July 16, 2009
"Gratuitous cruelty" by the US
Posted by: Andoni
"This is simply gratuitous cruelty. It serves no interest of the United States to be cruel to these people."
That's how Congressman Jerrold Nadler describes the situation for the latest bi-national couple to undergo forced separation by the United States due to its arcane immigration laws.
You can read the full story in today's Metro Weekly.
In summary, Steve and Joe have been together for 9 years. They are legally partnered in DC and legally married in Connecticut. Steve is a US citizen and Joe was born in Indonesia but was educated in the US and has been here on a student visa and then a work visa, always legally. He was days away from gaining his permanent residency (green card), but was just laid off, which stops everything and gives him 30 days to leave the country. If Joe were a woman, the marriage would be recognized and he/she would have gotten a green card within a month or two of the marriage.
However, in the United States, the government does not recognize any gay relationship for immigration purposes.
I think "gratuitous cruelty" is the exact right description for this inhuman treatment.
I you think so too, please call and write your Senators and Congressperson to co-sponsor the Uniting American Familes Act -- UAFA, S 424 (Senate) or HR 1024 (House). Also tell them that gay and lesbian families must be part of any comprehensive immigration reform bill Congress passes.
There are few things in life as painful as the tearing apart of a family. Just imagine how angry you would be if this happened to you. Yes, "gratuitous cruelty" is a perfect description.
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