Senator Chuck Schumer Fails Binational Same Sex Couples while Providing New VISAS for Irish

by Melanie Nathan – Dec 12, 2011

Please watch the Video below which was recorded on June03, 2009.  Nothing has happened out of Congress for binationals since Schumer made these statements.  To pitch VISAS for new immigrants is disingenuous until such time as interim VISAS can be provided for same-sex couples by Congress.

The Irish people are happy with Senator Charles “Chuck” Ellis Schumer  (D-NY) – they may be able to emigrate legally to the United States in the coming years; “hope at last” according to the article, referenced below.  I got really angry!  What about our binational American same-sex couples Senator Schumer?

The defense of Marriage Act, DOMA,  precludes same-sex Americans from getting Fiance visas or green cards to bring their partners into the United States,  in parity with straight couples.

While 0ur binational American residents and citizens are begging and pleading to come home for Xmas or to bring their beloveds into the U.S.A., tomorrow, Senator Charles Schumer of New York will introduce a bill which will allow up to 10,000 Irish a year to come and work legally in the United States, though not receive green cards.

I sat mere rows from Senator Schumer at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for UAFA , two plus years ago, back on June 03, 2009, where the Senator made the comments that can bee seen on the Video below.  Yet he and his colleagues in the Democratic Party, even when they had a House and Senate majority, together with a Democratic President, did absolutely nothing creative to unite our Americans with their partners.

They knew very well that couples have been separated and know that remains the current situation. They heard moving testimony from an American living in exile and what have they done for him or the others?

The Irish are excited and so am I for any immigration reform and/ or VISA program; but what about a creative VISA program for our partners Senator Schumer?  You have been hanging around waiting for DOMA to repeal – for UAFA to make its way out of the Senate Judiciary Committee and for the useless idea that Comprehensive  Immigration Reform  will get anywhere with a stonewall Congress. None of that is helping our our binational same-sex couples who need an immediate remedy.

In fact even during the lameduck session, UAFA  never saw the light of day!

According to an Article in the Irish Central-

“The Irish program is a visa plan that is based on an Australian visa program that allows natives to come to America and indefinitely renew a work visa for them and their spouses.

“Schumer made the promise to introduce the E-3 program, as it is known, to a group of Irish American leaders who met with him on Friday. I was one of the people present, and we all realized that this bill would be a major step in the right direction. It came about because other countries – China, Mexico, India and the Philippines – have received special consideration for a new visa program, while the Irish were left off the list.  That angered Irish community leaders, and Schumer has now stepped up to the plate to try and deliver. ”

While here is no guarantee, though, that the bill will be successful, ” but it is a very important first step,” says the piece, “the first time since the Morrison and Donnelly visa programs that a bill to help the Irish legally live in America has been put forward.” According to Bart Murphy, head of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, the bill is a huge step in the right direction. “It finally brings a focus to all of our efforts, and I believe it may well prove successful, thanks to Senator Schumer,” Murphy said. If the bill for the other countries passes, Schumer is hoping that the Irish E-3 visas can be attached to it. If the bill does not pass, or if it is not possible to attach the E-3 visas, then he has promised early in 2012 to create another vehicle to help the Irish. “

In addition such VISA programs can impact undocumented citizens and there are many gay couples living in hiding and as well. In the same way as the article notes:

“On the face of it, the new visa, if passed, would not immediately help the Irish undocumented now resident in the U.S.But if a waiver rule can be applied as has happened in Mexico, where the local U.S. consulate allows those who have lived illegally in America to apply for visas, then it could make a huge difference,” so could be the case for Gay and lesbian same-sex couples in the US with a special VISA program.”

Notably, as the article states:

“Senator Schumer is one of the most powerful men in U.S. politics, with an Irish chief of staff, Martin Brennan, whose folks hail from Co. Mayo. Having him on the side of the Irish is a huge step forward in the right direction.

So I ask Senator Schumer, surely your existing American citizens and residents, those already here in the USA and those exiled abroad,  who cannot sponsor their spouses for green cards or fiance’s for visas should be the subject of special VISA legislation before we bring in new immigrants, whether they be Irish, Italian, Australians or whatever….

Surely your power to which the Irish press refers could indulge in some creative immigration attention first to Americans seeking equality for spouses and foremost to the question of parity for those who are currently discriminated against under American law?  Equality for all Americans should be at the top of your Agenda.   AND please do not tell me you are waiting for DOMA’s repeal or immigration reform or UAFA…. our gay and lesbian couples have waited 20 years since the first permanent partner piece of legislation began its flail in the wind.

Note: The Uniting American Families Act (UAFA, H.R. 1537, S. 821) is a U.S. bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate discrimination in the immigration laws by permitting permanent partners of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to obtain lawful permanent resident status in the same manner as spouses of citizens and lawful permanent resident.
Prior to this we had the . 1278: Permanent Partners Immigration Act in the 109th Congress: 2005-2006 A bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide a mechanism for United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to sponsor their permanent partners for residence in the United States, and for other purposes.
Prior to which there was twenty years of back and forth. Sponsor: Sen. Patrick Leahy [D-VT]  This bill never became law. This bill was proposed in  previous sessions of Congress. Sessions of Congress last two years, and at the end of each session all proposed bills and resolutions that did not pass – cleared from the books. Members often reintroduce bills that did not come up for debate under a new number in the next session. This actually has gone for many years prior to that.
SO you would think that these people in DC would have thought of something a little more creative – such as a special VISA.  Well I did and it is part of petition that I have had up on the internet  for well over a year now…  If I can think of it why can’t Senator Schumer – after all it is just a VISA – not a major law change?
Please watch the Video below which was recorded on June03, 2009. NOTHING has happened out of Congress for binationals since Schumer made these statements.  To pitch VISAS for new immigrants is disingenuous until such time as interim VISAS can be provided for same-sex couples by Congress.
I would be remiss too if I did not admonish Immigration Equality, the so called per-imminent Immigration organization in the United States which has a license and supposedly  lobbies in D.C.  for same-sex binational couples. Immigration equality has never come up with a creative or immeidate  plan for our families.  The have not included the idea of a VISA in any of their strategies at all.  I lobbed this idea at them 2 years ago and they said it was not possible, without even trying!  They have done nothing at all by way of creative lobbying for same-sex couples who are kept apart by the law.   Instead they have pandered to other interest groups, and sold binationals down the river with long shots such as immigration reform for all!
Because I am critical of immigration equality and have been for the past two years, I have been banned from posting on their website –  and their Face Book page. perhaps one of my kind supporters would draw their attention to this article.
Melanie Nathan
nathan@privatecourts.com
Tweet:@melanienathan1
Note: My Facebook friends have almost reached the 5,000  limit and so am accepting new and old friends on FaceBook at Melanie Nathan Advocacy

5 thoughts on “Senator Chuck Schumer Fails Binational Same Sex Couples while Providing New VISAS for Irish

  1. This sucks but his record on GLBTQ concerns is a concern. He represents me and I will call his office for all the good it will do me. We have lobbied him for years on various issues. He does what he thinks will get him reelected.

    1. Please call and tell his staffers about the article; not sure that he likes negative press – thanks for your support

  2. Because, Senator Charles “Chuck” Ellis Schumer, panders to whoever he likes or sees his power coming from…

    Gays are not his thing- so we have no weight-

    TF

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