The DOMA Project: Missing Husband
More on this couple’s story is here.
More on this couple’s story is here.
The director of Immigration Equality said today that she does not expect that gay couples will be in included in the immigration reform bill about to be introduced in the US Senate. Michael Lavers reports at Washington Blade:“We are not expecting LGBT families to be included in the Gang of 8 bill,” she told the Washington Blade during a conference call ahead of a rally in support of comprehensive immigration reform on Wednesday that is expected to draw tens of thousands of people to the U.S. Capitol. “That in our minds means that of course the bill is incomplete.” Tiven’s comments come roughly three months after President Obama publicly unveiled an immigration reform proposal that includes bi-national gay couples.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler confirmed to the Blade that “LGBT-specific language will likely not appear” in the bill. Nadler: “This is disappointing but not particularly surprising.”
Pink News UK reports:
A lesbian asylum seeker who fears for her life managed to avoid being flown back to her native country at the start of last weekend after she was escorted off a plane for causing a disturbance.
Alice Nji, who is being supported by the campaign group, Movement for Justice by Any Means Necessary (MFJ), spoke of how she “started crying, shouting and screaming for almost 20 minutes” in order to prevent the plane from taking off.
She had previously been held at the Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre in Bedfordshire, awaiting her deportation back to Cameroon.
Speaking of her ordeal of travelling to the airport, Ms Nji said: “Inside the van one of the escorts, a lady, she was telling me that going back to Cameroon had no risks attached to it, that I will not have any problem on my arrival, when we got in to the plane, I told one of the escorts that I [would] like to speak with the pilot.
Ms Nji added: “They told me that I am not allowed to speak with the pilot, I started crying, shouting and screaming for almost 20 minutes, the plane was about to take off – that was when the pilot came and asked the escorts to take me out.
“While we were inside the van, coming back to Yarl’s Wood, the escorts were telling me that next time it will not be a private plane, it will be a charter plane because the UK government is bent that I should go back to Cameroon.”
According to Amnesty International, Cameroon has a poor record of protecting its LGBT citizens. It’s Penal Code criminalises same-sex relations and even the National Human Rights Commission refuses to defend the rights of LGBT people.
In August a “Gay Hate Day” took place in the country.
MFJ has repeatedly accused the UK Border Agency of trying to deport LGBT asylum seekers back to countries where they face homophobic persecution – the claims have always been denied by the department.
Earlier this year, a gay man had his deportation order to Cameroon halted after he refused to board a flight from London to Paris.
After pressure earlier this week from Rep. Nancy Pelosi and a coalition of more than 80 Democrats, Homeland Security says it will consider the partner status of gay potential deportees. Chris Geidner reports at Buzzfeed:The department has issued a new policy governing the issuances of “Notice to Appear” documents, which is the step that starts removal proceedings, which can lead to deportation. The new policy will put the policies of U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services — which considers green card applications — in alignment with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement policies for “low priority” enforcement cases, according to the department — which means that USCIS won’t likely issue the notices unless other negative factors, like a criminal record, are found. A spokesman did not respond to an immediate request for a copy of the policy.
Well-known LGBT immigration advocate Lavi Soloway is thrilled. Via press release:After a two-year campaign urging the Obama administration to stop the deportations of spouses of gay and lesbian Americans, we welcome the announcement by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that it will formally recognize same-sex marriages as part of its year-old ‘prosecutorial discretion’ deportation policy. By articulating the first federal policy to recognize marriages of gay and lesbian couples, the administration signals to deportations officers, Immigration Judges, and Immigration & Customs Enforcement prosecutors that our marriages must be considered when determining whether a case is deemed low priority for deportation.
Until DOMA is repealed Homeland Security will continue to deny green cards to the spouses of LGBT Americans.
Mexico: President Felipe Calderón Thanks President Obama
The Weekly Standard reports:
At a bilateral meeting in Los Cabos, Mexican president Felipe Calderón thanked President Obama for his Friday announcement not to prosecute young illegal immigrants:
- I would like to thank personally, and on behalf of the Mexican nation, President Barack Obama for his valuable decision by executive order to give an opportunity for young people who were not born in the United States but who arrived in that great nation before they were 16 years of age, or who are studying in university, or who have served in the United States armed forces, for them not to be deported for at least a period of two years, so this is a clear and certain situation for them.
We believe that this is very just. It’s a humanitarian action. And it’s an unprecedented action in our opinion. And in this sense, Mr. President, we would like to thank you for the valor and courage that you had in implementing this action. I am sure that many, many families in the United States of America are thankful to you as well.
USA: The Department Of Homeland Security To Allow Unauthorized Immigrant “Dreamers” To Remain In The Country
Young people who are in the country illegally will avoid deportation and get work permits under an order announced by the Department of Homeland Security on Friday.
People who were brought to the United States before they turned 16, have resided in the country continuously for five years, recently graduated high school or have a GED, are eligible for the waiver from being removed from the country, according to a statement from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
People who fall under this criteria must also have no criminal convictions on their records and be younger than 30.
“As a general matter, these individuals lacked the intent to violate the law and our ongoing review of pending removal cases is already offering administrative closure to many of them,” Napolitano said in her statement.
She said the country’s immigration laws are not designed to be blanketed over every situation blindly and that they are not designed to remove people who may be born elsewhere but only know America. “Indeed, many of these young people have already contributed to our country in significant ways,” she said. “Prosecutorial discretion, which is used in so many other areas, is especially justified here.”
Napolitano added that the U.S. government will excercise its discretion on “low prioritity” individuals who may have been placed in removal proceedings. For those who are already in removal proceedings, ICE will still exercise prosecutorial discretion on a case-by-case basis, and can defer action for up to a renewable two years. The agency will also allow the individuals who feel they meet the criteria to identify themselves. Those granted deferred action by ICE will also have the opportunity to qualify for work permits during the two-year period of deferred action.
President Obama is expected to speak on the matter Friday afternoon.
First the LGBT Community, now the Latinos. Obama’s got two significant minorities behind him now.
UPDATE: House GOP Representatives have vowed to oppose the Amnesty, as expected:
"The Administration is overstepping its authority by weakening immigration laws without Congressional approval. I am very concerned about efforts to administratively implement amnesty for countless illegal aliens under the age of 30. It is vital that US borders are secure prior to any consideration of amnesty proposals. My Committee will be launching an immediate review into the possibility that DHS will direct Border Patrol agents to conduct selective enforcement. Border security is vital to national security, and it is concerning that the Administration is considering scaling back our efforts to secure the border."
- House Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Peter King.
Pink News UK reports:
Time is fast running out for a Russian trans woman who, it was reported recently in Pink News, fears being forced by Swedish authorities to return to Russia, where she expects to face violence and possible imprisonment at the hands of the authorities.
According to “Lita”, as she is known officially in Sweden, she received a phone call this morning requiring her to report to the Immigration Board at 11.30 am on Monday 7 May.
She will then be removed from the country the very next day.
According to Lita, this is the end. She told us: “There will be a simple choice for me: between fast death in russia and slow death if i would be in sweden illegally”.
Today’s news comes as Lita learned that a final appeal by her lawyer to the European Court of Human Justice for a stay on her deportation had “not yet been processed”. Her efforts at seeking asylum in Sweden have been rejected both by officials and the courts there.
A week ago, she heard that her request to the ECHR to grant a “stay” in respect of her deportation had also proven fruitless.
Her life may therefore quite hang by a thread. Swedish LGBT rights organisation RFSL are making last ditch efforts to assist her in her legal efforts.
In the end, though, the difference between an ECHR decision to stay her deportation and her removal to Russia could be little more than a matter of timing – a few hours one way or the other – this Monday.
The Washington Blade reports that Sen. John Kerry isworking to block the deportation of a Pakistani woman who married her wife in Massachusetts.In a redacted letter dated March 27 and obtained Friday by the Washington Blade, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) asks Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to hold in abeyance the I-130 marriage-based green card petition for the couple until the Defense of Marriage Act is overturned either by Congress or the courts. “I know that you and I both believe that every family is worthy and recognition and respect, and that no family should be torn apart based on a discriminatory law,” Kerry writes. “Abeyance will allow this remarkable young couple to move forward with their dream of building a life together at home in Massachusetts.”
The American half of the couple notes: “It hurts, as an American, to think that my government causes me and my wife so much distress by allowing DOMA to do so much harm. It is not what I expected of President Obama; I expected more.”
For being a living contradiction and for believing that he could get away with secretly fucking around with his allegedly illegal Mexican immigrant boyfriend and be only the second most racist and extremely vocal anti-immigration activists, at the same time. Karma is a bitch, right?
Moron Of The Week: AZ’s Sheriff Paul Babeu
For being a living contradiction and for believing that he could get away with secretly fucking around with his allegedly illegal Mexican immigrant boyfriend and be only the second most racist and extremely vocal anti-immigration activists, at the same time.
Karma is a bitch, right?
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu is considered Arizona’s second-most virulently anti-immigrant law enforcement officer after Maricopa County’s infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio. That’s why jaws are dropping over a claim that not only is Babeu gay, but that he once threatened to deport his Mexican boyfriend. That’s probably gonna cause a wee bit of trouble for Babeu’s run for Congress.
The Phoenix New Times reports:
The 34-year-old from central Mexico charges that the sheriff’s lawyer warned against mentioning the affair with Babeu. DeRose said gossip about Babeu would focus attention on Jose, attention that could result in his deportation, Jose says. Melissa Weiss-Riner, Jose’s attorney, confirms her client’s account. She says she spoke directly to the sheriff’s lawyer, DeRose, about the Babeu camp’s threats that Jose could be deported if he “revealed the relationship.” She says DeRose falsely claimed that Jose’s visa had expired. “Jose came to our firm because he felt he was being intimidated, and he was in fear for his life,” Weiss-Riner says. “He wanted his legal rights protected.”
It’s a long story complicated with confidentiality agreements, internet tomfoolery, and Babue’s alleged Adam4Adam profile. Read the entire article. You may recognize Paul Babue from his occasional appearances on Fox News and from his role in John McCain’s “Complete The Danged Fence” commercial.
UPDATE: Babeu has come out.Arizona GOP congressional candidate Paul Babeu acknowledged Saturday he is gay but forcefully denied charges he threatened an ex-lover with deportation after their relationship soured. “All of the allegations are false except one, I am gay,” Babeu said. The nationally renown Pinal County Sheriff called a news conference to address the explosive story by The Phoenix New Times that he pressured a man only identified as “Jose” into signing an agreement to conceal their relationship or face deportation. The piece, posted late Friday, also includes text messages Babeu exchanged with the man and pictures he posted on online gay websites. Babeu repeatedly sidestepped questions about his personal life but acknowledged a relationship with the man in question. “What I do in my personal life and private life is my business,” he said.
After coming out, Babeu stepped down as Arizon co-chair of the Romney campaign, but says he will still pursue a seat in Congress. Have we had an open homocon in Congress yet?
RELATED: Joe Jervis reports that the openly gay politician that pretends to run for Gabriele Giffords’ House seat has a blurry past that could get in the way in his way to run for the US House of representatives:
Last month I blogged the news that openly gay Arizona state Rep. Matt Heinz (D) had announced his plan to run for the U.S. House seat vacated by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. He may have some trouble coming, as buried in the Phoenix New Times expose’ of Sheriff Paul Babeu is a little tidbit that some voters may have a problem with.Openly gay Tucson state Representative Matt Heinz was one of two Democratic lawmakers who broke ranks with the party in March 2011 and voted to give Babeu $5 million to combat border violence. Other lawmakers opposed the measure, in part, because Babeu’s county is at least 70 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border. The measure finally was pared down to $1.7 million and passed by the Legislature. About a week after Heinz’s nod to Babeu, the sheriff spent the night at Heinz’s home, text messages that Jose shared with New Times show. “I’m at Mat Heinz and his boyfriend for dinner & ice cream … we are going out to bar and … to their house. [Am] staying over,” Babeu texted to Jose at 1:04 a.m. last April 2.We have no way of knowing what “staying over” actually means here, but you can bet that Babeu will be accused of fucking his way to that $1.7M grant. Would a heterosexual sheriff be allowed sleepover socialization with politicians who wield monetary influence over their agency? Of course he would. What a mess.
Australia: PM Julia Gillard To Save Face In Gay Marriage Vote
GAY couples will today move a step closer to gaining full marriage rights when the Labor Party changes its policy.
The act will enrage the Catholic right and overrules Julia Gillard’s election promise to leave the traditional definition of marriage in place.
But in a rearguard move designed to limit her embarrassment, Labor’s federal MPs will be given the right to vote according to their conscience when the matter comes before the Parliament next year.
That will also avoid the risk of up to 10 MPs crossing the floor, which under ALP rules would otherwise see them expelled.
It represents a get-out-of-jail card freeing mainly Catholic MPs as well as Ms Gillard herself, who is expected to vote against gay marriage in any parliamentary division.
The compromise means the numbers will not be there in the Parliament for a change to the federal Marriage Act unless the Opposition also grants its members a free vote in Parliament and a dozen or more support gay marriage.
Labor’s National Conference will debate the measure this morning in what has emerged as the most emotive issue at the biennial forum.
Speaking yesterday after 11th-hour negotiations, senior Left sources said support for full marriage equality had built steadily ahead of the debate and was estimated to be as high as 250 votes out of the 400 at the conference.
The amendment will change the platform to remove the words “against same-sex couple” while declaring “Labor will ensure that all couples whether married or de facto do not suffer discrimination”. “Labor will amend the Marriage Act to ensure equal access to marriage under statute for all adult couples irrespective of sex who have a mutual commitment to a shared life,” it says.
Opening the three-day talkfest in Sydney yesterday, Ms Gillard made no reference to gay marriage but renewed her calls for greater participation by party members.
She also nominated a recruitment target of 8000 new rank-and-file members next year.
"We didn’t come here for a coronation or a campaign launch, we came here for debates, we came here for surprises, we came here to have votes," she told the conference in a dull self-congratulatory speech.
Among other contentious issues to be debated today is the refugees policy, with Immigration Minister Chris Bowen seeking support for the ill-fated Malaysian solution.