Permanent Partners Immigration Act Hits 100 Cosponsor Mark!

Sep 17, 2002 Issues: LGBT Rights

WASHINGTON - Demonstrating the breadth of support for equal immigration rights for same-sex permanent partnerships, a bill which would extend to couples in permanent partnerships the same benefits legal marriages enjoy under the US Immigration Law reached 100 cosponsors this month.  To mark the occasion, the sponsor of The Permanent Partners Immigration Act, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), has written to Rep. George Gekas (R-PA) to hold immediate hearings on the bill in the Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims, which Rep. Gekas chairs.


“My bill is simply a matter of common sense and fairness,” said Rep. Nadler.  “Why do we allow the government to tear apart committed and loving couples just because of who they love?  The answer is that there is no excuse for this atrocious treatment of same sex permanent partnerships. My bill would correct this injustice.”

“The legislation is just common sense.  That’s why it has reached the triple digit mark in cosponsorship, and bipartisan cosponsorship, at that,” he added.

The most prominent feature of the The Permanent Partners Immigration Act would allow those US Citizens and lawful permanent residents who are in a permanent partnership, to sponsor their partners for immigration purposes, just as any legal spouse would.  Currently, because there is no legally recognized marriage between gay and lesbian couples under the immigration law, many bi-national permanent partnerships are torn apart when one partner moves to the United States, and the other is not allowed.

While the bill will afford the same immigration benefits to permanent partnerships that those who contract a legal marriage receive, it will also apply the same exact restrictions and enforcement standards.  For example, if a person is found to have entered into a fraudulent permanent partnership for the purposes of obtaining a visa for another person, they will be subject to the same five year maximum imprisonment, or $250,000 maximum fine, or both, as a person who contracts a fraudulent marriage would.

“My bill only demands that those people in same-sex permanent partnerships receive equal treatment to those who can get legally married,” said Rep. Nadler.  “Not one iota more.”

Rep. Nadler has served in Congress since 1992 where he has worked on many issues of importance to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.  He represents the 8th District of New York which includes parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

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