As the Supreme Court considers Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act today and tomorrow, the Uniting American Families Act is dying a slow and quiet death, thanks to Washington-based immigration reform advocates. UAFA would allow the same-sex partners to be treated equally as heterosexual couples under immigration law. We, of course, support UAFA.
The Senate ‘Gang of 8’ is almost certainly not going to include UAFA in its immigration proposal and no one—I mean no one—who you hear quoted on a regular basis on immigration reform is doing anything to make sure it comes back into the public conversation. That hasn’t stopped some nice (by nice I mean actually downright offensive) lip service from slipping through the cracks about how much this “movement” has learned from the LGBTQ rights movement. While the opinion piece linked to above goes on and on about how much immigrant rights advocates have learned from LGBTQ advocates, the author didn’t bother to mention the bill that would benefit their shared constituencies.
The truth is, the actual aggressive “movement” in immigrant rights—the youth in particular—didn’t need any DC-based political strategist to tell us who to emulate. DreamActivist.org, for example, was founded by queer immigrant youth. These same DC-based advocates are hoping that the Supreme Court saves them from having to actually do something to support equality—like give UAFA actual support, for example—because they sure as hell aren’t going to demand that it be part of a “comprehensive” immigration bill later this year.
If good rulings come down later this year from the Supreme Court, LGBTQ rights can chalk up a victory and—hopefully—be satisfied, immigrant advocates wager. If the Supreme Court hands down defeats for marriage equality, its supporters will face yet another from the silence of their DC-based “friends” in immigrant rights.