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  • #31
    Happy Happy New Year To All Gays and Lesbians To The Detriment Of All Homophobe People!


    • #32
      PPIA - Jules, about a month ago I had a consultation with a well know attorney, who advised that the PPIA has fallen of the track.

      Let's hope this is not true...! Good luck to all


      • #33
        Happy Marthin Luther King Jr. Day to all gay immigrants!


        • #34
          Chris Rigdon never paid much attention to immigration issues. Then three years ago he met a man at church from Venezuela who was working in Houston. They fell in love and decided to spend their lives together. If Rigdon were heterosexual and wanted to be with a woman from another country, all he would have to do is get married and sponsor his spouse for permanent residency in the United States. Because he is gay, however, his commitment ceremony last Nov. 24 means as little to the the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service as it does to nearly all states and the federal government. Partners of gays and lesbians are not considered family members eligible for immigration. Thus Rigdon, 30, and his partner, a 38-year-old engineer named Carlos, officially are nothing more than roommates.

          Their continued relationship depends on Carlos' employer. He has worked in the United States for seven years. But if he lost his job, his work visa would be canceled and he'd have to return to Venezuela. Anger at that prospect led Rigdon to fight for a change in immigration laws. He heads the Houston chapter of the Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force, a national group based in New York. Its top priority is getting Congress to pass the Permanent Partners Immigration Act, a House bill that would add "permanent partner" to the list of family members eligible for residency. "My sense of mission started shortly after we met, when I soon realized that I had absolutely no right to sponsor him for residency," Rigdon said. "I could not believe as a taxpaying, law-abiding citizen born and reared in the United States of America that I had no right to keep Carlos with me in my country."

          Some are unsympathetic. Conservative groups argue the legislation would radically alter the government's definition of family and is worded so loosely that it would open the door to anyone of the same gender an American wanted to sponsor. "How do you prove intimacy?" asked Glenn Stanton, senior research analyst for marriage and sexuality for Focus on the Family, a Christian-based organization. "If you and I are friends for life, we're intimate. It's a very nebulous term. ... It's important to stick to the objective definition of family that has been consistent throughout human history." Lou Sheldon, chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition, said America must not extend benefits to a group of people based on their sexual behavior. Better to limit immigration sponsorship to heterosexual spouses, Sheldon said, because they "could have children and that would increase the state's income" when the kids grow up and become taxpayers. Such arguments mean little, of course, to Rigdon and thousands of others across the country who have a very personal stake in seeing that their partners are treated no differently than those of heterosexuals.

          The Human Rights Campaign, the largest U.S. gay civil rights group, has joined the push for changing immigration law. It has held town hall meetings across the nation this year on immigration rights, including one two months ago in Houston attended by about 100 people. About 20 couples are active in the local task force. Of the American half, a few are thinking about moving abroad with their partner to countries whose immigration laws recognize both spouses and permanent partners. Others, including Rigdon, hold out hope that their partners will obtain green cards via sponsorship by their employers. Unlike work visas, which are temporary and generally bind foreign workers to a specific company, a green card grants permanent residency status, and the holder is later free to switch jobs.

          John Nechman, a 37-year-old Houston immigration attorney who specializes in helping gay immigrants, said the dilemma faced by these binational couples does not attract much attention, even among gays. And it's not as if those affected feel free to raise a stink about their problem. Many gay and lesbian foreign workers fear their employer would fire them if they came out. "It's not the type of issue that we can be very vocal about," said Nechman, who serves on the task force's national board and has a partner from Colombia. Many of those interviewed for this story asked for anonymity or requested that their full names not be used.

          "They fear the INS is sitting there taking names," Rigdon said. "As you look to keep your partner here legally, you don't want to rock the boat." An INS official, who declined to be named because the agency doesn't generally speak about pending bills, disputed that statement. "As long as those individuals are pursuing legal avenues and are adhering to the terms of their current visas, they have nothing to be concerned about by expressing the desire or efforts to remain in the United States on a legal basis," he said. The phenomenon of international couples will only grow. An increasing number of foreign workers are coming to the United States, especially in high-tech fields. And the Internet has helped bring together people of all sexual orientations. Now it's much easier to meet someone from across town or across the world.

          Sally, a 41-year-old lesbian in Conroe, lives with her 30-year-old partner from British Columbia. After two months of chatting online and via telephone, her partner came to visit in June 1999. "We hit it off, fell in love, and I decided I wanted her back," Sally said. "I never knew that I was going to meet someone from another country. I didn't think I'd ever have to worry about it." After learning of the obstacles, they decided to simply ignore the law. Her partner drove across the border into Michigan on her next visit and was waived through. She's been working since her arrival in Conroe, but gets paid under the table. The couple is trying to figure out what to do next. They could relocate to Canada, whose immigration regulations call it "humanitarian and compassionate" to allow same-sex partners to live together. Canada is one of 15 countries that treat gay and lesbian partners as family members. But Sally has two teenagers from a previous marriage and hates the idea of leaving them behind. She said it's unfair that a male friend who met a woman from Singapore online was allowed to bring her here legally to get married.

          "Because of my orientation, my country does not recognize that, hey, I can fall in love just like anyone else," Sally said. Len, 57, is so frustrated by U.S. policy that he is considering moving to Sweden to live with his partner, Sven, whom he met two years ago while on vacation there. He recently returned from a one-week visit during which he went on some job interviews. "I'm not giving up being an American, just going somewhere where they treat you with the kind of respect I wish we would treat people with," he said. That's the unstated objective of the Permanent Partners Immigration Act, which was introduced by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., in February 2001. The bill currently has more than 100 co-sponsors, including Houston Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee.

          For this session, though, there is no possibility of passage. All immigration reform legislation stopped after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The Federation for American Immigration Reform is one of the groups that opposes Nadler's bill, which will be reintroduced next session. "It's unconscionable that Congress would expand any immigration benefits, given the fact that the immigration service has proven itself incapable of reasonably enforcing the immigration laws that are in place already," said FAIR spokesman David Ray. Supporters contend they aren't seeking to expand benefits, just make their application equitable. Conservative groups see the proposed law as a back-door effort by those who want to legalize gay marriage.

          "They are now trying to glom onto immigration policy as another way to push forward a different agenda," Ray said. The INS said nothing in the immigration law excludes an individual from an immigration benefit based on their sexual orientation. "At its heart, the fundamental basis of this issue is really not an immigration one," the INS official said. "It really boils down to: What constitutes a legal marriage under federal law?" Proponents say the push for gay marriage is a separate battle. They note that, of the 15 countries that offer immigration rights to gay partners, only Holland permits gay marriage. "The (new law) wouldn't say the relationship is a valid marriage," Nechman said. The bill's chances in the next Congress depend on next month's election, he said. "If Democrats take over the House, Nadler might be in a position to take this to the floor," Nechman said. "We're also working with the Senate to bring in a bill for the next session. It's looking much more promising."


          • #35
            It breaks my heart to see these immigrants being denied their basic rights.


            • #36
              Gays should be allowed to marry, adopt children and petition for their foreign gay partners.


              • #37
                [Congressional Record: May 1, 2003 (Extensions)]
                [Page E842]
                From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []


                HON. BRAD SHERMAN
                of california in the house of representatives

                Thursday, May 1, 2003

                Mr. SHERMAN. Mr. Speaker, H.R. 832, the Permanent Partners Immigration Act would allow US citizens and lawful permanent residents, who are in a permanent partnership, to sponsor their partner for immigration purposes in the same way that opposite-sex spouses now can. This proposal would also hold these partners to the same legal
                commitments of a legal marriage, in that if a person is found to have entered into a fraudulent permanent partnership for the purpose 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.

                According to the Human Rights Campaign, this egislation would affect the status of thousands of couples who currently are separated or risk permanent separation from the ones they love. Fourteen countries -- including Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Israel, the United Kingdom
                and South Africa -- recognize same sex partnerships for purposes of immigration.

                I have co-sponsored H.R. 832 because I strongly elieve in its purposes and I am confident that its text will be fine tuned as it goes through the legislative process. I called upon the Congressional leadership to begin that process.



                • #38
                  The idea that anything spiritual must be solemn and serious is a big problem in the West. Western religions are full of genuflection, kneeling and bowing to hierarchical powers. It takes the fun out of it. Western religion seems allergic to fun. So it's very hard to wake people here up to a liberated spirituality - a spirituality that allows the soul some relaxation and good feelings.


                  • #39
                    julie you aren't alone. I met a man from Brazil and began dating him and fell in love before I realized anything about immigration laws. Like most people I had no clue about immigration. Most of us don't until we meet and spend time with an immigrant. I was following my heart. We have talked so many times about being forced apart over the last year and it gets exhausting. What it has done is help me make the most of each moment were together. Its so unjust and its happening in a country where you are supposde to pursue happiness. I feel hopeless at times, or even think of going to canada. I don't think asylum is applicable because he is not afraid to go back, he would just have to remain closeted the rest of his life. Thats a death sentence in itself. So what is left for us? good luck to us all.


                    • #40
                      straight deport illegal aliens


                      • #41

                        WASHINGTON - Using the motif of tomorrow's Valentines Day as a backdrop, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) today announced that he has reintroduced the "The Permanent Partners Immigration Act"in the 108th Congress, which would help countless numbers of bi-national G A Y and L E S B I A N partnerships to remain together.

                        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 G A Y and L E S B I A N couples under the immigration law, many bi-national permanent partnerships are torn apart when one partner moves to the United States.

                        "My bill is simply a matter of common sense and fairness," he added. "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 gratuitous cruelty, and my bill would correct that."

                        "The Permanent Partners Immigration Act" would add the term "or permanent partner" to those sections of the Immigration and Naturalization Act that apply to legally married couples. For purposes of the bill, "permanent partner" is described as "an individual 18 years of age and over who: Is in a committed, intimate relationship with another individual 18 years of age and over in which both parties intend a lifelong commitment; Is financially interdependent with that other individual; Is not married or in a permanent partnership with anyone other than that other individual; Is unable to contract with that other individual a marriage cognizable under [the Immigration and Naturalization Act]; and Is not a first, second, or third degree blood relation of that other individual."

                        Said Winnie Stachelberg, Political Director of the Human Rights Campaign, "The Human Rights Campaign is grateful for Rep. Nadler's leadership on this very important issue to our community. PPIA is a simple matter of fairness allowing same-S E X couples - where one partner is from a different country - to remain together in the United States."

                        "This bill provides an essential fix for US immigration law which treats loving partners like legal strangers to one another. We look forward to seeing great progress in the 108th session as members recognize the terrible injustice of our current system," said Suzanne Goldberg Board of Directors President at the L E S B I A N and G A Y Immigration Rights Task Force.

                        "As evidenced in the Task Force Family Policy report, the U.S. still lags behind many countries when it comes to equal rights for same-S E X couples," said Lorri L. Jean, National G A Y and L E S B I A N Task Force Executive Director. "We call on those in Congress who are opposed to discrimination to support Congressman Nadler''s efforts to narrow the gap by recognizing committed, loving, bi-national adult relationships through the Permanent Partners Immigration Act."

                        "Family unification has always been at the heart of U.S. immigration policy. But as it stands now, federal law prevents many L E S B I A N S and G A Y men from keeping their families," said Christopher E. Anders, an ACLU Legislative Counsel. "Instead of intruding into people's private relationships, Congress should enact fair immigration standards that apply equally to everyone."

                        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. The bill also requires that bi-national couples provide ample proof that they meet the definition of "permanent partners."

                        "My bill only demands that those people in same-S E X permanent partnerships receive equal treatment to those who can get legally married," said Rep. Nadler. "Not an iota more."

                        Currently Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Israel, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, and the United Kingdom all allow people to sponsor their permanent partners for immigration purposes.

                        The Congressman introduced the same legislation in the 106th and 107th Congresses. It has been endorsed by the New York City Council, and groups nationwide.

                        Representative Nadler has served in Congress since 1992 where he has worked on many issues of importance to the G A Y and L E S B I A N community. He represents the 8th District of New York which includes parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn.



                        • #42
                          Looks like you guys have explained first and foremost how one can immigrate to Germany via employment; understandably there are easier options, for instance getting married to a German citizen; and from what I learned in another thread here, even ***s/*******s can obtain German residence,



                          • #43
                            Looks like you guys have explained first and foremost how one can immigrate to Germany via employment; understandably there are easier options, for instance getting married to a German citizen; and from what I learned in another thread here, even g a y s/l e s b i a n s can obtain German residence,



                            • #44
                              Oops sorry, wrong thread ...


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