s margins.”
People for the American Way (PFAW)
“The president has proposed a common-sense and necessary approach to immigration reform, which includes protections for LGBT families,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way.
“Any effective immigration reform must include equal rights for LGBT people. Our immigration policies must place a priority on keeping families together, including LGBT families. Too many bi-national, same-sex couples have seen their families torn apart by a federal government that refuses to recognize their relationships. That policy runs counter to our values and weakens us as a nation.”
“We are glad that President Obama recognizes the need to protect LGBT families,” added Keegan. “We will fight to make sure that all families are recognized in the final law.”
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
“President Obama today put forth a vision of immigration reform that is inclusive. Today, there are 11 million undocumented immigrants, including hundreds of thousands of LGBT people who are forced to live in the shadows of society,” said Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
“Creating a clear pathway to citizenship will ensure better and brighter futures not just for them, but for our entire country. America wouldn’t be what it is today without the grit, guts, ingenuity, creativity and work ethic of millions of immigrants who have come to this country with a dream. These dreams built and have sustained America — from science and industry, to agriculture and domestic work, to commerce and innovation. The American dream dies when the dreamers are shut out.”
The White House plan differs from a Senate proposal released Monday that makes no provisions for same-sex, binational couples.