Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez, IL joined openly gay Rep. Jared Polis, CO and Congressman Mike Quigley, IL in their push for the inclusion of same-sex couples in their immigration reform, the Chicago Sun-Times is Reporting.
The additional protections to the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 (CIR ASAP), would allow gay Americans to sponsor their same-sex partners for visas.
In a press release Congressman Gutierrez said, "Our efforts to fix our broken immigration system and protect basic civil rights are not truly comprehensive if we exclude same-sex couples."
CIR ASAP (H.R. 4321) was cosponsored by 97 other members but does not currently include a specific provision extending legal immigration benefits to bi-national same-sex couples and their families. As many as 40,000 couples, many with American citizen children, would benefit from the provision. Legalization provisions for undocumented residents, asylum policy reforms, and treatment in detention, already apply to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons.
The trio will be joined by LGBT leaders at a press conference in Chicago when they announce the need for the LGBT and immigrant communities to be united in their efforts to pass legislation this year.