A dozen same sex binational couples from New York — who, because of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) are not allowed green cards when they marry — dropped in on Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) Manhattan offices on January 15, 2013 to thank him for his support and ask him to make sure that the rights of LGBT Americans to sponsor their spouses for green cards is included in any immigration reform package.
The surprise visit was organized by the group Immigration Equality, which advocates for the immigration rights of LGBT people. Without either a change to immigration law or the end of DOMA, Americans with same sex spouses will remain without the right that heterosexual Americans enjoy to sponsor their spouses for green cards.
Adi Lavy and Tzila Levy, who led the group of couples who spoke with Schumer’s staff in the lobby after arriving at his office building, were married last year in New York after returning to the United States from Israel to seek media treatment for Lavy. Eduardo Garcia-Rolland, a Spanish national, married his husband Matthew Hochbrueckner six years ago after they met doing humanitarian work in the former Yugoslavia, then came to the United States to continue their work on humanitarian issues and are now raising a daughter. Both couples face separation because DOMA prevents the federal government from recognizing their marriages, which prevents them from obtaining green cards.
Watch video of the protest and the meeting below: