Published: 2/14/2017

The most neglected constituency in the immigration debate applauds

Bipartisan bill to protect rights of US citizens

Washington: “This bipartisan bill is a sign of hope,” said Kim Anderson, President of American Families United, as the only national organization specifically representing the rights of US citizens endorsed H.R. 1036, introduced today. The proposed American Families United Act, sponsored by Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-Tx), Steve Pearce (R-NM), and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) recognizes the rights of US citizens who sponsor their spouses for legal immigration.

“Americans are divided over immigration reform. We all know the system is broken and must be comprehensively fixed, but we can’t seem to agree on exactly how to do it,” Anderson said. “Yet this legislation, sponsored by both Republicans and Democrats, indicates at least one bedrock American value which must be a cornerstone for any immigration reform: no American immigration system can be worth anything if it divides US citizens from their husbands and wives.”

“These US Representatives recognize that US citizens are the neglected constituency in immigration reform, facing a family choice between being outlawed or exiled,” Anderson pointed out. “The Census counts 4.1 million Americans who are married to foreign-born spouses. Our best estimate is that at least 300,000 of those have had some problem, have been caught by the fish hooks and bear traps that litter our immigration laws. Technical, even trivial violations – like missing a hearing – can have catastrophic consequences. The bureaucracy uses traffic court rules to impose life sentences.”

“We applaud the leadership shown by Congressmen O’Rourke, Pearce and Swalwell,” Anderson said. “American Families United looks forward to working with both Republicans and Democrats in Congress to protect the immigration law rights of US citizens.”

Sample stories of AFU members are here, all US citizens. (Edgar Falcon of Texas, Nick Martin of Alabama, and Margot Bruemmer, currently exiled in Mexico.)

An AFU petition went live yesterday, with more than 300 signatures in the first few hours.

Heather D.


Immigration reform advocate and progressive filmmaker interested in NDE.