Professor Bill Hing speaks out about immigration rights for same-sex couples on ImmigrationProf Blog today. An excerpt from his post:
President Obama’s bold endorsement of same-sex marriage sends a strong immigration-reform message to Congress: it's time to allow U.S. citizens lawfully married to same-sex partners the opportunity to apply for lawful immigrant status. Under current law, prospective immigrants who want to immigrate through marriage can only do so if they are parties to a heterosexual relationship. . . .
The way out of this inequity is the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA). UAFA would allow U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to sponsor their same-sex partners for immigration to the United States. The bill (and its predecessor) has been introduced into every subsequent Congress since the year 2000. Every year support has increased, and in the last Congress, more co-sponsors than ever before were garnered. In the 111th Congress (2009-2010), there was a record-breaking 135 co-sponsors in the House. And today there are more than 20 co-sponsors in the Senate. UAFA would amend the immigration laws by simply adding the term "permanent partner" in sections where "spouse" appears, thus ensuring that a non-citizen permanent partner may receive the same immigration benefits that a non-citizen spouse now receives.