It took an act of Congress, but there’s good news for the mom I wrote about a few weeks back. She won’t get deported and separated from her kids and her partner. Shirley Tan was scheduled for deportation because she can’t legally marry her long time same sex partner for immigration status, and her appeal for asylum failed.
While this act of Congress doesn’t help other same sex couples looking to get their partners immigration status, it does put light on how unfair current immigration laws are to the LGBT community.
It’s estimated there are 40,000 couples in similar situations to Shirley Tan and her partner Jay Mercado. The only hope for these other couples is the passage of the UAFA act. There’s hope that Shirley and Jay’s stories will revive interest in the act and provide the focus it needs to get the act passed. There has been various forms of the act around since 2000, and the current incarnation has 17 cosponsors in the legislature. It’s supported by Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein (who incidentally was responsible for the act of Congress that saved Shirley Tan from deportation).
If you’re interested in helping pass the UAFA in Congress, you can visit the Immigration Equality page that lists ideas including writing and calling Congress, writing to editors, and signing a petition among other activities.
Photo Credit:(Maria J. Avila / Mercury News) Hat tip: Efren