News Releases

 (Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) co-sponsored the Uniting American Families Act of 2011 which updates U.S. immigration law to allow American citizens to sponsor same-sex “permanent partners” applying for legal residency in the United States. The bill was introduced this morning by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT).

“Protecting family unity has been a principle of our immigration law for many years. It’s time to extend that principle to the families of same-sex couples,” said Senator Murray. “That’s why I’m proud to support the United American Families Act because it will ensure that no American, no matter their sexual orientation, will ever have to choose between their country and their family.”

The Uniting American Families Act would apply the same restrictions and penalties to same-sex couples that are applied to opposite-sex couples under the Immigration and Naturalization Act. The penalties for any individual found to have entered into a fraudulent, permanent partnership for the purposes of obtaining a visa for another individual are a maximum five-year imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both.