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Immigration:

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Judith Light

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Cyndi Lauper

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Liberty: Give a

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Family or Country? That’s No Choice at All

What would you do if you found out the person you love could no longer stay in this country?

Would you halt your career, uproot your kids and move to a new country to keep your family together?

Or would you part from the man or woman you love?

Which would you choose: the person you love, or the country you love?

Then again, is this any kind of a choice at all?

Real families torn apart

Unfortunately, for the nearly 36,000 gay Americans in binational couples, this is the choice they face every day. Because our country’s immigration system does not allow gay Americans to sponsor their partners for U.S. residency, many couples are forced to split or consider drastic life changes, such as an international move.

These are mature, law-abiding couples in committed relationships: The average age of these couples is 39, and 46% are raising children.

Imagine if you had to start your life over in a foreign land and culture, away from all of your family and friends. Where would you live? How would you make a living? Whom could you call during a family emergency?

Or imagine having to tell your children that one of their parents will be leaving the country, then saying good-bye indefinitely to the man or woman you love.

Our immigration laws are hurting real families. It’s time to give a damn and reform our nation’s immigration laws to include all families.

Broad support for reform

It’s time to give a damn, because comprehensive immigration reform that considers the needs of all families is good for the U.S. Families stay together. Businesses get to keep quality employees who would otherwise have to leave the country. And communities benefit from intact families and couples who are emotionally and financially invested in the towns and cities they live in.

It’s time to give a damn, because there is broad support for comprehensive immigration reform that includes gay and lesbian binational families. More than half of all Americans agree that a foreign-born gay partner of an American citizen should be allowed to become a U.S. citizen. Multiple groups support immigration reform that includes provisions for gay couples. And many countries already have embraced equality in their immigration laws: Nineteen nations around the world recognize gay couples for immigration purposes.

Most of all, it’s time to give a damn, because it’s the right thing to do. Because no one should have to choose between family and country. And no family should have to be torn apart because of laws that don’t take into the account the needs of all of our families and children.

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Visit our nonprofit partners’ websites; they’re experts on immigration. They can provide you a ton of additional resources and ways to get involved:

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  • Why is it So Difficult?

    I met the love of my life earlier this year. Christian, a Uruguay citizen, and I have been online friends for a couple of years yet our ...

    Author: Brad
  • Apart

    I am a European national who studied in the United States for a year. I was doing my first year in a PhD program in Las Vegas and met my ...

    Author: Benedict
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