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Out4Immigration Needs Couples to Speak Up Today.

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United by Love Divided by LawIf you are in a same-sex binational relationship – or know someone who is, we ask you to take a few minutes and read this very important “Call to Action.” Now that the 2012 election is over, and the results were very favorable to us, we must act quickly – and strategically.


Out4Immigration has always advocated a multi-pronged approach to getting our issues
resolved. We have pushed for passage of an Inclusive Comprehensive
Immigration Reform, supported the passage of the Uniting American
Families Act, the Reuniting Families Act, the repeal of DOMA (Respect
for Marriage Act) and supported the removal of the one-year filing
deadline for asylum seekers. And most recently, we pushed for an
abeyance policy from the Obama administration with regards to green card
applications and making sure that LGBT families are included in ICE’’s
Deportation Guidelines (the so-called Morton Memo which was released in
June 2011). These recently revised guidelines will now stop the
deportation of partners/spouses of same-sex binational couples where the
partner/spouse is without lawful status and in removal proceedings.


Our
all-volunteer group did this through education, raising awareness,
meeting legislators, forming coalitions with allies in the LGBT and
immigration communities and circulating petitions on change.org.


Our last petition on change.org
“LGBT Binational Couples Must Be Included in ICE Deportation
Guidelines”, received about 2,000 signatures.
One of our volunteers, Amos Lim, had the opportunity to
deliver this, together with stories from same-sex binational couples and
photos from our United by Love, Divided by Law Tumblr blog to the White House last July.


The petition signatures, the stories and the photos, together with the letter sent by Democratic House members urging for LGBT inclusion in the ICE Deportation Guidelines, helped push the Obama administration to finally officially include us in DHS” deportation guidelines.


Now
that the election is over and President Obama has been re-elected to a
second term, the landscape for moving our issue forward seems even more
positive. 


We will know by the first week of December if SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) will hear all or any of the DOMA cases. This
means that by June 28, 2013, we will know if DOMA is finally ruled
unconstitutional and legally married same-sex couples will get federal
marriage rights, all 1138 of them (including, of course, the ability of
U.S. citizen to sponsor their foreign spouse for a green card).


In
the week since the election, we have also seen both Democrat and
Republican leaders coming out vocally in support of Comprehensive
Immigration Reform. 
 

President
Obama himself said during his Victory Speech and a follow-up press
conference that he wants immigration reform in the United States.


It
seems from all indications that a Comprehensive Immigration Reform
(CIR) bill will be introduced in January when the new Congress convenes.


So, today, more important than ever, we need to continue the push to ensure that:

  1. We have an inclusive (LGBT-positive) comprehensive immigration reform bill introduced in Congress.
  2. The LGBT community does not “get thrown under the bus” or negotiated away when CIR comes up for a vote in Congress.
  3. We demand that the Obama
    administration fully adjudicate all green card cases filed by same-sex
    married couples including full fact-finding, conducting interviews to
    determine the bona fides of the marital relationships, either by USCIS
    (in the U.S.) or by Consular officials abroad, and then hold a final
    decision on abeyance until the Supreme Court has ruled on the
    constitutionality of DOMA.
  4. We urge the Obama administration
    to open up the humanitarian parole process to partners/spouses of
    lesbian and gay Americans, to bring our fellow binational couples back
    from forced exile and to end the separation of binational couples and
    LGBT families until DOMA has been resolved by the Supreme Court.

To do this, we will be
working with other grassroots organization like GetEQUAL and various
LGBT/Immigration organizations to create and raise awareness about this
issue. We need to make this a moral issue that Congress needs to fix
immediately through legislation. We need to make Congress understand
that they cannot push this aside.


GetEQUAL
and the DREAMers have waged a very successful campaign of speaking out,
telling their stories and not taking NO for an answer!
We believe that
we can do something similar to their campaign so that we cannot be
ignored anymore!


However, to do that, we will need couples to speak up and tell their stories to the media.
Therefore,
we are putting out a call to couples who have suffered under DOMA to
come forward and speak up. We can work with you to fine-tune your
message as you tell your story.  


Please let us know by completing this form (http://bit.ly/O4ICountMeIn). Submit the form and we will get in touch with you very soon. 


Our
time is NOW! Stand up and speak out. Many believe we are in the final
phases of ending the terrible discrimination we have faced as same-sex
binational couples due to unfair immigration laws and DOMA. Join us and
be a part of the change.


out4immigration.blogspot.com


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