I am writing to inform you that America’s unjust immigration laws that prohibit an American citizen from sponsoring their foreign-born, non-U.S. citizen same-sex partner is destroying my family.
U.S. law permits a heterosexual American citizen the right to sponsor their heterosexual foreign-born partner for immigration purposes provided that they have met at least once in person in the past two years, but same-sex bi-national couples are denied such an opportunity.
I am a United States citizen and have been in a same-sex bi-national relationship for the past four years with a British citizen. Our relationship has endured because of our commitment to each other despite the mental and physical hardships and expense that U.S. laws have forced us to endure. I am separated for great lengths of time from the love of my life, from my support system, from the person I intend to spend the rest of my life with. We have spent thousands of dollars, money that was (and is) difficult to raise, in order to spend short periods of time together.
We have been deprived health and happiness while our heterosexual counterparts are permitted such freedoms. One can only imagine the mental anguish that my government has placed on me and that it fails in promoting my welfare as a U.S. citizen.
Over the past three years I have been a volunteer with a grassroots organization called OUT4Immigration. We have been diligently working toward bringing public awareness and congressional support for the potential passage the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), which contains language that would include the ability for an American in a same-sex bi-national relationship to sponsor their partner with all the regulations and penalties that exist in the process that is currently in place for heterosexual couples.
We are a small organization with limited funds and resources and many of our members have already made the difficult decision to leave the United States in order to be with their partner in another country. I, too, am faced with this heart-breaking decision of choosing between love and country but I cannot live my life on hold any longer and I plead for increased support for the passage of UAFA.
It is difficult to write a letter that fully depicts the intense pain that I have endured by being forced to be separated by thousands of miles from the person I love. The discrimination that I face and am forced to live under every day needs to end. Mine is not only one story of a violation of freedom but one that is shared by thousands of Americans. I am well aware of the difficulties we face in passing UAFA but my family deserves to achieve a part of the American dream.
This is not just an issue facing the LGBTQ community but it is a human issue. It is an American issue and I hope you will assist me and my family in raising public awareness of the discrimination faced by same-sex bi-national couples.