Last Wednesday United States Senator Patrick Leahy proposed legislation that would enable US citizens to sponsor same sex partners in their application for a green card. The same sex rights when it comes to immigration reform have also been backed by the Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, and President Barack Obama. In the Senate committee meeting Napolitano said that worries about green card frauds should not be a factor in the debate about immigration reform, the Huffington Post reported.
Also supporting the legislation, which is currently being referred to as the “Uniting American Families Act,” is Republican Senator Susan Collins from Maine. Leahy says that immigration officials need to change their thought processes when it comes to gay and lesbian couples in order to help with the shift in people’s attitudes that is taking place all over the world. Twenty other nations already offer same sex couples immigration benefits.
US citizen Frances Herbert and Japanese born Takako Ueda were married in the April of 2011 under Vermont law, but may end up being separated due to the federal Defense of Marriage Act. In 2012 the couple were given a kind of deferred action, but this runs out in the May of next year.
“I have heard some disparage fairness in our immigration law as a ‘social issue’ that threatens their narrow view of what immigration reform means,” Leahy says. “Well, to me, the fundamental civil rights of American citizens are more than just a social issue.”