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.

Mikeyf 09/11/2010 4:34pm
in reply to christao408 Jun 05, 2009 9:31pm

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.

patches8 06/25/2010 5:05pm

I can’t understand why people would oppose to this bill. This bill has nothing to do with gay marriage. Gay people just want to stay with their partners, just like any heterosexual people do. You can’t just let people fall in love and then split them apart. If other 20 countries could do it, I am sure America can also do this. Please support and pass UAFA!

topsey 03/30/2010 10:29am

Myself and my partner ( US citizen) have been together 10 years. We have a beautiful son, Finn ( 16 months, born here & I’m pregnant) I sold my house in Scotland to pay for my student visa ( the only way for us to be together here). The only hope for us to stay in the US is for the UFA to pass. Gay marriage is only at State level and means nothing for bi-national immigration status. All that me and my family wishes is that the dread and fear of having to leave our home, friends and life in the US is lifted. We would like to be treated like any other law abiding, tax paying couple. We have seen too many of our friends having to leave as they have to chose between their relationship, family and country. Please let us live in a US which has true equality and justice under the law for all. Our time is running out. How would hetrosexual couples feel if this liberty were denied to them?

stebbinsd 02/27/2010 12:59pm

Why is this bill still in the committees? After reading about the horrors that Shirley Tan had to go through, this bill should have passed Congress, been signed by Obama, and taken effect in a single week! It should have passed by voice vote!

I am holding all 535 Congressmen personally responsible, in their individual capacities, for condoning this persecution (because that’s just what it is: Persecution) until this bill gets passed.

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.

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.

loukavar 11/10/2009 7:31am
in reply to MatadorBID May 31, 2009 11:59am

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.

loukavar 11/10/2009 7:26am
in reply to jose6371delgado Jul 27, 2009 8:35pm

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.

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.

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!

Deningrad 11/08/2009 9:46am
in reply to jose6371delgado Jul 27, 2009 8:35pm

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!!

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.

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.

kbee 10/25/2009 10:57am
in reply to deborahg6 May 27, 2009 6:30pm

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.

maaikeleavey 09/22/2009 1:05pm
in reply to deborahg6 May 27, 2009 6:30pm

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.

Moderated Comment

jamessays 07/29/2009 4:24pm
in reply to jose6371delgado Jul 27, 2009 8:35pm

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.

MatadorBID 07/28/2009 1:42pm
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in reply to jamessays Jul 27, 2009 6:59pm

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

Filtered Comment [ show ]

jamessays 07/27/2009 6:59pm
in reply to MatadorBID Jul 25, 2009 4:29pm

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.

MatadorBID 07/25/2009 4:29pm
in reply to jamessays Jul 24, 2009 8:40pm

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.

jamessays 07/24/2009 8:40pm
in reply to MatadorBID Jun 11, 2009 5:45pm

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.

jamessays 07/24/2009 8:34pm
in reply to christao408 Jun 05, 2009 9:31pm

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.

SethEaker 06/26/2009 6:55pm
in reply to christao408 Jun 05, 2009 9:31pm

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.

MatadorBID 06/11/2009 5:45pm
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+ -1
in reply to christao408 Jun 05, 2009 9:31pm

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.

christao408 06/05/2009 9:31pm
in reply to MatadorBID May 31, 2009 11:59am

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.

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.

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.

Nogtony86 06/02/2009 10:54am
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S O P P O R T H . R . 1 0 2 4

MatadorBID 05/31/2009 11:59am
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in reply to deborahg6 May 27, 2009 6:30pm

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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