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Students call for Permanent Partners Immigration Act

Students call for Permanent Partners Immigration Act

Hundreds of college students across the nation, organized by the United States Student Association, will call their legislators on April 14 to urge them to cosponsor the Permanent Partners Immigration Act. The proposed act would allow U.S. citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their same-sex permanent domestic partners for immigration to the United States. "Current immigration law unfairly punishes same-sex partners and poses educational barriers for binational same-sex families by forcing them apart or forcing them to flee the U.S. when a student's visa expires," said David Glisch-Sanchez, chairman of USSA's National Queer Student Coalition. "PPIA will remove barriers to higher education for binational same-sex partners." The Permanent Partners Immigration Act, introduced in the U.S. House by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and in the Senate by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), is particularly relevant to students. The international nature of college communities offers an increased potential for meeting and forming bonds with people from around the world. "In addition to PPIA's positive effects for college students in binational same-sex relationships, PPIA would improve the quality of education for all U.S. college students by allowing more college faculty and staff to remain in the U.S. with their partners," commented USSA president Rebecca Wasserman. With these factors in mind, the National Queer Student Coalition decided at USSA's National Legislative Conference to organize the April 14 national student call-in and fax-in day to support the proposed act. Immigration Equality, an organization that addresses the impact of discriminatory immigration policies on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people and those living with HIV/AIDS, also supports the bill. "Immigration Equality stands with USSA against unjust immigration policies affecting access to higher education," said Adam Francoeur, program director for Immigration Equality. "The U.S. needs to join the 16 other countries that already have policies similar to PPIA that give equal rights to binational same-sex partners for immigration purposes."

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