January 14, 2009
A good start for the 111th Congress
Posted by: Chris
[When] the Senate convened, Majority Leader Harry Reid introduced a short bill for comprehensive immigration reform. Speaking about the Majority Leaders’ bill, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the Senate Judiciary Chair who will guide all immigration bills, gave a speech on the floor about this bill. In it he said:We must … live up to the goal of family reunification in our immigration policy and join at least 19 other nations that provide immigration equality to same-sex partners of different nationalities.
Senator Leahy is the lead sponsor of UAFA, which had 19 Senate cosponsors in the 110th Congress which ended in December. We look forward to working with him again in the 111th.
Immigration Equality commends Chairman Leahy for making it clear, on the day the new Senate convened, that LGBT families must be included for immigration reform to live up to its goal of family reunification
The timing and fate of comprehensive immigration reform in the new Congress is unclear, what with the financial crisis and the long list of easier bills on the Democrats' list. Still, it's important that leaders like Leahy insist early on that UAFA be included in comprehensive reform.
It would have been more encouraging yet if Reid had included gay immigration rights as part of his own immigration reform proposal. Then again, Reid isn't yet a UAFA co-sponsor. That would seem to be a top priority for IE and its allies.
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