Same-Sex Couples Also Seek Immigration Reform

Monday, 11 Mar 2013 02:40 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Some 48,000 same-sex couples across the nation have at least one partner who is not an American citizen, a new report by UCLA’s Williams Institute reveals.

In addition, nearly 30 percent of the estimated 900,000 adult immigrants who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender are here illegally, the institute says.

That puts gay and lesbian couples right behind Latinos and Hispanics in pushing for immigration reform.

"We've started calling ourselves 'prisoners of love,'" California resident Judy Rickard — who is wed to a British woman who must periodically leave the U.S. to satisfy customs law — tells the San Jose Mercury News.

"We've been apart probably half as much as we've been together."

The institute also says that many same-sex couples with at least one immigrant, face another issue — they are raising children under the risk of separation.

The Mercury News reports that California Rep. Mike Honda has reintroduced legislation that would allow citizens or legal permanent residents to sponsor a same-sex spouse for a green card. His bill would establish green cards for same-sex "domestic partners if the U.S. Supreme Court fails to strike down the federal ban on same-sex marriage.

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