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  • 11/21/2014 5:00 PM | American Families United (Administrator)

    POSITION STATEMENT OF AMERICAN FAMILIES UNITED

    Regarding: reaction to President Obama's Executive Action

    By Kimberly Anderson, President, AmericanFamiliesUnited.org

    American Families United, on the eve following the announcement by President Obama applauds the White House for the courage to take an important first step in righting the wrongs of an immigration system that separates, exiles, and destroys US Citizen families and punishes US Citizen spouses for loving aspiring Americans. 

    With full hearts,  the membership of our organization, comprised primarily of US Citizen spouses who are married to undocumented immigrants celebrate today for our AFU citizen families that will be made whole again under the President's action. Yet we simultaneously languish in the continued suffering of AFU's US Citizen spouse members who have been forgotten: Childless US citizen spouses and those trapped in exile abroad under the burden of a magnanimous  decision to keep their families united simply do not deserve further exclusion and punishment from their own country. It is untenable that as US citizens they would not be treated at least as favorably as others  in the President's brave effort to relieve the suffering of families torn apart. American Families United will not allow the cries of these families to be lost in today's noise, either in affirmation of the Executive Action's particulars or in criticism of its audacity. 

    Our government can and must go further and must not leave US Citizens behind, period.  We are certain both the Administration and our legislative processes can work to eliminate this needless destruction of lives.  We have seen the best of effort to relieve this suffering in the bi-partisan efforts of Republican Congressman Steve Pearce and Democratic Congressman Beto O'Rourke as they brought forth HR3431, The American Families United Act, which corrects legislatively the fact that US Citizens who chose to marry foreigners should not be forced to choose between their country and their life.  We have been empowered by the expressions that US Citizen families being kept together is an American value, as exemplified by myriad other bi-partisan co-sponsors who listened to AFU members and then ACTED to right this wrong. 

    Now it is time to ACT again.

    While extremely grateful, AFU asks for immediate and continued examination by the Administration of AFU's proposed reliefs within both the framework and intent of present EA announcements. Finally, we call upon our legislators to work together immediately, as we have seen happen in bi-partisan efforts of HR3431 so that US Citizens  will be treated with the respect and dignity that their birth right, our American values, and humane laws should afford them.

  • 08/25/2014 5:00 PM | American Families United (Administrator)
    As the majority of the country agree's, America's Immigration system is broken and outdated.  On August 25th, American Families United joined a coalition of groups asking the current administration to focus on a single goal: addressing the egregious backlogs for legal immigration by adopting better rules for counting principals only to deal with set limits.  We believe such a simple change as this would help significantly accelerate family unification, eliminate backlogs for employment based opportunities, and reduce unauthorized immigration without an increase to legal immigration.  You can read the full letter or fact sheet at the included links.
  • 06/25/2014 3:36 PM | American Families United (Administrator)
    Congressman Keith Ellison (MN-5) 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.
  • 06/17/2014 9:00 AM | American Families United (Administrator)
    Congressman Erik Paulsen (MN-3) 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.
  • 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.
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