Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)

At long last, Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) is set to introduce his version of comprehensive immigration reform, tomorrow. The last time I wrote about Rep. Gutierrez introducing this bill, I chided him for failing to co-sponsor the DREAM Act. The fact that Gutierrez wanted to include the DREAM Act in his bill, but failed to co-sponsor it before, is just one of many ways the voices of migrant youth are stifled, used, and taken for granted in the U.S. immigration debate. I commend Rep. Gutierrez for finally showing migrant youth the respect we deserve by co-sponsoring the DREAM Act.

Holdouts from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) that continue to disrespect migrant youth by refusing to co-sponsor the DREAM Act are: John T. Salazar (D-CO), Joe Baca (D-CA), Dennis Cardoza (D-CA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Albio Sirez (D-NJ), and perhaps most embarrassing CHC Chairwoman Nydia Velasquez (D-NY). Fortunately, holdouts are now in the minority on the CHC, but that is no excuse, especially for Chairwoman Velasquez. No longer will pro-migrant politicians be allowed to take migrant youth for granted. The very least we expect of any pro-migrant politician is co-sponsorship of the DREAM Act, and I’m happy that Rep. Gutierrez complied with this.

Still, I’m afraid the other concern I raised in my original post regarding Rep. Gutierrez version of comprehensive immigration reform has not yet been addressed, and it will not be addressed. Rep. Gutierrez traveled around the country on a United Families tour. He was and continues to be courageous hammering home how families are torn apart by the U.S.’s broken immigration system, one of the greatest moral travesties of our time.

Still, it is important for that we include everyone in our definition of family, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families. As the law stands now, LGBT U.S. residents are unable to bring the people they love into the country if they so desire. It forces LGBT couples into the impossible situation of having to choose between the love of their country, and the love of their significant other.

I’m not sure whether or not Rep. Gutierrez is going to include the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), which would remedy this situation, in his version of comprehensive immigration reform. Failing to do so would fly in the face of his commitment to submit a “progressive” and “compassionate” bill. It would also lower my hopes for a truly pro-migrant comprehensive bill to pass.

That is why I’ve started a twitter petition asking Rep. Gutierrez to include LGBT families in his immigration reform bill. I encourage as many people as possible to sign it. Below is the text of the petition:

Representative Luis Gutierrez is set to introduce his version of comprehensive immigration reform on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2009, which he has said will be “progressive” and “compassionate.”

Rep. Gutierrez has been an important voice for immigration reform, traveling the country to bring attention to the way the U.S. immigration system has torn apart thousands upon thousands of families. However, it remains to be seen whether or not he will include lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) families in his immigration reform bill.

Heterosexual couples are allowed to bring their significant others into the U.S., and the same should be true for LGBT couples. Ask, Rep. Gutierrez to be truly progressive and compassionate. Ask Rep. Gutierrez to include the United American Families Act in his version of comprehensive immigration reform!

Kyle de Beausset – (14 December 2009)

Originally posted on Citizen Orange.

Oxdown Diaries

Oxdown Diaries