The Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force (LGIRTF) announced that the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) has endorsed the Permanent Partners Immigration Act (PPIA).
The PPIA is a bill introduced by Jerrold Nadler Feb. 13, 2003, that seeks to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act by adding the term 'permanent partner' where the term 'spouse' currently appears. While close to 65% of all U.S. immigration is family based, U.S. citizens and permanent residents with same-sex partners cannot sponsor their foreign-born partner for immigration benefits no matter the length or level of commitment of the relationship.
First introduced in February of 2000, the PPIA garnered nearly 60 cosponsors in its first year, as well as the support of the Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force (LGIRTF), the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the ACLU, and many other groups. The PPIA has 105 co-sponsors in the House.
'MALDEF has been a long-time supporter of civil rights for the gay and lesbian community. Our support of the Permanent Partners Immigration Act is just another example of our ongoing support in this area of civil rights,' said Marisa Demeo, Regional Counsel of MALDEF, a leading Latino civil-rights organization. 'There are Latino and non-Latino citizens and permanent residents, who happen to be gay or lesbian, who deserve to be treated the same under our immigration laws as Latino and non-Latino citizens and permanent residents who happen to be straight. Ultimately, this is simply a question of fairness that should be addressed in our immigration laws,' Concluded Demeo.
Fifteen countries including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and South Africa recognize lesbian and gay relationships for immigration purposes.
The Lesbian & Gay Immigration Rights Task Force (LGIRTF) is the only lesbian and gay immigration organization in the United States.