Main | Thursday, August 02, 2012

House Democrats Pressure White House Over LGBT Immigration Rights

Yesterday House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and a coalition of 81 House Democrats issued a call for the Obama administration to make it official policy that the foreign partners of LGBT Americans will not be deported. Chris Geidner reports:
Pelosi — along with Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Mike Honda, the lead sponsors of two bills aimed at addressing LGBT inequalities in the immigration system, and 81 other Democrats — called on Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to "issue a written field guidance or a memorandum to explicitly state the policy of your August 18, 2011 announcement which would direct DHS personnel to consider LGBT family ties as a positive factor for the exercise of prosecutorial discretion."

The House members — including out gay Reps. Barney Frank, Jared Polis and David Cicilline — go on to say that "[a] written policy is the best way to ensure that the decision by President Obama and DHS to recognize LGBT family ties for immigration purposes will be implemented so that families will remain together."

Calling the letter "a true show of congressional force," Immigration Equality spokesman Steve Ralls told BuzzFeed, "It is a simple action, but also one that will have a real impact on real people and families. We hope Secretary Napolitano will heed the advice of those who signed the letter, and take this important step toward protecting some of the most vulnerable individuals within the immigration system from deportation."

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