About the Uniting American Families Act:
The Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) is a U.S. bill introduced to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act which currently houses the countries immigration policies. If passed, UAFA would allow permanent partners of United States citizens and permanent residents, including same-sex partners, to obtain residency. Currently, only the heterosexual spouses of U.S. citizens are granted citizenship.
History of the Uniting American Families Act:
UAFA (formerly known as the Permanent Partners Immigration Act) introduced in 2000 by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), then in 2001, 2003, 2005 (under the title "Uniting American Families Act"), and again in 2007. The bills were referred to the House Judiciary Committee, without progress. In the latest push for equal immigration rights, Rep. Nadler and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) have co-sponsored the Uniting American Families Act of 2009 in both the House and Senate. The bill, introduced on February 12, 2009, would allow gay nationals to bring their partners into the United States on the same basis heterosexual nationals.
Why We Need UAFA:
In 19 countries
throughout the world, the same-sex foreign partners of legal citizens and nationals can be granted citizenship—equal to the rights granted to heterosexual binational couples. However, in countries such as the United States, foreign partners of gay individuals aren't given the same rights. As a result, many gay couples are forced to live apart—retreating to their respective countries of citizenship or live illegally within teh United States. UAFA would allow the legal U.S. citizen partner to sponsor his or her partner, thus granting them legal U.S. citizenship.
How You Can Support UAFA:
You can support the Uniting American Families Act and in turn help grant immigration rights for gay couples by writing your senator
or house representative
. You can also sign an ImmigrationEquality.com petition
in support of the amendment.