H.R.1024 - Uniting American Families Act of 2009

To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate discrimination in the immigration laws by permitting permanent partners of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to obtain lawful permanent resident status in the same manner as spouses of citizens and lawful permanent residents and to penalize immigration fraud in connection with permanent partnerships. view all titles (2)

All Bill Titles

  • Official: To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate discrimination in the immigration laws by permitting permanent partners of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to obtain lawful permanent resident status in the same manner as spouses of citizens and lawful permanent residents and to penalize immigration fraud in connection with permanent partnerships. as introduced.
  • Short: Uniting American Families Act of 2009 as introduced.

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Displaying 1-30 of 33 total comments.

  • maaikeleavey 05/24/2009 6:35am

    This bill is long overdue. We have been waiting 6 years to be able to move to the US. We want to be able to take care of my inlaws as they get older and we want to be able to care for my mentally disabled brother in law when my wife gets custody. My wife had to choose between her family and her partner, and that’s a horrible choice to make.

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    MatadorBID 05/31/2009 11:59am
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    You make a very good point. In a country where same-sex marriage is not defined, how do you prove a union? I support this bill, but only if there’s equal definition of marriage for all kinds.

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    christao408 06/05/2009 9:31pm

    With my partner of almost ten years, who is a foreign national, we can demonstrate the permanent nature of our partnership in a variety of ways:

    - We have held a commitment ceremony in which our families members were present.
    - We were considered domestic partners for benefits purposes by my employer during the time we both were in the US.
    - We were also listed as domestic partners by the State of California.
    - We have integrated financial accounts, joint ownership of property, and are joint signatories on other contracts.
    - We have letters and correspondence that demonstrate the length and nature of our relationship.

    And that’s just a start. We can definitely produce plenty of evidence that we are permanent partners. Plus, the penalties for falsification are severe, the same as they are for opposite-sex couples.

    I’d urge you to reconsider your concern of how to prove a union and hope that I have demonstrated that it can be definitively proven.

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    MatadorBID 06/11/2009 5:45pm
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    + -1

    That’s definitely a good place to start. :) Especially with witnesses and documents. I just hope the rules are strict enough to prevent things like “Hey Frank, Osama says he’s your life partner. Should we let him into the country?” “Huh? Sure, whatever.”

    Just because there’s no official same-sex marriage defined in the US doesn’t mean we should simply take their word for it that they are spouses, heh.

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    jamessays 07/24/2009 8:40pm

    Where is the logic in that argument?

    Why should I trust a straight bi-national couple any more than I should a gay couple?

    And, since when is the United States admitting Osama or any other person known to be engaged in terrorist activities?

    If you only knew the arduous process of legally entering this country and becoming a citizen, you would understand the complete irrationality of your statement and you would feel ashamed for your display of absolute ignorance.

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    MatadorBID 07/25/2009 4:29pm

    This bill would require that we allow people into the country based on something that there is no official definition of: gay marriage. It’s not a question of trust, it’s one of the fact that the government has no definition of marriage outside of a straight one. Let me be clear, I think that definition should exist. A government can’t effectively regulate what it doesn’t recognize, so a straight couple’s marriage certificate is valid while a gay couple’s might as well be a mail-in university degree.

    The statement I made was purposely over the top. It was only meant to show the dangers of letting people into the US on each others word INSTEAD of having an official definition of marriage that applies to ALL unions.

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    jamessays 07/27/2009 6:59pm

    Yet, nineteen countries—including the United Kingdom—already have such a law on their books. It’s not like the US would be inventing precedent here. It’s been done. More importantly, none of these countries have thus far reported fraud. The problem is that for many of us, we don’t have the luxury of time to wait around for Congress or public opinion to redefine marriage.

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    MatadorBID 07/28/2009 1:42pm
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    + -1

    I totally agree with everything said there. No need for the US to make up some new definition, just have one.

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    SethEaker 06/26/2009 6:55pm

    I have been with my partner, a citizen of the United Kingdom also for nearly ten years. We too have had all of the same bullet points as outlined above, except an actual ceremony. Please realize that it is essential to have equal rights in marriage and immigration. We are both tired of “working around” the system. It is broken and needs to be fixed.

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    jamessays 07/24/2009 8:34pm

    My husband and I (though newlywed) can also demonstrate the same level of commitment. It is a great shame that we must jump through many more hurdles than other bi-national couples, that should spend many more sleepless nights worrying about our status as a recognized married couple, that we should have to face the reproach of family members in order to defend our loving bond. We had to drive over a thousand miles to Iowa just to get married, for heaven’s sake. If others knew how much we must sacrifice and how much we must endure, surely they’d agree that such a bill is long overdue.

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    Mikeyf 09/11/2010 4:34pm

    My partner and I are in the exact same position (I’m the foreign national, we have been together for 12 years, there should be no concerns of how to prove a true union.

    We just need the law to be changed, I pay my taxes (at the single rate)I earn a very good living but we have live part of our live in the dark. It’s time to correct the law to include same sex couples.

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    jamessays 07/29/2009 4:24pm

    The Bible says lots of things. Yet, that’s really rather irrelevant, since the United States does not claim an official state religion. And, this is a very fortunate fact, as our nation would be in quite a mess if it were to adhere to every little thing that came out of the Bronze Age.

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    Deningrad 11/08/2009 9:46am

    This bill won’t change your definition of marriage, it will allow families to be together in United States. Why on earth in the name of God would someone like you oppose this bill??… it’s unethical it’s immoral to do so, families are being torn apart and their members are being sent abroad with no good reason!!

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    loukavar 11/10/2009 7:26am

    Joseph: Actually, the Bible is full of stories about marriage which are not limited to one man and one woman. Jacob had two wives; Kings David and Solomon had harems with thousands of women; Paul wrote that a bishop should have only one wife. Also, don’t forget that when his long-time companion Jonathan was killed in battle, David said, “Your love for me was more pleasing than the love of women.” Perhaps if you actually read the Bible you’d know what’s in it. Either way, this issue has nothing to do with marriage. It’s about immegration policy. Please remember that Jesus was an illegal immigrant. His parents took him across the border to hide out in Egypt to get away from Herod.

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    loukavar 11/10/2009 7:31am

    Married couples already provide more documentation than just a marriage license for immigration. In a similar way, reviewing items like leases and mortgages for joint habitation, bank statements and other financial records, legal documents like wills and powers of attorney are just some examples of establishing a legal basis for relationship. Also, there are legal documents known as partnership agreements which two people can use to document any kind of partnership, whether in business or in a personal relationship. Clearly, the burden of proof is much higher for non-married couples, but married couples also must prove that their marriage isn’t a scam for immigration purposes.

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    maaikeleavey 09/22/2009 1:05pm

    How is it difficult to prove? When my wife moved to the Netherlands, we weren’t married yet. I had to sign sponsorship for her, she had to be registered at the same address, I had to have a certain income level to make sure I was able to provide for her (and prove it too) I wasn’t allowed to have temporary employment, and I had to back it up with paperwork from my employer. She had to get an affidavid that she wasn’t married in the US, and we are at risk for a check up by immigration any time. At first she had a temporary residence permit, it had to be renewed after a year with the same amount of paperwork. We had numerous interviews by immigration. Getting married would be a heck of a lot easier. It would be the same with this bill. Being married doesn’t mean your “partners” either… it’s just a piece of paper. Nothing more nothing less. So let’s stop discriminating. There will be less fraud in immigration this way, this bill will give people less reason to be fraudulent.

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    kbee 10/25/2009 10:57am

    There simply are no laws currently in place that offer me the same rights as other American citizens who happen to be heterosexual. If immigration even thinks we are partners, they will deny my partner entry on any type of visa – assuming he will not return to his country due to our relationship.

    Canada and other countries have had no problem establishing guidelines of proof of commitment for immigration purposes. The same scrutiny of heterosexual couples can be brought to bear for same-sex couples.

    Current laws are discriminatory against a large portion of US citizens. The arguments against implementing or revising laws in order to protect the rights of same-sex partners are mired in prejudice and bias. The USA should stand as a beacon of human rights but unfortunately has not fulfilled this promise. We need this law now.

  • danielfoster 05/30/2009 5:00pm

    Pandering? Let’s hang an axe over your relationship and see how long you would “wait your turn” and sit in the back of the bus. Or worse, not even be on it.

    Without the provision this bill allows, there continues to be destruction of committed partners and families – creating an immoral, unjust culture in this country. Grow a heart America. Support H.R. 1024.

  • Nogtony86 06/02/2009 10:54am
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    THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT WILL OPPOSE TO H.R 1024… WHY? JUST BECAUSE IT WILL HELP THE LGBT COMMUNITY. THEY AREN’T ALLOWING SAME-SEX MARRIAGE WELL AT LEAST LET THIS COMMUNITY TO HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS AS A HETEROSEXUAL DO. AN U.S.A. BORN HAS THE RIGHT TO FIX THE SPOUSE STATUS TO BECOME A LEGAL RESIDENT BUT YET LGBT PEOPLE CAN’T DO THE SAME… I THINK THAT SOUNDS LIKE DISCRIMINATION… ISN’T IT? LGBT COMMUNITY IS NOT ASKING FOR SOMETHING THAT IS OUT OF THE ORDINARY. THEY ARE ASKING FOR THEIR RIGHT THAT WERE GIVEN BY CONSTITUTION TO ALL OF US. SO PLEASE AMERICAN PEOPLE WE NEED A CHANGE IN THIS COUNTRY. THE CHANGE THAT IS ACCEPTANCE. THE HUGE CHANGE IT WAS MADE ALREADY; THAT HAVING AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN AS OUR PRESIDENT WAS NOT GOING GOING TO HAPPENED. WE NEED TO KEEP MOVING FORWARD NOT GET STUCK IN THE SAME HOLE. AND AGAIN
    S O P P O R T H . R . 1 0 2 4

  • GramE 06/03/2009 12:50pm

    Although this bill does not directly affect anyone in my family, I believe it is important to support families and equal rights. I have called my congress reps and thanked them or urged them to support this bill.

  • mjnichol 06/04/2009 3:33pm

    Deborah, you clearly don’t get the issues that a same-sex couple faces when immigrating.

    If same-sex couples “follow the laws and wait their turn”, they’ll be waiting forever! There is no legal way to bring a same-sex partner to the US whatsoever. Brothers and sisters get higher priority in our current system.

    Around 15 state now recognize same-sex couples in some form or another, yet they have absolutely zero recognition for immigration.

  • SamDanner 11/08/2009 5:50am

    Even for married “straight” couples the process is arduous. Why should it be more difficult for us? Simply provide us the opportunity and methods to prove our relationships and we will gladly do it.

  • Deningrad 11/08/2009 9:43am

    Why would people not support this bill??? It’s cruel and inhumane to not support it. Gay and Lesbian Binational couples want to live and grow together. This bill will even save families from splitting apart like Shirley Tan and Jay Mercado’s, those two women have 3 children and they are depending on the passage of this bill; if the government fails to do so, Shirley will be sent back to the Philippines and this family will be torn apart with no hope of getting back together…

    The approval of this bill is just the right and human thing to do.

  • nedmar89 11/08/2009 11:20am

    I am an American, my boyfriend of 2 years is from Argentina. He has lived here under a student visa for 6 years and we have already created a life together. However, not a day goes by that I don’t worry and dread the year 2012 when his visa expires. At this point what am I supposed to do? Because of the current law, my only option is to leave my family, my country, and all I’ve ever known simply because my government does not recognize the love we feel in our hearts. Although the opposition can argue their “tolerance” for gays, but their unwavering defense for “traditional” marriage, their true colors of hate shine bright for all to see when they oppose a bill such as this. Let me live! Let me love! NOW!

  • loukavar 11/10/2009 7:21am

    This bill is about equal treatment under the law. As an ordained minister in a major Protestant denomination, I support efforts to maintain family unity across borders no matter how “family” is defined among people or between cultures. Same-sex partners care for children, elders, and bring talent to the US. There is no just basis for the current legal discrimination.

  • dianna85 11/10/2009 7:32am

    Please support this bill. Love is love and nobody should have to face being away from the person they love.

    We are not asking for special treatment! If you are straight you can bring the person you love into the country AND marry them. If you don’t support same sex marriage/unions at least let people in love be together.

  • fixius73 11/23/2009 4:40pm

    I am an American citizen that now lives in Canada with my Canadian partner of 7 years. We lived to gether in the U.S for about 5 years, until she had to go back and there was no way of her getting any kind of legal status. We are lucky though. I am from Washington State and we now live on Vancouver island, which is just a ferry ride home for me, but I can’t see my friends and family every day, I gave up a great paying job to move to Canada where I don’t get paid as much as I made before and the cost of living is much higher. the quality of my life and that of my partner is now much lower than it was while living in my home country. While I have had to go through a lot to be with my partner, there are families that aren’t as lucky as I am. They are literally oceans apart, and thousands of miles away from each other. Everyone needs to support this bill and stand up for equality. Contact your representatives and let them know that you support this bill and they should too.


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