For binational lesbian couple, deportation delayed indefinitely

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For binational lesbian couple, deportation delayed indefinitelyThanks to a private clemency bill introduced by Senator Diane Feinstein, Shirley Tan will thankfully be able remain with her partner Jay Mercado and their twin sons, at least until the Senate decides if it wants to address the bill, which could take up to 21 months, or through the end of this Congress in 2010. This grants a much larger window of opportunity for the Uniting American Family Act (UAFA) to pass which would allow binational couples to sponsor their same-sex partners, and allow Tan to legally stay in this country.

From Tan’s attorney Melanie Nathan…

Today Senator Feinstein introduced a very rare private bill on behalf of Shirley Tan; Shirley will not have to leave the USA for now and hopefully never. The essence of its introduction is that Tan does not have to leave the USA on May 10th, in terms of the voluntary order issued by DHS. This enables her to stay in the USA, legally, until the private bill passes ( a rare occurrence)- and if it does not come up for a vote then she can stay for the duration of this Congress’s session, which has approximately a year and nine months left. However Shirleys ultimate saviour will be UAFA and nothing else!

A great big thanks from the Tan-Mercado family to Rep. Speier and her amazing staff as well as Sen. Feinstein and her staff, all of whom showed extraordinary care and diligence through the process. A special mention to the organizations that lent their support. Marriage Equality, Immigration Equality, Out4Immigration, Love Exiles and all the Media that remained so patient and supportive. Sen Boxer is sponsoring UAFA and we now hope that Sen. Feinstein will do the same as many many others are in as bad a predicament as Shirley Tan has been.

When I spoke to Jay today she was crying with joy and said the whole family including the boys were absolutely overwhelmed with emotion. The news was conveyed to her directly by Senator Feinstein’s office. It has been a long and arduous process and so a very special thank you goes to Attorney Phyllis Beech, San Francisco and Fresno. I will write more later – but now I have to call and tell everyone the good news.

More at Melanie Nathan’s blog.

Post by ILO on 04/23/09 at 11:32 am