Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement after Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that she would direct U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to issue written guidance to field offices codifying that LGBT family ties would be recognized in immigration cases. The announcement comes in response to a letter sent by Pelosi, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA) and 81 additional Members of Congress calling on DHS to recognize, explicitly and in writing, the ties of a same-sex partner or spouse as a positive factor for discretionary relief in immigration enforcement deportation cases.
"The directive by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for DHS to issue written guidance to clarify that "family relationships' includes LBGT couples is welcome and will provide a measure of clarity and confidence to families dealing with separation in immigration cases. Our nation is served when loving families are kept together.
"We have more to do: we need to pass the Uniting American Families Act and the Reuniting Families Act, to relegate DOMA to the dustbin of history, and to fight discrimination in all of its forms.
"From supporting marriage equality to seeking fairness in our immigration laws, the Obama Administration has embraced progress for LGBT families -- progress that will and must continue."