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  • 05/15/2014 6:00 PM | American Families United (Administrator)
    Congressman Mark Takano (CA-41) today cosponsored H.R. 3431, The American Families United Act.  H.R. 3431, introduced by Congressman's Beto O'Rourke and Steve Pearce, simply provides an opportunity for the US citizen spouse of a person who has an obstacle created by what are often trivial or merely technical violations of US immigration law, to go before an immigration judge or officer and make their case that the penalty for the US citizen and their family is too harsh.
  • 03/07/2014 9:00 AM | American Families United (Administrator)
    Congressman Eric Swalwell (CA-15) today cosponsored H.R. 3431, The American Families United Act.  H.R. 3431, introduced by Congressman's Beto O'Rourke and Steve Pearce, simply provides an opportunity for the US citizen spouse of a person who has an obstacle created by what are often trivial or merely technical violations of US immigration law, to go before an immigration judge or officer and make their case that the penalty for the US citizen and their family is too harsh.
  • 02/28/2014 9:00 AM | American Families United (Administrator)
    Four new Members of Congress cosponsored H.R. 3431, the American Families United Act today:

    Congressman David G. Valadao (R), representing the Southern half of Central Valley in California
    Congressman Scott Peters (D), representing San Diego, California
    Congresswoman Gloria Negrete McLeod (D), representing the 35th district of California, just east of Los Angeles, California
    Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D), representing San Antonio, Texas

    These champions of the bill were all a direct result of American Families United's recent DC trip.
  • 02/27/2014 6:00 PM | American Families United (Administrator)
    U.S Citizen families from states such as as California, New York, New Mexico, Virginia, Alabama, Georgia, and many others, flew to DC to meet with House Representatives with the ask that they cosponsor H.R. 3431, The American Families United ActOver 50 offices from the House were met with to ask for their support as cosponsors. Allyson Batista, who sits on the Board of Directors from American Families United, stated that they "left the meetings very encouraged by the genuine interest in some offices, but with the knowledge that we have more work ahead."

    Congressman Beto O'Rourke and Steve Pearce ended the schedule off meetings with a briefing for Congressional staff on the "Uniting of American Citizen Families". Just before the briefing started, American Families United members presented present Congressman Pearce with the American Family Champion Award for his leadership on family unity.

    At the briefing, Congressman O'Rourke spoke of his experience of attending Edgar Falcon's wedding with Maricruz on the international bridge from El Paso to Mexico and how it pushed him to write this bill with Congressman Pearce.  Congressman Pearce spoke about how this bill is the right thing to do, how love overcomes all obstacles, how he was proud to reach across the aisle with Congressman O'Rourke to write the bill, and how he really did not hear any negative feedback when he talked about the bill with conservatives in the district.  

    Following these introductions, Ruth Wasem from the Congressional Research Service presented a history of how US citizen families have been treated in immigration law, complete with a detailed history of bars and waivers as they apply to US citizens.  Notably, she explained how some of the bars that so many people are suffering from were created in 1996.  It was also clear in her presentation that current waiver law is really an aberration in US history.  Presentations were then given by AFU members Randall Emery, Tony Sierra, Shawna Avila, and Pamela Deligiannis Monroy on their stories of separation. 

    Finally, Alfonso Aguilar, an extremely prominent conservative voice for immigration reform, gave a passionate call to support this bill,  Mr. Aguilar was President Bush's appointee to lead USCIS.  He spoke about how he visited Jaurez and was shocked to learn that only 50% of waivers were approved.  He spoke about the importance of family.  He  praised Congressman O'Rourke and Congressman Pearce for working across the aisle, and concluded his presentation by imploring that H.R. 3431 be passed into law while work continues on other important immigration issues.
  • 12/13/2013 5:00 PM | American Families United (Administrator)
    Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) today cosponsored H.R. 3431, The American Families United Act becoming the 4th Representative to sign on.  H.R. 3431 was originally introduced by Congressman's Beto O'Rourke and Steve Pearce and focuses on the rights of U.S. Citizens and their spouses, reinstating the key issue of due process and review of their case.
  • 11/21/2013 2:25 PM | American Families United (Administrator)
    Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-02) today cosponsored H.R. 3431, The American Families United Act.  H.R. 3431, introduced by Congressman's Beto O'Rourke and Steve Pearce, simply provides an opportunity for the US citizen spouse of a person who has an obstacle created by what are often trivial or merely technical violations of US immigration law, to go before an immigration judge or officer and make their case that the penalty for the US citizen and their family is too harsh.
  • 10/31/2013 3:00 PM | American Families United (Administrator)
    "This is great. The rights of US citizens in immigration reform could be the key that turns the lock", said Randall Emery, founder and President of American Families United. "We applaud Congressmen Beto O’Rourke and Steve Pearce because they are standing up for the rights of US citizens in immigration reform legislation. That’s the kind of leadership we need on these issues. This bill is a bipartisan ray of hope lighting the way forward."

    HR 3431, The American Families United Act, simply provides an opportunity for the US citizen spouse of a person who has an obstacle created by what are often trivial or merely technical violations of US immigration law, to go before an immigration judge or officer and make their case that the penalty for the US citizen and their family is too harsh. "This legislation is carefully crafted to provide a balance," notes former House immigration chair and AFU legislative strategist Bruce Morrison. "We are not asking for immigration violations to be ignored, and we do not say that everyone who commits a violation should be admitted to the United States. But we are saying that the rights of US citizen spouses should be given substantial weight, and that’s what this overdue reform provides."

    Edgar Falcon, an AFU member from El Paso, Texas who was recently married literally on the US-Mexico border, said: "I want to thank Congressman Pearce, who has shown real courage in supporting this bipartisan bill, and especially my Congressman Beto O’Rourke, who promised when he came to my wedding on the Paso del Norte International Bridge that he would introduce this bill and work tirelessly to get it enacted into law. For American families like mine, with my beloved wife Maricruz in exile, this is encouraging. Congress is not all partisan bickering. They can solve America’s problems, and this is how to solve one of them."
  • 09/25/2013 6:36 PM | American Families United (Administrator)
    Prominent American Families United member Margaret Stock was one of 24 winners of the 2013 MacArthur Fellowship, recognizing her contributions to immigration policy. 
  • 09/18/2013 8:32 PM | American Families United (Administrator)
    Approximately twenty American Families United members trekked across country and even over international borders to keep fighting in the name of family and marriage last week. Members, who came from as far away as Veracruz, Mexico, made financial and personal sacrifices to be able to speak with their Representatives to ask for their support of the upcoming American Families United act.

    Prior to the lobbying event, AFU members pulled together to raise over $10,000 in less than a week to fly people from strategic districts to DC to meet with their Representatives.

    One of the most noted participants in the delegation was Nick Martin, from Sylacauga, Alabama, who brought his six year old daughter to meet their Congressman. Nick has been forced into being a single parent for a child born legally blind and deaf and who has undergone over twelve surgeries in her short time on earth because his wife, Christina, is in Mexico with a lifetime bar.

    "Her dad, Nick, is like a lot of other U.S. citizens trying to bring the love of his life back home to raise their daughter in her country" stated American Families United lobbyist Paul Donnelly. "I defy anybody to explain a national interest that exiles this little girl’s mother."

    "I wouldn’t have missed the opportunity to make this trip for anything," stated Martin. "My wife is the love of my life and my daughter needs her back. I need her."
  • 08/27/2013 12:30 PM | American Families United (Administrator)
    American Families United expresses our heartfelt thanks to Congressman Beto O'Rourke, who attended the wedding of American Families United members Edgar Falcon and Maricruz Valtierra today at the Santa Fe international border bridge in El Paso, Texas. 

    Despite their marriage, Edgar cannot live in the United States with his wife Maricruz.  Congressman O'Rourke remarked, "It is a fundamental principle of American values that the US government has no right to tell any citizen to choose between their spouse, the love of their life – and their country. Yet that is what current law does."  Congressman O'Rourke also announced that he will introduce the American Families United Act, a bill with the specific intent of helping US citizens like Edgar. 

    American Families United applauds Congressman O'Rourke for his leadership in championing the rights of US citizens.
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