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The Uniting American Families Act
Uniting American Families Act
(UAFA, H.R. 519, S. 296) is a U.S. bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952
Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952
to eliminate discrimination in immigration by permitting permanent partners of United States
United States
citizens and of lawful permanent residents to obtain lawful permanent resident status in the same manner as spouses of citizens and of lawful permanent residents and to penalize immigration fraud in connection with permanent partnerships.[1][2] If the partnership ends within two years, the sponsored partner's immigrant status would be subject to review.[3] Beginning in the 111th Congress, the full text of UAFA, further expanded to provide rights to the children or stepchildren of the foreign-born partner, has been included as Title II of the Reuniting Families Act (H.R. 717), an immigration reform bill, last introduced in the United States
United States
House of Representatives on February 14, 2013, by California
California
Congressman Michael Honda
Michael Honda
(D-CA).[4][5] UAFA was introduced on February 13, 2013, in the United States
United States
Senate by Vermont
Vermont
Senator Patrick Leahy
Patrick Leahy
(D-VT)[6] and in the United States House of Representatives by New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).[7] The Senate version has 29 cosponsors.[8] The Senate legislation has been referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.[9] Most of the cosponsors are Democrats and there is little Republican support for the legislation.[10] The 2013 bill was cosponsored by Republican Congressmen Charlie Dent
Charlie Dent
and Richard L. Hanna. There are an estimated 36,000 same-sex binational couples in 2000, according to the Census, who could benefit from this act.[3]

Contents

1 Definitions of Permanent Partner and Permanent Partnership 2 Legislative history 3 Effects of Obergefell v. Hodges
Obergefell v. Hodges
Supreme Court decision 4 Support for Uniting American Families Act 5 Opposition to Uniting American Families Act 6 Coverage of different-sex couples 7 References 8 External links

Definitions of Permanent Partner and Permanent Partnership[edit] UAFA includes the following definitions:[11]

The term "permanent partner" means an individual 18 years of age or older who--

(A) is in a committed, intimate relationship with another individual 18 years of age or older in which both parties intend a lifelong commitment;

(B) is financially interdependent with that other individual;

(C) is not married to or in a permanent partnership with anyone other than that other individual;

(D) is unable to contract with that other individual a marriage cognizable under this Act; and

(E) is not a first, second, or third degree blood relation of that other individual.

The term "permanent partnership" means the relationship that exists between two permanent partners. Legislative history[edit]

Congress Short title Bill number(s) Date introduced Sponsor # of cosponsors (excluding sponsor) Latest status

106th Congress Permanent Partners Immigration Act of 2000 H.R. 3650 February 14, 2000 Rep. Jerry Nadler
Jerry Nadler
(D-NY) 59 Died in House Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims

107th Congress Permanent Partners Immigration Act of 2001 H.R. 690 February 14, 2001 Rep. Jerry Nadler
Jerry Nadler
(D-NY) 106 Died in House Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims

108th Congress Permanent Partners Immigration Act of 2003 H.R. 832 February 13, 2003 Rep. Jerry Nadler
Jerry Nadler
(D-NY) 129 Died in House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims

S. 1510 July 31, 2003 Sen. Patrick Leahy
Patrick Leahy
(D-VT) 12 Died in Senate Judiciary Committee

109th Congress Permanent Partners Immigration Act Uniting American Families Act H.R. 3006 June 21, 2005 Rep. Jerry Nadler
Jerry Nadler
(D-NY) 115 Died in House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims

S. 1278 June 21, 2005 Sen. Patrick Leahy
Patrick Leahy
(D-VT) 13 Died in Senate Judiciary Committee

110th Congress Uniting American Families Act
Uniting American Families Act
of 2007 H.R. 2221 May 8, 2007 Rep. Jerry Nadler
Jerry Nadler
(D-NY) 118 Died in House Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law

S. 1328 May 8, 2007 Sen. Patrick Leahy
Patrick Leahy
(D-VT) 18 Died in Senate Judiciary Committee

111th Congress Uniting American Families Act
Uniting American Families Act
of 2009 H.R. 1024 February 12, 2009 Rep. Jerry Nadler
Jerry Nadler
(D-NY) 135 Died in House Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law

S. 424 February 12, 2009 Sen. Patrick Leahy
Patrick Leahy
(D-VT) 25 Died in Senate Judiciary Committee

Reuniting Families Act (Title II: Uniting American Families Act) H.R. 2709 June 4, 2009 Rep. Michael Honda
Michael Honda
(D-CA) 81 Died in House Judiciary Committee

112th Congress Uniting American Families Act
Uniting American Families Act
of 2011 H.R. 1537 April 14, 2011 Rep. Jerry Nadler
Jerry Nadler
(D-NY) 144 Died in House Judiciary Committee.

S. 821 April 14, 2011 Sen. Patrick Leahy
Patrick Leahy
(D-VT) 29 Died in Senate Judiciary Committee

Reuniting Families Act (Title II: Uniting American Families Act) H.R. 1796 May 6, 2011 Rep. Michael Honda
Michael Honda
(D-CA) 78 Died in House Judiciary Committee.

113th Congress Uniting American Families Act
Uniting American Families Act
of 2013 H.R. 519 February 5, 2013 Rep. Jerry Nadler
Jerry Nadler
(D-NY) 139 Referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

S. 296 February 13, 2013 Sen. Patrick Leahy
Patrick Leahy
(D-VT) 30 Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee

Reuniting Families Act (Title II: Uniting American Families Act) H.R. 717 February 14, 2013 Rep. Michael Honda
Michael Honda
(D-CA) 68 Referred to House Judiciary Committee.

In the House of Representatives the bill was referred to the United States House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law.[12] This subcommittee has sixteen members including the Chairman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and ranking member Representative Steve King
Steve King
(R-IA). The subcommittee consists of representatives from the states of California, Texas, Illinois, Utah, Iowa, Mississippi, New York and Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi
Pedro Pierluisi
(D) from Puerto Rico. The subcommittee has six Republicans and ten Democrats on board.[13] In the Senate the bill was referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary which consists of nineteen members which includes Chairman Patrick Leahy
Patrick Leahy
(D-VT) who re-introduced the bill and Ranking Member Senator Jefferson Sessions
Jefferson Sessions
(R-AL). The committee consists of seven Republican Senators and twelve Democratic Senators. The Representatives on the committee come from seventeen different states; this differs vastly from the subcommittee to which the House of Representatives bill has been referred to.[14] Senator Patrick Leahy held a hearing on the bill on June 3, 2009.[15] The hearing was the first-ever hearing on the Uniting American Families Act. In the opinion of the national organization, Immigration Equality, the hearing was a fundamental and important first step for bringing UAFA into comprehensive immigration reform.[16] On December 15, 2009, Congressman Luis Gutiérrez
Luis Gutiérrez
(D-IL) introduced his comprehensive immigration reform bill, H.R. 4321, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 (CIR ASAP Act). Initially, it did not include UAFA, which upset many gay rights activists.[17] However, on July 15, 2010, Congressman Gutiérrez announced, "provisions of UAFA must be part of any comprehensive immigration reform bill."[18] Senator Charles Schumer wrote a letter to his LGBT constituency in March 2010 indicating that he is currently working with colleagues of both parties to work on comprehensive immigration reform. This comprehensive immigration reform, which in Senator Schumer’s mind is more effective than “piecemeal legislation”, will address the issue in the Uniting American Families Act.[19] An important political issue with UAFA revolves around the principle of family reunification; many conservatives do not want to be seen as anti-family reunification, especially with the growing Latino voter base.[17] Of note, is the fact that forty percent of LGBT binational couples in the United States
United States
include a Latino family member.[20] Effects of Obergefell v. Hodges
Obergefell v. Hodges
Supreme Court decision[edit] In response to Obergefell v. Hodges
Obergefell v. Hodges
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano issued a statement on July 1, 2013 clarifying that LGBT spouses and fiancés would henceforth be treated the same as heterosexual couples for immigration purposes.[21] This eliminated the need for a stand alone bill. Support for Uniting American Families Act[edit] The support for the Uniting American Families Act
Uniting American Families Act
has increased in the House of Representatives, but much less so in the Senate.[3] Organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign
Human Rights Campaign
(HRC) and Immigration Equality, both supporters of LGBT rights legislation, support the bill. The HRC points out that the process for sponsoring a partner will have the same requirements that opposite-sex couples face. HRC also reports that 22 countries recognize same-sex couples under immigration law, including France, Germany, Israel, and the United Kingdom, among others.[22] The American Civil Liberties Union
American Civil Liberties Union
wrote in a letter of support for UAFA to senators that the bill does not provide special benefits for same-sex couples, but provides equal sponsorship. The ACLU also mentions that the bill follows traditional family reunification principles in immigration law that are already commonplace in various countries.[23] The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) supports UAFA and asks that comprehensive immigration reform include lesbian and gay immigrants.[24] Several corporations and organizations, such as Intel Corporation
Intel Corporation
and the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union, have expressed support for the bill.[3] The Immigration Equality website has a list of organizations, labor unions, civil rights groups, religious institutions, and businesses that support the bill including Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, League of United Latin American Citizens, American Bar Association, American Airlines and the American Jewish Committee.[25] Opposition to Uniting American Families Act[edit] Opponents believe that UAFA could open up the doors for Illegal immigration even though it would penalize those who attempt to evade immigration law. They believe that it will be hard for immigration officers to actually determine whether the partnership is long-term and permanent.[26] The Center for Immigration Studies
Center for Immigration Studies
does not support the bill because, in their opinion, it does not provide a reliable measure for indicating who is in a long-term committed partnership.[27] While previously supporting family reunification legislation, such as H.R. 6638, the United States
United States
Conference of Catholic Bishops does not support the inclusion of the Uniting American Families Act in a larger bill or standing on its own.[28] National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference’s (NHCLC) leader Reverend Samuel Rodriguez predicts that the wide and strong support that the NHCLC has garnered for comprehensive immigration reform will be lost if same-sex couples are to benefit from the reform.[27] Roy Beck, the founder and CEO of NumbersUSA, an which works for lower immigration levels, opposed the Act.[29] Coverage of different-sex couples[edit] The bill's language applies only to applicable LGBT individuals and excludes different-sex couples from becoming permanent partners under its provisions.[30] Same-sex couples with valid marriage certificates are prohibited from being considered "married" under this act and can only apply for visas as permanent partners. Due to the inability to be recognized as married partners under this act, the act then allows individuals who have had the opportunity in other states and countries to be married, but have chosen not to, the same immigration rights as those who have pursued marriage.[30] Although the bill is designed to align the rights of same-sex couples with those of different-sex couples, binational same-sex couples are unlikely to resemble different-sex couples. This could be due to international immigration law, especially in the case of financial interdependence if certain countries require finances to be kept separate in these cases, thus already excluding some couples and asking more than what different-sex couples must prove.[citation needed] References[edit]

^ H.R. 519 ^ S. 296 ^ a b c d http://www.gaylesbiantimes.com/?id=5331&issue=915 ^ [1], Title II - Uniting American Families Act. ^ H.R. 717 ^ Senator Patrick Leahy
Patrick Leahy
(February 13, 2013).[2] Press Release. ^ Representative Jerrold Nadler
Jerrold Nadler
(February 5, 2013). [3] Press Release. ^ U.S. Senate. 113th Congress, 1st Session. op. cit., see Cosponsors. ^ http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s113-296 ^ National Journal: David Gauvey Herbert, "Uniting American Families Act," October 27, 2010, accessed March 5, 2012 ^ U.S. House. 113th Congress, 1st Session. op. cit., see Text of Legislation, Sec. 2. ^ http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-1024 ^ http://judiciary.house.gov/about/subimmigration.html ^ http://www.govtrack.us/congress/committee.xpd?id=SSJU ^ http://judiciary.senate.gov/hearings/hearing.cfm?id=3876 ^ http://immigrationequality.org/blog/?p=904 ^ a b Lawrence, Stewart J (April 18, 2010). "US immigration's gay rights divide". The Guardian. London.  ^ http://www.gutierrez.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=600:rep-gutierrez-uafa-provisions-must-be-part-of-any-comprehensive-immigration-reform-bill&catid=43:2010-press-releases ^ http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2010/03/18/Schumer_Signals_UAFA_Inclusion/ ^ http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2010/04/29/Arizona_Law_Bad_for_Gay_Binational_Couples/ ^ https://www.uscis.gov/family/same-sex-marriages ^ Human Rights Campaign: "Talking Points: The Uniting American Families Act" Archived July 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., accessed March 5, 2012 ^ https://www.aclu.org/lgbt-rights_hiv-aids/aclu-letter-senate-united-american-families-act ^ http://www.sdgln.com/causes/2010/02/05/thomas-saenz-president-maldef-creating-change ^ http://immigrationequalityactionfund.org/legislation/endorsements/ ^ Preston, Julia (June 3, 2009). "Bill Proposes Immigration Rights for Gay Couples". The New York Times.  ^ a b Melloy, Kilian (June 3, 2009). "Effort to Include Gay Partners Threatens Immigration Bill". Edge Boston.  ^ http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2009/09-122.shtml ^ Beck, Roy (June 3, 2009). "My Testimony Today to Senate Judiciary Committee Asks Decisions Be Made In National Interest -- Not For Special
Special
Interests". Numbers USA.  ^ a b Timothy R. Carraher, "Some Suggestions for the UAFA: A Bill for Same-Sex Binational Couples," Northwestern Journal of Law and Social Policy, vol. 4 (Winter 2009), available online, accessed March 5, 2012

External links[edit]

Wikisource
Wikisource
has original text related to this article: Uniting American Families Act
Uniting American Families Act
of 2013 (H.R. 519; 113th Congress)

Wikisource
Wikisource
has original text related to this article: Uniting American Families Act
Uniting American Families Act
of 2013 (S. 296; 113th Congress)

H.R. 519, House Bill Summary & Status via THOMAS S. 296, Senate Bill Summary & Status via THOMAS Immigration Equality National Center for Lesbian Rights Out4Immigration Out4Immigration addresses the widespread discriminatory impact of U.S. immigration laws on the lives of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and HIV+ people and their families through education, outreach, advocacy and the maintenance of a resource and support network. Love Exiles Love Exiles was founded by US citizens that were forced to choose between their love and their country, a choice no citizen should ever have to make. The need to choose comes as a result of US immigration law that discriminates against gays and lesbians. Love Exiles have virtual communities and activist centers in the Netherlands, Canada, the UK, Spain, Australia and Germany. Human Rights Campaign Human Rights Watch Website of "Through Thick and Thin", a documentary about the immigration struggles of gay and lesbian couples in America - (April 20, 2008 Internet Archive) Uniting American Families, Website advocating passage of UAFA and featuring true stories of binational same-sex couples who are adversely affected by the status quo imeq.us Gay Immigration Equality Rights: Promoting public awareness of the need for fairness in immigration policy particularly as it relates to the rights of same-sex bi-national couples in the United States (USA) who seek immigration equality or equal immigration rights; Providing information regarding political issues relating to gay immigration equality rights and policy. Video of UAFA Senate hearings (June 3, 2009)

v t e

Immigration to the United States
United States
and related topics

Relevant colonial era, United States
United States
and international laws

Colonial era

Nationality law in the American Colonies Plantation Act 1740

18th century

Naturalization Act 1790 / 1795 / 1798

19th century

Naturalization Law 1802 Civil Rights Act of 1866 14th Amendment (1868) Naturalization Act 1870 Page Act (1875) Immigration Act of 1882 Chinese Exclusion (1882) Scott Act (1888) Immigration Act of 1891 Geary Act
Geary Act
(1892)

1900–1949

Naturalization Act 1906 Gentlemen's Agreement (1907) Immigration Act of 1907 Immigration Act 1917 (Asian Barred Zone) Emergency Quota Act
Emergency Quota Act
(1921) Cable Act
Cable Act
(1922) Immigration Act 1924 Tydings–McDuffie Act
Tydings–McDuffie Act
(1934) Filipino Repatriation Act (1935) Nationality Act of 1940 Bracero Program (1942–1964) Magnuson Act
Magnuson Act
(1943) War Brides Act (1945) Luce–Celler Act (1946)

1950–1999

UN Refugee Convention (1951) Immigration and Nationality Act 1952 / 1965 Refugee Act
Refugee Act
(1980) Immigration Reform and Control Act (1986) American Homecoming Act
American Homecoming Act
(1989) Immigration Act 1990 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) (1996) Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) (1997) American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act (ACWIA) (1998)

21st century

American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (AC21) (2000) Legal Immigration Family Equity Act (LIFE Act) (2000) H-1B Visa Reform Act (2004) REAL ID Act
REAL ID Act
(2005) Secure Fence Act (2006) DACA (2012) Executive Order 13769
Executive Order 13769
(2017) Executive Order 13780
Executive Order 13780
(2017)

Visas and policies

Visa policy

Permanent residence Visa Waiver Program Temporary protected status Asylum Green Card Lottery

US-VISIT Security Advisory Opinion E-Verify Section 287(g) National Origins Formula

Government organizations

Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement U.S. Border Patrol U.S. Customs and Border Protection Immigration and Naturalization Service
Immigration and Naturalization Service
(INS) Board of Immigration Appeals

Supreme Court cases

United States
United States
v. Wong Kim Ark (1898) United States
United States
v. Bhagat Singh Thind (1923) United States
United States
v. Brignoni-Ponce (1975) Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting
Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting
(2011)

Related issues and events

Economic impact Eugenics in the United States Guest worker program Human trafficking Human smuggling

Coyotaje

Immigration reform Immigration reduction Mexico– United States
United States
barrier Labor shortage March for America Illegal immigrant population Reverse immigration 2006 protests Unaccompanied minors from Central America List of people deported from the United States

Geography

Mexico– United States
United States
border Canada– United States
United States
border United States
United States
Border Patrol interior checkpoints

Proposed legislation

DREAM Act
DREAM Act
(2001–2010) H.R. 4437 (2005) McCain–Kennedy (2005) SKIL (2006) Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act 2006 STRIVE Act (2007) Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act 2007 Uniting American Families Act
Uniting American Families Act
(2000–2013) Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 SAFE Act (2015) RAISE Act
RAISE Act
(2017)

Immigration stations and points of entry

Angel Island Castle Garden East Boston Ellis Island Sullivan's Island Washington Avenue

Operations

"Wetback" (1954) "Peter Pan" (1960–1962) "Babylift" (1975) "Gatekeeper" (1994) "Endgame" (2003–2012) "Front Line" (2004–2005) "Streamline" (2005–present) "Return to Sender" (2006–2007) "Jump Start" (2006–2008) "Phalanx" (2010–2016)

State legislation

California
California
DREAM Act
DREAM Act
(2006–2010) Arizona SB 1070
Arizona SB 1070
(2010) Alabama HB 56 (2011)

Non-governmental organizations

Arizona Border Recon Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform National Immigration Forum Center for Community Change We Are America Alliance CASA of Maryland Mexica Movement Mexicans Without Borders Federation for American Immigration Reform Minuteman Project Minuteman Civil Defense Corps California
California
Coalition for Immigration Reform Save Our State Center for Immigration Studies National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) NumbersUSA Negative Population Growth Migration Policy Institute Utah Compact Center for Migration Studies

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