Proposal for Immigration Benefits for Gay “Permanent Partners” of U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents
July 14, 2005

In the past month, a legislative proposal was introduced in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate which would essentially allow gay “permanent partners” of U.S. citizens or permanent residents to receive the same immigration benefits as spouses of U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Additionally, under the legislative proposal, “permanent partners” of foreign nationals being granted refugee or asylee status would also qualify for immigration benefits as if they were the principal applicant’s spouse.

With the gay marriage movement making headlines across the globe and taking off in various states and municipalities around the U.S., and “partners” receiving spousal type benefits in the context of many public and private sector employment settings in the U.S., there is no doubt that this type of immigration proposal will eventually get passed – albeit not for at least a few more years. The issue is being defined as one of equality vs. discrimination, where it is argued that gays should not be treated any differently from heterosexuals in any aspect of life, including the right to facilitate immigration benefits on behalf of a foreign national spouse/permanent partner.

Of course, there will be a fight – as has been the case in years past when similar legislative proposals have been summarily rejected by Congress a whole. But as more people are “coming out” (including politicians, their family members and their constituents) the passage of this type of legislation appears to be inevitable.

Copyright © 2005-2008, By Law Offices of Richard Hanus, Chicago, Illinois