California Democratic representative Maxine Waters, a member of the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on immigration, has cosponsored legislation that would provide immigration rights to binational gay couples and their families.
Waters’s support comes at a crucial time for LGBT immigration reform. Last week 60 Congress members issued a letter to President Barack Obama and congressional leaders urging passage of the legislation, originally introduced in the House by New York representative Jerrold Nadler and in the Senate by Vermont’s Patrick Leahy.
“The LGBT Equality Caucus’s letter signals that our champions in Congress, and the LGBT community, are ready to work for passage of reform that includes all families, including LGBT families,” Immigration Equality executive director Rachel B. Tiven said in a statement. “There are more than 36,000 lesbian and gay binational families counting on us to get this work done."
With a health care reform bill nowhere near passage, it’s unclear when Congress will address comprehensive immigration reform — the next major issue originally scheduled to be addressed in the current congressional term.
Immigration reform advocates are planning a March 21 protest on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.