Over the past couple of weeks, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and United We DREAM have made it clear that real immigration reform (and by real we all mean reform that includes a clear path to citizenship) must also include LGBT families. Yesterday, Republican Senator Susan Collins (ME) reiterated her commitment to passing the Uniting American Families Act:
Via Elise Foley:
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), the sole Republican co-sponsor of a bill to give binational same-sex couples equal rights to petition for immigrant visas, said Tuesday that she remains committed to getting the legislation passed, either on its own or as part of comprehensive immigration reform.
Collins told HuffPost that her first preference would be to move the bill, called the Uniting American Families Act, on its own. But if that can’t happen, she said the measures should be included in a comprehensive immigration reform bill next year.
“Either way, I’d like to see it passed, whichever way is the easier route,” she said. “I’m not sure which way is the easier route.”
Whether same-sex binational couples would be included in immigration reform is a major issue for LGBT and immigrant rights groups, and was named in November as one of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ principles for immigration reform.
Now, we just need to Senator Collins to convince her GOP colleagues to get on board and support inclusive immigration reform. Piecemeal immigration bills that don’t allow aspiring Americans to apply for citizenship will not be enough to reform the system.