Gutierrez, Quigley want immigration reforms to cover gay couples

below, release….

REPS. GUTIERREZ, QUIGLEY CALL FOR INCLUSION OF SAME-SEX COUPLES IN COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM

Congressman Gutierrez: “Our efforts to fix our broken immigration system and protect basic civil rights are not truly comprehensive if we exclude same-sex couples.”

Congressman Quigley: “The beauty of America is that somewhere in each of our lineages, someone made the choice to come here, to a country built on fairness and justice. We must continue to honor that tradition not just for some, but for all families.”

CHICAGO – Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez, the sponsor of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 (CIR ASAP), and a national leader of the fight for immigration reform and fairness efforts, and Congressman Mike Quigley, a CIR ASAP co-sponsor and leading voice for LGBT equality, will join with LGBT leaders to hold a press conference in Chicago on Monday to announce their strong support for inclusion of same-sex couples and their families in comprehensive immigration reform efforts in Congress this year.

WHAT: Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, Rep. Mike Quigley, Rep. Jared Polis, LGBT community leaders and advocates announce plans to include same-sex couples and their families in immigration reform

WHEN: Monday, May 24, 2010

12:00pm CT

WHERE: The Center on Halsted

3656 N. Halsted

Chicago, Illinois

WHO: Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL-4)

Congressman Mike Quigley (D-IL-5)

Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO-2)

LGBT and Immigrant Leaders and Families, TBD

CIR ASAP (H.R. 4321), Gutierrez’ comprehensive bill cosponsored by 97 other members, does not currently include a specific provision extending legal immigration benefits to bi-national same-sex couples and their families. However, the Congressman is recommitting himself to inclusion of a specific provision that would allow an American citizen in a committed same-sex bi-national relationship to petition for an immigrant visa for their permanent partner in the same manner as an heterosexual couple would. This would ensure that all American families can remain together through the immigration process. As many as 40,000 couples – many with American citizen children – would benefit from the provision. Other key provisions of CIR ASAP, including legalization provisions for undocumented residents, asylum policy reforms, and treatment in detention, already apply to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons.

Congressman Gutierrez will be joined at the press conference by Reps. Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Jared Polis (D-CO), who are each strong supporters of LGBT inclusion in immigration reform. Leaders from the LGBT and immigrant communities in Chicago are also invited to speak. Together they will announce their support for including same sex couples and their families in comprehensive immigration reform. They will also address the need for the LGBT and immigrant communities to be united in their efforts to pass legislation this year.

Also participating in the press conference will be individuals who would benefit from the provision and who will tell their personal stories of their families being separated by America’s broken immigration system.

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