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Issue Position: Immigration - Keeping Families Together

Issue Position

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Too often families are torn apart by imprudent immigration law. Rep. Eshoo has consistently supported legislation to reunite and keep families together.

One of the fundamental principles of American immigration law and policy is the notion of family unification which allows U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents to sponsor their spouses (and other family members) for immigration purposes. Same-sex couples committed to spending their lives together are not recognized as "families" under current federal law, including U.S. immigration law. Because of this unjust policy, thousands of lesbian and gay bi-national couples are kept apart, and too many American citizens are forced to live in exile or in fear that their foreign partners will be deported.

In the 112th Congress, Rep. Eshoo is a cosponsor of H.R. 1796, the Reuniting Families Act, introduced by Representative Mike Honda, which seeks to repair many of the longstanding problems in our family-based immigration system. Today, spouses, children and parents are often separated by years or decades, even in cases where no one has violated any law. There are currently more than 5.8 million people in the family immigration backlog waiting to be reunited with their families. This bill takes important steps to fix the system by reducing the waiting times for legal immigrants, proposing solutions for reducing family immigration visa backlogs and promoting timely reunification of immigrant families.


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