Council Supports Bill Giving Equal Immigration Rights to Same-Sex Couple - NBC4 Washington

Council Supports Bill Giving Equal Immigration Rights to Same-Sex Couple



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    Next week the D.C. Council will discuss a resolution showing support of the Uniting American Families Act pending in Congress.

    Councilman At-Large David Catania authored the resolution last week, and the other 12 members of the council co-introduced it.

    U.S. immigration law does not allow same-sex citizens and permanent residents to sponsor foreign-born partners for immigration benefits.

    The UAFA, introduced in the House by U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and in the Senate by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., would "amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate discrimination in the immigration laws by permitting permanent partners of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to obtain lawful permanent resident status in the same manner as spouses of citizens and lawful permanent residents and to penalize immigration fraud in connection with permanent partnerships."

    "As the country moves to expand the rights of its gay and lesbian citizens, it is important to remove barriers to the enjoyment of these rights," Catania said. "Same-sex couples where one partner is not a U.S. citizen are currently forced to choose from a range of unpalatable alternatives, including remaining in a costly long-distance international relationship, allowing the foreign-born partner to remain undocumented, or allowing a visa to lapse, which generates daily uncertainty and the fear of deportation."

    On the council's agenda next Tuesday is a resolution to deliver to Congress showing the District's support of the UAFA.