I know at least two same-sex bi-national couples. Unlike their heterosexual counterparts, unless the foreign partner can attain a green card through other channels, they are always forced to make painful choices in order to stay together.
If you have ever deeply loved another person and had that love returned, you know what you would sacrifice to keep that love. This is the same equation that these couples work through. There is new legislation being proposed that would include bi-national same-sex couples in immigration reform. I urge you to take a few moments to write a letter. You can use the following letter I wrote:
To the Honorable Senator [name],
I’m writing to ask you to include bi-national same-sex couples in immigration reform. Specific provisions for same-sex bi-national couples MUST be included in ANY comprehensive immigration reform bill going forward. America’s gay and lesbian citizens should not be forced to choose between loved ones and country.
This is an important and highly personal issue for me. In 2007, my friends, a same-sex bi-national couple, moved to Canada because of the current immigration laws did not allow them to remain in the U.S. together. Sze came to the U.S. from Malaysia as a student 12 years earlier and earned a degree in Computer Science. But with her work visa expiring, she and her wife, Nadine, a U.S. citizen, left their friends, family, careers, and community behind. They were fortunate to be able to move back in 2011 when Sze got a job that sponsored her for another work permit. If the federal government had recognized their marriage, they would not have had to spend four years in another country. While in Canada, they met dozens of other couples who moved from the U.S. in order to stay with their partners.
I met another same-sex bi-national couple while I was traveling in SE Asia a few years ago who have not been able to stay in America, for the same reason as Nadine and Sze. But unlike Nadine and Sze, they haven’t been able to return. They have been separated from the support of friends and family because Tony cannot sponsor Thomas to remain in the United States.
I think this is a terrible injustice. As one of your constituents, I respectfully ask that you support gay and lesbian inclusive immigration reform.
You can write to your legislator here or call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.